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When 5G Meets the Survivable Edge

By Arti Loftus
September 22, 2022

Private Wireless Edge to Cloud With Extreme Continuity for Connected Industrial Systems

Digital transformation is rapidly changing industries into technological havens filled with innovative devices and applications. Even industries that were historically slow on digital adoption are swiftly leveraging new technologies, and such is the case with the industrial manufacturing industry. Today's need by manufacturers to optimize the productivity of their expensive equipment, reduce waste, maximize yields, and reduce cycle times has led manufacturers to start adopting intelligent manufacturing technology into their factories.

The growing use of technology within industrial manufacturing is happening quite swiftly despite only truly beginning a couple of years ago. As recently as 2019, the Industry 4.0 market was at $70 billion, but, thanks to the recent explosion in adoption, the market is now expected to grow to $210 billion by 2026. Among the various types of technologies pouring into industrial manufacturing, one of the most prominent being leveraged is IoT edge.

IoT edge computing solves latency issues associated with the cloud, as data is processed closer to its point of origin, as well as providing enhanced safety and a smoother end-user experience. The combination creates a plethora of benefits for industrial enterprises, as the edge offers enhanced speed and connectivity for IoT devices and machines, while IoT allows supply chain managers to connect their vehicles, equipment, and devices to gain near real-time status updates on jobs.

Pente Networks introduced an Industry 4.0 offering called the Pente Survivable Edge, in synch with an announcement made with two of their ecosystem partners, Monogoto and Supermicro.

Pente Survivable Edge is controlled and configured from the cloud but also works completely independently and contains all elements needed to provide service during a disconnect from the cloud. Capabilities include local breakout for data, survivability options, and the ability to support real-time management and automation while keeping one management system that can control as many edges, radios, and devices as needed.

"After over a year of collaboration, development, testing in our lab, multiple proof-of-concepts, and two successful deployments, we are pleased to bring to the global IoT developer and service provider communities an edge capability unmatched in terms of simplicity, predictability, and reliability," said Jonathan Schwartz, CTO, Pente.

 "The edge brings with it tremendous opportunities when the edge can support real-time, automated systems where ROIs have been proven to be most immediate and sustainable. The edge has also been notoriously difficult to manage with certainty, including the flow of data generated by sensors that can be utilized locally using mesh networking, in sync with data pumped into the cloud for analytics, centralized visibility, and control across distributed locations," continued Schwartz.

Two of the initial significant implementations of Pente's Survivable Edge include the support of autonomous tractors in vineyards in the United States (which reduce costs for the growers and improve yields) and the modernization of a large chemical plant (in Israel).

Monogoto, a cloud-based cellular network enabling API-driven Infrastructure-as-a-Service, and Supermicro, a global technology leader committed to delivering first-to-market innovation for Enterprise, Cloud, AI, and 5G Telco/Edge IT Infrastructure, on advanced wireless edge solutions with a full-stack approach, have been contributing to implementations of the Survivable Edge solution.

Monogoto is the first service provider to deploy Pente Edge software running on Supermicro's systems in support of the introduction of Monogoto's EdgePlus™ service offering being demonstrated in Las Vegas at Mobile World Congress Americas 2022.

Pente is contributing the mobile core and management layers as part of their new Pente Survivable Edge™, which makes private LTE/5G private networks extremely robust and IoT and Industrial IoT solutions easier to deploy and manage.

Supermicro's market-proven IoT SuperServer family will support this initiative, including the (SYS-E302-12D and SYS-110D). Both systems include the Intel Xeon D®-based processors, which is the most advanced System-on-a-Chip built for the edge with built-in AI, security, advanced I/O, and dense computing.

"We are a big believer in the combined future of Edge and private 5G futuristic use cases, such as augmented reality, autonomous systems, and advanced vertical industry solutions," said Maor Efrati, CTO, Monogoto. "Working with Pente and Supermicro, we can deliver tightly integrated edge-to-cloud capabilities, which we have demonstrated in agriculture, education, and warehousing as a start. Together, we offer the ideal platform for developers of IoT and Industrial IoT solutions."

IoT edge is already becoming quite common in industrial manufacturing, as both technologies are experiencing speedy growth within the industry. The global edge computing in manufacturing market size is projected to reach $1.2 billion by 2028, from $1.5 billion in 2021. As for the IoT market, in 2020, it was valued at $33.2 billion, but the market is predicted to still grow as well, to $53.8 billion in 2025.

However, there is still some reservation among factories and other industrial enterprises when it comes to adopting the IoT edge, mainly due to the lack of survivability. Survivability means that the system should continue to operate as well as possible despite damage to hardware (computing resources, power, or networking) or the user.

While survivability is typically related to reliability challenges, the key distinction is that reliability is about a system adapting to a challenging environment to maintain capability. In contrast, survivability is about acceptance of physical resource loss and maintaining capability as well as possible with the resources available, which is where the notion of scaling down comes into play. Given a physical loss of computing resources, power, or networking, the system should adapt and maintain as much capability as possible, ideally prioritizing capabilities based on the user's current needs.

Survivability is critical for industrial manufacturing organizations, as when operations get shut down, the manufacturers are not the only ones affected. Every part of the supply chain gets affected when a factory can no longer run, from the factory itself and workers to the distributors, the enterprise, or the consumer, to which the finished product eventually arrives.

This domino effect is one that industrial manufacturing organizations are now putting an emphasis on, with survivability top of mind when searching for an IoT edge solution to adopt and leverage.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Erik Linask
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