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Cloud Computing: IT infrastructures for Industry 4.0

By October 1, 2018November 2nd, 2018No Comments5 min read

With the increasing acceptance of cloud technologies in companies, the question arises of the individually correct IT infrastructure: everything from infrastructure to complete IT as a service is possible.

Cloud usage continues to grow: According to a study, 65% of the 554 companies surveyed in 2016 already received IT resources from the cloud. This is an increase of 11% compared to last year. With the increasing acceptance of the cloud technology, the range of the related IT infrastructure is also expanding. From simple Infrastructure-as-a-Service, the services have all the way to completely vertical applications that can be obtained via the cloud – so-called IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) – such as SAP Hana (vHana) or for virtualized workstations ( vOffice), further developed. However, those who opt for a cloud operating model should not only pay attention to the cost aspects: For the IT manager, the strategic possibilities which arise through the cloud, often more important. With ITaaS, the IT organization can deliver a standards-based IT infrastructure while responding quickly and agile to ever-increasing resource demands.

Ensure privacy

When choosing the right provider, IT managers should analyze the data protection aspects at an early stage. Today, many cloud providers can largely ensure that only intra-country network routes are used during the data transfer – unless dedicated lines are used anyway.

In addition, the cloud provider should be able to provide a physical (dedicated private) or logical (virtual private) separate cloud. This is the only way to comply with strict data protection regulations and possible demands of the company’s own compliance rules.

The cloud management platform used also plays a central role. The open source, open source framework, Open Stack is increasingly being used as cloud management software. The software allows customers to use a largely vendor-neutral cloud. Further advantages are the modular structure as well as the possibilities of automation and orchestration. Open Stack provides users with a graphical web interface that allows them to easily manage their own IT resources.

So, if you opt for an IT operation from the cloud today, you should choose a service provider that also offers all services from a single source across all clouds. This helps to fix bugs and performance problems faster. Otherwise, the IT administrator himself must be able to orchestrate and monitor the cloud resources of different vendors. It is often not feasible or efficient for companies to build up the necessary specialist knowledge because of the high speed of IT.

On the way to edge computing

A good alternative to classic colocation data centers and private server rooms are preconfigured cloud data centers in standardized containers. Businesses can use these systems to quickly create new IT capabilities at remote corporate locations. Solutions for all scenarios are available on the market: from the rental model of a fully-equipped container to a turnkey container data center including a private cloud as managed or self-managed service.

For example, those who need to further expand the Internet of Things at global production sites as part of an Industry 4.0 initiative will find the necessary products to expand IT at the edges of their corporate network (so-called edge computing) with these container solutions. This is the basis for innovative services such as alarm scenarios, predictive maintenance or self-optimization of the production plant, which should provide the enterprise IT in real time.

To provide services of this kind and to be able to react quickly to events and deviations, low latency times between production and IT infrastructure within a company are necessary.

For example, in today’s production environments, edge computing helps process the data streams generated by smart machine sensors and actuators. However, this also requires new IT infrastructures, ranging from extended storage capacity to agile computer resources and low-latency network connections. A centralized data center used by all corporate sites cannot meet these requirements, nor can the remote cloud data centers.

Fast IT development according to individual requirements with edge computing

With edge data centers, organizations are rapidly realizing new IT environments needed to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0. With conventional procedures, such as a construction project including permits and certification, such an IT expansion would take a couple of years. However, those who need a modern production environment in a timely manner can not wait that long. Alternatives are standardized components for edge computing in the form of preconfigured data center containers. Together with the cloud provider Bleuwire™, the system supplier for IT infrastructures offers turnkey solution packages with servers, storage and open-stack-based cloud management software for companies of all sizes. This gives companies the necessary as-a-service services.

Contact Bleuwire™ to learn more about cloud services and solutions – how they can help your business.