Our customers in the electric utility industry are always looking for new ways to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s digital era all while reducing costs and increasing grid stability. And our Cisco engineers work countless hours to meet the changing needs of the industry to help our customers stay competitive in the market.

That’s why I’m excited to announce our new IoT solution that tackles many of the biggest challenges facing power utilities. The Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Distribution Automation enables you to build a secure, scalable, easy-to-manage network infrastructure all the way to the IoT edge.

At the heart of our Cisco Distribution Automation validated solution is our new next generation Cisco IR1101 Integrated Services Routers, enabling you to reliably and securely connect tens of millions of utility devices, even in rugged conditions and harsh weather.

Maximizing coverage while lowering costs

Our new CVD is your blueprint to significantly accelerate time to value with Distribution Automation. How do you securely deliver commands and retrieve data in a large-scale distributed network? How do you ensure security over automation in remote field locations? How do you manage the DA network without overwhelming complexity?  The CVD helps you address these challenges and more.

You can also capture greater business value with a highly connected, low-cost strategy for Distribution Automation. For instance, identify outages faster and speed up automatic service restoration. Lower line loss and conservation voltage to boost profitability. And integrate with Distributed Energy Resources (DER) to increase grid stability and reduce greenhouse gas emission to meet industry green energy goals and mandates.

Optimizing scalability and reliability

We understand our utility customers struggle with optimizing costs while meeting the complex technical demands of the next generation distribution grid. At Cisco, we’re making it easier for you. Our Distribution Automation CVD helps you implement an easy-to-manage, highly scalable solution. Here’s a snapshot of key capabilities:

  • Leverages 10+ years of experience working with our utility industry customers, and has validated use cases such as Volt VAR control and Fault Location, Isolation and Service Restoration (FLISR) using an array of controller devices from Easton and Beckwith, Cisco’s solution partners.
  • Scales to hundreds of thousands of devices or secondary substations, with high availability for redundant backhaul to multiple control centers, and timing precision controls.
  • Enables more cost-friendly distributed networking with our industry leading Cisco Resilient Mesh and cellular networking technologies, which are built into the Cisco CGR 1240/1120, IR 510/530 Wi-Sun mesh product family and Cisco IR 807/809/1101 industrial routers. Cisco Resilient Mesh complies to Wi-Sun 1.0 spec for interoperability with other Wi-Sun compliant mesh radios.
  • Increases flexibility with our next gen Cisco IR1101 industrial routers. The modular, ruggedized IR1101 lets you add different interfaces to the DA platform, such as a cellular module to support areas or use cases that require extremely high performance.
  • Reduces complexity with single, unified management with our Field Network Director (FND) system for managing multiple networking technologies across thousands of devices.
  • Safeguards your enterprise with end-to-end security for devices, data, firmware upgrades, network management systems, and edge applications.
  • Speeds time to insights with edge data processing and analytics (e.g., edge computing for Virtual RTU and data normalization).
  • Builds on our Connected Utility networking solution portfolio that includes Substation Automation, Utility WAN, and Field Area Networks (FAN) for Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

And to help you design, validate, and deploy your Cisco Distribution Automation solutions, our Cisco Customer Experience (CX) group is launching DA lab validation, field pilot, and edge services.

distribution-automation-architectureWith the Cisco Distribution Automation CVD, you’ll have more than a strategic roadmap. Now you can significantly reduce complexity with a fully validated design for power utilities that takes advantage of next-gen IoT technologies for more secure and scalable networking, anywhere you need it.

Ready to learn more?

For more information, please visit: Field Area Network and Distribution Automation-Secondary Substation Design Guide

Additional resources:


Sean Song Jiang

Lead, Distributed Automation Solutions

Cisco IoT Solutions Group