Operational Technology (OT) is a term used to refer to hardware and software technologies that support the control, automation and monitoring of devices and machines.
These technologies were designed and implemented well before computer systems become ubiquitous. As a result, Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) have evolved in parallel, with very limited touchpoints.
The reality, however, is that IT has outpaced OT in terms of cost, flexibility and available processing power. Due to the critical nature of the industrial processes managed by Operational Technologies, most vendors developed systems that were highly resilient and reliable. These features came often at the expense of interoperability: standardization was not always a driving factor, and many vendors preferred to take the proprietary route, causing a vendor lock-in.
The case in point are the hundreds of different and incompatible industrial automation protocols currently in use. As a result of this evolution, highly valuable operational data is trapped inside machines, devices and sensors. Vendor lock-in, proprietary protocols and the general lack of interoperability inhibit the wider utilization of this data.
The gap between OT and IT is more significant than ever, depriving the industry from the benefits of better understanding the ongoing state of their processes.
How does Datumize Data Collector (DDC) help to leverage industrial data?
Datumize Data Collector (DDC) offers an affordable, non-intrusive and efficient way to gather industrial data by tapping directly into an existing network. This solution has a major advantage over traditional polling approach, as Datumize Data Collector (DDC) utilizes overhead-free network sniffing: it reads and interprets the live data of an existing network via well-established use of port mirroring.
Datumize Data Collector (DDC) can ingest data flowing through networks of an operational technology environment, tapping into existing control loops using various industrial protocols (Modbus, OPC-DA, Fieldbus, etc.). The extracted data flow can then be further enhanced by the Cook Processor functionality of Datumize Data Collector (DDC), and fed into the corporate Data Lake for advanced analytics.