Open edge server for building automation and industrial IoT

25th April 2019
Alex Lynn

Provider of innovative embedded systems for the IoT era, Adesto Technologies, has announced general availability of its next-generation edge server for building automation and industrial IoT applications. SmartServer IoT is a truly open, full-featured and end-to-end industrial-rated IoT edge server. 

Its out-of-the-box device management services, intuitive user interface and programmable interfaces and applications enable system integrators to deploy solutions in an afternoon, and OEMs to create custom applications with ease.

Smart buildings represent a rapidly growing segment of the Industrial IoT market as facility managers increasingly see the benefits of merging traditional building automation and control (BAC) systems with emerging sensing, communications and cloud technologies. 

Adesto’s SmartServer IoT aims to allow customers to meet today’s challenge of creating truly smart buildings by integrating their systems’ multitude of non-interoperable communications protocols, which have evolved over the years to support each buildings’ diverse functions, such as lighting, security, HVAC, fire detection and others, with new sensing, analytics and predictive AI services not available through BAC systems.

“Edge servers represent the crossroads where traditional operational systems meet the IoT, and today they are needed across just about every industrial and built-in environment,” said Adarsh Krishnan, Principal Analyst, ABI Research. “Edge servers are not all created equal, however. Bridging the separate islands of automation in buildings without losing the considerable investment in each specialised control network is key. This path to more effective building automation solutions is what Adesto is addressing today with SmartServer IoT.”

SmartServer IoT supports multiple protocols and applications, enabling the convergence of diverse systems into a single edge networking and compute platform. It features built-in support for popular building automation protocols and services; open northbound interfaces to any remote client, workstation or web application; open southbound interfaces; and a data abstraction layer for connecting with emerging IoT protocols and devices. 

Adesto hopes that with SmartServer IoT, businesses can embrace their existing, perfectly functional control and management systems, and enhance them by securely connecting them to advanced IoT technologies.

Tim Hopkins, COO, Envigilant Systems, an Allied Telesis Division, said: “By supporting both BAC work flows and IoT applications and providing an open ecosystem, Adesto’s SmartServer IoT eliminates the painstaking task of integration that is the industry norm when implementing IoT projects in commercial buildings. 

“While a typical integration project can take months, we were able to get going with SmartServer IoT in a matter of hours. SmartServer IoT gives us the ability to not only reduce integration frictions, but also create our own services for data and controls. We’re excited to pass this benefit on to our customers by enabling them to maximise their ROI and enhance the building experience for owners and occupants.”

Apurba Pradhan, Vice President of Marketing, Embedded Systems Division, Adesto, added: “Traditional building and industrial control systems aren’t going away. Rip and replace is just not an option for building or operations managers with existing automation infrastructure based on BACnet, LON, Modbus or other field bus systems that were very costly to put in place. 

“With SmartServer IoT, we leverage our 30 years of expertise in industrial communications and networking to simplify the deployment of advanced IoT applications in such market verticals for web developers and system integrators.”

The SmartServer IoT provides multi-protocol IoT gateway functionality with edge compute resources and APIs to optimise industrial IoT workflow between the cloud and edge for industries such as building automation, transportation and industrial controls. 

Key enablers include:

  • An end-to-end IoT solution, with modular interfaces for leading industrial communications protocols and IP network and data abstraction layer, eliminating the requirement to integrate protocol stacks and abstract the data from a variety of device types.
  • Secure IoT messaging to remote clients and cloud services to gather data from devices efficiently from any public or private cloud without opening unsecure ports or punching holes through firewalls.
  • Edge services for controls and automation, with pre-integrated device and data management apps, such as connecting, routing, scheduling, data logging and alarming, all operating at the network edge for faster, more responsive systems.
  • User-friendly web-based management system for simplifying the integrator workflow of creating, provisioning and managing devices with configurable dashboards, alarms and reports.
  • An extensible, open integration platform based on Linux, with freely available modern RESTful APIs for accelerating web apps and HTML development, and MQTT for custom controls applications; all ensuring integration with any IoT device or application.

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