Cisco solutions support three major IoT use cases

June 28, 2016
"This is the next evolution of the IoT portfolio,” says Cisco's John Reno. "We’re enabling digital transformation."

Cisco today announced new solutions to support three IoT use cases—Connected Machines, Connected Factory and LoRaWan.

“This is the next evolution of the IoT portfolio,” says John Reno, Cisco’s product and solutions marketing manager, who sees areas for adoption in public safety, the energy
sector, smart cities, etc. “This is the opportunity that we’re addressing—transitioning from proprietary networks and ad-hoc security with limited machine-connections to a simple, three-step process to connect sensors and increase resiliencies. We have had success in connecting OT and enterprises. This announcement is taking that to the next level in many ways. We’re enabling digital transformation…that is what this announcement is about.”

Take a look at Cisco’s descriptions:

Connected Machines 

Cisco Connected Machines delivers a complete solution to securely connect devices, transform machine data into real-time insight and grow recurring business when working with machine builders and manufacturers. 

By implementing the Connected Machines solution, Cisco’s manufacturing customers can benefit from the domain expertise of machine builders to drive machine-process improvements through real-time corrective action and continuous, predictive maintenance. 

“This is as much of an adoption model as it is a tech innovation,” says Reno. “This is the payback on predictive maintenance that many of us have been talking about.”

Under the Connected Machines solution, Cisco is now offering an extension of new products, including:

  • IE4000 with IOx: This application framework runs on all IOx-enabled network infrastructure. The platform has pluggable micro-services and can reliably integrate with IoT sensors and cloud applications in a highly secure way, while processing data closer to the machine.
  • Connected Streaming Analytics: Provides real-time analytics running on the IE4000 for small footprint deployment with IOx-enabled fog applications.

Cisco’s IE4000 switch, IOx enabled fog applications and Connected Streaming Analytics combine to securely connect machines, extract the machine data and deliver real-time actionable insights.

Reno divides the benefits here into two categories:

  • Manufacturers get information, enabling the management team to take action based on hard data
  • Machine-builders get more financially attractive business models

Connected Factory 

The Cisco Connected Factory, enhanced with new IoT connectivity and security products, delivers a complete industrial zone solution for customers to scale security, simplify network management and extend the scope of IoT. As part of the Connected Factory framework, Cisco is announcing two new industrial switches IE4010 and IE1000, and enhancements to industrial security appliance ISA3000.
  • IE 4010: This highly secure, easy-to-manage multi-gigabit speed ruggedized switch includes in-line Power over Ethernet/PoE+ multi-speed Ethernet ports, that can power up to 24 other devices in industrial applications. 
  • IE 1000: This highly secure, compact, lightly managed ruggedized switch includes in-line Power over Ethernet/PoE+ multi-speed Ethernet ports that power up to eight other devices in industrial applications. 
  • ISA 3000: This enhanced threat protection appliance is purpose-built for industrial applications that require support for Common Industrial Protocol (CIP).

According to Reno, manufacturing customers benefit from a complete solution to securely connected machines and sensors, while gaining insight from IoT data in order to reduce cycle time, increase availability and reduce risk. Some are well on their way to achieving value from an overall Connected Factory architecture.

LoRaWAN Solution 

And increasing number of devices are connecting to the Internet, expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. Approximately 45 percent of such IoT devices are constrained by battery power and require long range for IoT connectivity. “But batteries can have benefits,” says Reno, summarizing the LoRaWAN solution. “And there are two areas of impact—organizations that want to reduce costs and service providers that want to expand.”

The Cisco LoRaWAN solution combines Low-Power-Wide-Area (LPWA) LoRaWAN with WiFi and cellular technologies and is designed for cost-effectively connecting billions of such battery powered, low-data rate and long distance IoT sensors. The solution includes the Cisco LoRaWAN Gateway, which extends existing industry-leading industrial routers IR809 and IR829 with a ruggedized LoRaWAN interface, Cisco IoT Field Network Director, and partner’s back-end LoRA network server.

The Cisco LoRaWAN solution offers customer a fully integrated architecture that enables both service providers and enterprise customers to rapidly realize business outcomes with IoT. The CiscoLoRaWAN solution can be deployed for a wide range of use cases in industrial and smart-city applications, such as:

  • Connected assets (asset tracking and asset management)
  • Logistics (supply-chain management, consignment tracking)
  • Smart cities (smart parking, street lighting, waste management, etc.)
  • Intelligent buildings
  • Utilities (water and gas metering)
  • Agriculture (soil, irrigation management)