Product News: Opto 22’s groov EPIC version 3.3 firmware

Nov. 11, 2021
New features support remote-access gateway functions for securely managing devices and PLCs.
Opto 22 has announced the latest firmware for the groov EPIC edge programmable industrial controller. Version 3.3.x, available as a free download for all existing customers, delivers much-requested enhancements to EPIC’s networking capabilities. In addition to processing and integrating OT data into backend applications, as before, EPIC can now act as a secure remote-access gateway, enabling authorized users to modify and administer PLCs and other field assets without requiring an industrial PC at the field location.

"Using groov EPIC as a PLC gateway is awesome!” said Arlen Nipper, president and CTO at Cirrus Link Solutions and co-inventor of MQTT and Sparkplug. “Compared to many of the IPCs I’ve used, the experience is so much simpler. No programming or messing around on the command line, just point-and-click configuration. This is the ideal way to use Ignition at the edge.”

By design, groov EPIC allows users to establish security zones between trusted OT networks and external IT LAN or internet traffic using its embedded firewall, user management functions, SSL/ TLS certification, and multiple segmented network interfaces, per its maker. Using other pre-installed tools like Ignition Edge from Inductive Automation, Node-RED, and CODESYS, users can acquire and publish OT data from this secure zone directly into backend applications via MQTT, REST API calls, or traditional industrial communication protocols.

Firmware version 3.3.x adds port redirection and static routing, allowing legitimate connection requests initiated from external networks to reach destinations within the secure OT zone, facilitating maintenance activities such as PLC program updates. Authorized users can create secure conduits between trusted and untrusted networks on-demand from a local, remote, or mobile HMI connected to groov EPIC and through REST API calls. Using EPIC’s embedded VPN client, engineers can even connect to PLCs on remote networks without exposing them to unwanted access.

The new networking features have been incorporated into a refreshed groov Manage interface that makes it easier to find the suite of diagnostic tools already included, such as ping, traceroute, and nslookup, notes Opto 22. The EPIC’s network settings can be configured completely through this browser-based interface.