Siemens to bring MindSphere to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform

28 November 2016

At the SPS/IPC/Drives 2016 event last week Siemens discussed its plans to make its open IoT ecosystem MindSphere available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform during the course of 2017. 

MindSphere enables industrial enterprises to improve the efficiency of plants through the acquisition and analysis of large quantities of production data.

Both Siemens and Microsoft plan to offer the MindSphere platform and affiliated apps on the Azure cloud platform in the future. The use of public cloud services cuts out the installation and maintenance work involved in creating a dedicated IT infrastructure. In addition, Azure infrastructure services enable high availability on a scalable basis, as only the actually required computing power is used and charged for. NET support reduces the effort involved in developing new MindSphere apps for programmers.

As part of the collaboration, Siemens customers aiming to develop and make available their apps in the public cloud will soon be able to choose between Microsoft datacenters in different locations around the world. With Azure Stack, the aim is for them to also utilise Azure services within their own datacenter. They will benefit from the scalability and efficient management of a public cloud solution without compromising the scope for control offered by their own datacenter. 

“With Azure, Microsoft is offering an innovative, secure and hyper-scalable global cloud computing platform. Integrating Siemens MindSphere and Microsoft Azure will fuel local innovation and provide customers greater flexibility and choice. It supports manufacturing companies to succeed with their digital transformation using public cloud solutions and benefit from the full potential offered by IoT, big data and machine learning applications,” said Sabine Bendiek, area vice president of Microsoft Germany.

In addition to Java, JavaScript and Python, plans are in place for MindSphere to also support .NET applications in the future, which will allow .NET developers to benefit from existing applications and expertise when developing new MindSphere apps. 

“We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to expand our MindSphere offering. This will help us drive forward the expansion of our open IoT ecosystem still further. It will create additional opportunities for customers, partners and third-party suppliers to use digital services and so enhance the productivity of plants and machines”, said Peter Weckesser, COO of the Product Lifecycle Management Business Unit, Siemens AG.

What is MindSphere?
MindSphere is designed as an open IoT ecosystem. It can be used by industrial enterprises as the basis for their own digital services, in fields such as predictive maintenance, energy data management or resource optimization. Machine and plant engineering companies in particular can use the platform to monitor machine fleets distributed around the world for servicing purposes, to reduce standstill periods and so offer new business models. MindSphere also provides the foundation for data-based services from Siemens such as predictive maintenance of machine tools (Machine Tool Analytics) or integrated drive systems (Drive Train Analytics).

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