Drives and Controls Magazine
Industrial Internet architecture will speed IoT progress
Published:  30 June, 2015

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has released an industrial Internet “reference architecture” which provides a common language for the elements of industrial Internet systems and the relationships between them. The IIC says that this language will help developers to decide which elements they need for their systems, thus saving time.

“For the Internet of Things (IoT) to reach the predicted installed base of 50 billion things by 2020, developers need to be able to connect and scale systems quickly,” explains Dr Shi-Wan Lin, co-chair of the IIC’s technology working group. “The industrial Internet reference architecture has broad applicability across industrial and other IoT systems to drive that scalability and interoperability within the industry.”

The architecture helps to place existing and emerging standards in a common structure, making it easier to identify gaps that need to be filled to ensure interoperability between components.

The downloadable architecture document outlines key characteristics of industrial Internet systems, points that must be considered before deploying industrial Internet systems, and an analysis of key concerns, including security, privacy, interoperability and connectivity.

"The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture is an important first step toward establishing new IoT capabilities in the industrial space, enabling developers to operate faster,” says the IIC working group’s other chair, Bradford Miller. “With the IIRA, we are creating new ways to organise industrial applications that move toward a usage-driven, rather than a design-driven, approach.”

The Industrial Internet Consortium was formed last year by AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel to accelerate the development, adoption and use of interconnected machines and devices, intelligent analytics, and people at work. It now has 167 members in 24 countries.