Kepware’s KEPServerEX is an industry leading solution for connectivity of industrial and manufacturing equipment, and a key component of many company’s Industrial IoT strategies. The Azure IoT platform is a great complement to this connectivity, allowing customers to take advantage of cloud scale, industrial-strength IoT, analytics, and AI technologies. Recognizing the value of this combination, Kepware had previously released a technical note showing how to connect to Azure IoT Hub from KEPServerEX and send the data that it gathered from its connected machinery directly to the cloud via the popular MQTT protocol.
With the release of Azure IoT Edge, customers have the option of bringing some of the custom processing and Azure services from the cloud down to the Edge. This enables scenarios like filtering and aggregating data on the Edge before sending to Azure or executing machine learning models to predict failures or performing anomaly detection with very low latency and bandwidth usage.
Kepware through Azure IoT Edge
The natural question at this point is can you do both? Can you leverage the large selection of device connectivity libraries of KEPServerEx, and the power of edge processing from Azure IoT Edge together? The answer, of course, is yes! We have recently released guidance on how to set up KEPServerEx to talk to IoT Hub through IoT Edge, leveraging the same MQTT connector it uses to talk to IoT Hub. The article gives step-by-step instructions for how to enable this scenario, on both the IoT Edge and KEPServerEx components.
The diagram below shows just one example architecture demonstrating this powerful combination
The recently announced enhanced offline support for Azure IoT Edge adds significant value to this scenario as well. As many factories are in remote locations with unreliable or slow internet connectivity, the offline capabilities of Azure IoT Edge allow the solution to continue to process data, react to events, and take local action all while the internet connection may be down. Azure IoT Edge can even automatically store locally and then forward the messages intended for the cloud once the internet connectivity resumes.