Connectivity software is designed to create scalable IIoT systems

Industrial internet of things (IoT) connectivity company, Real-Time Innovations (RTI), believes that RTI Connext DDS 5.3 is the first connectivity software designed to build layered-databus architectures for industrial IoT (IIoT) systems.

Typical IIoT systems require sharing data across multiple networks, from the edge, to the fog, to the cloud, explains RTI. For example, in a connected hospital, devices have to communicate within a patient or operating room, to nurses’ stations and off-site monitors, to real-time analytics applications for smart alarming and clinical decision support, and with IT health records. This is challenging for several reasons. Firstly, the aggregate volume of streaming device data could overwhelm hospital networks. Patient data must be securely tracked, even as patients and devices move between rooms and networks. Additionally, devices and applications have to interoperate, although they may have beendeveloped by different manufacturers.

To help system architects address these challenges, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) released the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA). The IIRA identifies a layered databus pattern as the recommended framework for developing these multi-tiered IIoT systems of systems. RTI Connext DDS 5.3 is designed to implement the layered databus pattern, while also fostering interoperability and an open architecture.

RTI Connext DDS connectivity software provides security, the flexibility to configure different quality of service profiles, brokerless architecture and diagnostic and monitoring tools.

Built on the Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard, Connext DDS 5.3 introduces support for the recent DDS security standard.

As a result, devices and applications developed with Connext DDS 5.3 will interoperate with those that take advantage of future Connext DDS versions. Given the long lifecycle of IIoT systems, forward interoperability is essential for products that cannot be easily upgraded once they are deployed, notes RTI. In addition, RTI has verified Connext DDS 5.3 interoperates with other DDS security implementations, to integrate components from multiple suppliers.

“Scalable and secure connectivity is a crucial component driving the Industrial Internet’s momentum,” said David Barnett, vice president of products and markets at RTI. “With the introduction of Connext DDS 5.3, we are making it easier for developers to ensure their systems can handle the complex performance and scalability requirements of the Industrial IoT, while integrating the level of security necessary for critical applications. This reduces costs for our customers by simplifying development and integration.”

IIoT applications often need access to historical data to refine analytics or update dashboards. Due to the large amount of data in IIoT systems of systems, it is rarely possible to send all data to all locations. Connext DDS 5.3 now provides the capability to request and receive historical data as efficiently as live data. Additionally, the ability to filter for specific content, such as requesting a patient’s body temperature over the last four hours, prevents the network bandwidth from flooding.

It is also critical in IIoT systems, that systems maintain connectivity, even as devices roam across networks, an example is autonomous cars. Different networks assign different addresses, meaning that traditional approaches cause a loss in connectivity and data during the switchover. With RTI’s Connext DDS 5.3, devices automatically and securely re-locate and re-authenticate to maintain uninterrupted connectivity when a network address changes.

RTI Connext DDS 5.3 and the layered-databus architecture have applications across industries, including healthcare, energy, aerospace and defence and transportation.

Connext DDS connectivity framework, software development kits (SDKs), tools and runtime services are available. New features include RTI web integration service, to build user-facing web applications. There is also an RTI gateway toolkit, which bridges and interoperates with legacy technologies, as well as other standards-based connectivity frameworks, such as OPC-UA, and messaging protocols, such as MQTT and AMQP.

Finally, the RTI administration console works with the new security capabilities to provide insight into secured data while monitoring, controlling and debugging from a centralised tool.

All of the standard Connext DDS components have been enhanced to be compatible with the DDS security standard.

Connext DDS 5.3 is immediately available from RTI.

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