DCS, SCADA, Controllers

Address SCADA, data ops and industrial data management priorities

Arlen Nipper, co-inventor of MQTT, the publish-subscribe network protocol that has become the dominant messaging standard in IoT, outlines data management and how OT can help IT.

By Kevin Parker October 16, 2021
Courtesy: Virtual Training Week from CFE Media and Technology and Cirrus Link

Day three of CFE Media’s 2021 Fall Virtual Training Week, October 20, will feature a presentation by Arlen Nipper, co-inventor of MQTT, the publish-subscribe network protocol that has become the dominant messaging standard in IoT.

His presentation includes an introduction to the use of message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT). The MQTT Sparkplug protocol standard establishes a single source of truth for models, assets and tags at the edge, enabling operational technology (OT) data and defining it for information technology (IT).

In providing needed context, Nipper will outline how industrial data from the factory floor and operational processes is now a significant driver of big data initiatives. Benefits of sending operations technology (OT) data to big data and enterprise applications include improved resource management to reduce costs and achieve quick return on investment (ROI).

Until now, collecting OT data and sending it to IT systems has not been cost-effective, requires custom code, is not easily scalable, and can create a series of proprietary technology entanglements that leave companies with siloed data they can’t easily access on the shop floor.

Courtesy: Virtual Training Week from CFE Media and Technology and Cirrus Link

Courtesy: Virtual Training Week from CFE Media and Technology and Cirrus Link

Moreover, OT data often comes in multiple data formats, proprietary protocols, and with no contextual information.  It is designed for operations, directly coupled to applications and often exists on isolated networks.  IT, on the other hand, needs standard data formats, data objects, contextual information, security built-in, and publish/subscribe methodology to make use of the data. Data loaded in a data lake can require custom transformation to deliver value.

The session will include a brief demo by Nipper that demonstrates how automation engineers and technicians can themselves better manage data operations in their own projects, using technologies and tools freely available today.

Currently president and CTO of Cirrus Link, Nipper has more than 40 years of experience in the SCADA industry. Besides co-inventing MQTT, he is known as one  of the early architects of pervasive computing and the Internet of Things the publish-subscribe network protocol that has become the dominant messaging standard in IoT. Nipper holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Oklahoma State University.


Kevin Parker
Author Bio: Senior contributing editor, CFE Media