Today Cisco announces a new software product purpose-built for operations teams to manage industrial Ethernet networks across their Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives. The Industrial Network Director offers customers an intuitive user experience tuned for operator productivity, rapid troubleshooting to increase system availability and simplified control over the full capabilities of the Cisco Industrial Ethernet switching family.
Over the past 6 years, Cisco has extended the Enterprise class switching products to Industrial requirements to achieve a market leading position in the Industrial Ethernet (IE) market. The Cisco Industrial Ethernet Switching portfolio offers market leading performance, security, industrial certification for Industrial Automation, Utilities, Smart Cities, and Transportation markets.
As customers are looking to increase their business agility and manage costs they are looking for 3 key requirements:
- Real-time graphical views of automation and network device connectivity to provide line operators and automation engineers increased plant floor asset visibility.
- Annunciate network events and impact to the automation process for efficient troubleshooting by technicians and IT.
- Open APIs to integrate network information with automation applications/tools for improved asset management, and monitoring and accounting applications for plant managers.
Now with Industrial Network Director we are introducing a management system that fits in with existing operational systems, brings together operations and IT teams with a common information framework and helps customers continually increase system availability.
Traditionally, networks have been opaque to the operations teams in context of device connectivity and application visibility in relation to the automation processes. Industrial Network Director breaks through this challenge with a simple, task-driven user experience optimized for common operational roles. We have accelerated the learning curve with step-by-step guided tours that walk users through all essential features to help them get started with the system.
Industrial Network Visibility
Through close cooperation with leaders in the industrial sector we have learned that successful IoT initiatives and industrial automation programs require seamless information shared between operations and IT teams. Industrial Network Director closes this common gap with a common information base providing consistent visibility across network infrastructure and connected devices.
Network Troubleshooting with Automation Context
Industrial Network Director synthesizes network events and traps into alarms and presents them in the context of the automation process. Alarms display connected automation devices that are affected by the network event, allowing for easy impact analysis and straightforward troubleshooting for rapid problem resolution.
Rapid Integration with Automation Systems
Importantly, Industrial Network Director fits in easily with existing automation and control systems. The system is built on an API first approach where all functionality is exposed through a RESTful application interface. This allows for easy integration of network information into existing industrial asset management systems. System Integrators can leverage this application interface to build custom dashboards tailored to meet specific customer needs.
Early adopters of Industrial Network Director are seeing the results in terms of operator productivity, increased system availability and better teamwork with IT.
“The industrial Ethernet network can traditionally seem like black-box to many operators, technicians and automation engineers. They want intuitive tools to easily access network and connected device information – with little to no learning curve. Cisco’s Industrial Network Director fits perfectly, by providing asset visibility and simplified troubleshooting in context. Industrial Network Director lets operations teams monitor their networks and quickly recover from expensive unplanned downtime.” said Carsten Hopf, CEO, Hopf Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH.
Dan Vargas, Solution Engineer Team Lead at SHI International Corp. added, “The Industrial Network Director offers quick and easy integration with current business processes and systems. The REST API built into Industrial Network Director works perfectly to provide connectivity information for the network devices, as well as the automation devices to both existing and new applications.”
To learn more about the impact of IoT and industrial automation with integrated network management visit us at www.cisco.com/go/ind.