Overcoming the Hurdles in IIoT Onboarding

When Dell introduced their Chitale Dairy case study in 2011, and the production improvements they gained from collecting data on their cows, it provided the perfect story to explain the benefits of IoT technologies in an accessible way. But monitoring of cows with RFID tags and collecting the data was only the first step in realizing the benefits to be gained by analyzing the vast amount of data produced about, for example, the food consumption, health records, and milk production of 6000 head of cattle.

At the Food Leaders Summit this week in Chicago, Shree Dandekar from Dell described the challenges a company can face when implementing data analytics. One common problem to overcome is the fact that the information needed to provide end-to-end data is often coming from a variety of sensors on many different pieces of equipment. That equipment, and those sensors, are often not standardized. So, a way is needed to standardize the flow of data from these myriad types of sensors.

Dandekar, Sr. Director Product Management and Strategy at Dell, explained that a gateway can be introduced to integrate data on the fly. From there, a master schema can feed into a predictive analytics program so that the data can be put into a useful format.

Another consideration that should never be overlooked is security. Many devices work on their own security system, and companies need to consider what security measures must be implemented for the various types of data collection.

The last piece of the data collection and analysis process that Dandekar recommended considering is disaster recovery. How will the data be stored and retrieved in the case of loss of equipment or information from accidental, malicious, or natural means?

Understandably, many companies do not know where to begin. Dandekar advises companies to

  1. start with what you have,
  2. architect for analytics, and
  3. secure everything.

To assist companies in overcoming the hurdles in setting up IIoT technologies, Dell has set up the Dell Internet of Things (IoT) Lab. Companies can come to the lab, located in the Dell Silicon Valley Solution Center in Santa Clara, CA, to receive assistance in architecting solutions to their IoT problems. 

Jointly funded by Intel and DELL OEM Solutions, the Dell IoT Lab will enable customers to build, modify and architect new IoT solutions on active bench space within the lab. Customers can demonstrate large workloads, connectivity, and data modeling and extraction on Dell’s end-to-end solutions, including Dell storage as well as Dell PowerEdge servers and blade servers utilizing Dell Software solutions. As a result, Dell OEM customers can significantly speed up their time to market with new IoT solutions and devices, the company explained when the Lab was announced in October 2014.

To learn more about the Dell IoT Lab, see their web page on how to “Start small. Build fast. Connect what matters.”