Friday, 30 November 2018 11:57

Device Convergence

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Mediating the data models, communications protocols and operation activities of devices from many different vendors is challenging and complicated. Use device convergence to bring different devices from different vendors under one common model.

Service providers find themselves with a variety of devices deployed in the field. Not only different devices but different vendors and different versions and models from the same vendor. It seems every device has its own protocol, data model, API, and exchange pattern. The challenge is how to represent the different devices and their data in one unified model.

A successful approach is the use of device mediation components to abstract the vendor-specific details away from the system. CoyoteDX lives between the field devices and the data center, communicating with the devices in their own native protocols and transforming that data into one the rest of the organization understands. Data passes through the Perimeter Firewall with the devices native protocols but enters the Application Firewall using a single, uniform protocol thanks to the mediation of the CoyoteDX components.

A group of workers running in the perimeter network receives jobs via work queues to poll devices in the field and each head-end system. The various forms of data are placed in a common data format and send to other message topics/queues for back-office systems to receive and process. As the number of devices in the field increase, so to do the number of workers (and message queues/topics) to accommodate the load. Workers mediate between field devices and all the various protocols and the common unified model in the corporate data center or cloud infrastructure.

Dedicated modules are written to interact with either the device directly or an intermediate (head-end) system and exchange data to the rest of the system using a common model. Voice and Data provisioning does not have to embed vendor-specific logic to interact with the hardware. Distribution management systems (DMS) can use IEC common information models (CIM) to interact with grid components using the device mediation modules as a facade to different hardware platforms.

The result is vendor lock-in becomes a thing of the past, as CoyoteDX allows any equivalent device from any vendor to be deployed where appropriate and even replace existing devices from other vendors. You can implement Demand Management with devices from multiple vendors and let CoyoteDX handle protocol conversions. Grid Sensors from any vendor can be deployed without having to change any of the existing business logic. CoyoteDX ensures each vendor sends the same set of events and metrics so the back office can concentrate on just one model.

  • Industries: Telecommunications, Electric Utility
  • Tools: Loader, DataFrame, DX, MB, Custom modules for some vendors
  • Category: Device Mediation
Last modified on Friday, 30 November 2018 14:48
Steve Cote

Steve has been a systems architect for the telecommunications and electric utility industries creating circuit provisioning systems and smart grid solutions. He is a hands-on architect working with teams to deliver large complex projects. More recently, Steve has been consulting agile teams from Fortune 15 organizations, start-ups, and everything in-between to be more productive with DevOps and agile practices.

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