Just months after closing its $1.4 billion acquisition of Internet of Things (IoT) heavyweight Jasper, Cisco has developed an industrial IoT product line that combines low-power-wide-area (LPWA) with WiFi and cellular technologies designed to connect billions of low-power, low-data rate IoT sensors.
Called LoRaWAN, the solution includes Cisco’s modules and industrial routers, the IR809 and IR829, with a ruggedized interface. The company says the LoRaWAN will enable both service providers and enterprises to rapidly deploy an IoT solution for use cases such as asset tracking, logistics, smart cities (smart parking, street lighting and waste management), intelligent buildings, utilities, and agriculture.
In a blog post from Tony Shakib, vice president of Cisco’s IoE (Internet of Everything) vertical solutions engineering, he says the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) in Germany, deployed LoRaWAN and has installed sensors along the Kattwyk Bridge at the entrance to the port.
The sensors enable the maintenance department to plan maintenance and repairs, leading to lower maintenance costs and less downtime.
Shakib also says the company has a new IoT product called Connected Machines that is specifically for the company’s manufacturing customers. Connected Machines includes an application framework, called IE4000 with iOx, that is designed to integrate IoT sensors and cloud applications. In addition, Connected Machines has an analytics platform, called Connected Streaming Analytics, that will provide real-time analytics on the IE4000 for small footprint deployment with iOx-enabled fog applications.
Shakib writes that Cisco’s Connected Machines is already being used by machine tools manufacturer Mazak to connect the company’s manufacturing equipment to a factory network. Cisco also introduced the Cisco Connected Factory to give customers better IoT security, and simplify network management. As part of the Connected Factory framework, Cisco is releasing two new industrial switches, the IE4010 and IE1000, as well as improving security appliance ISA3000.
The IE4010 can power up to 24 other devices and is ruggedized; the IE 1000 can power up to eight other devices; and ISA 3000 is a threat-protection appliance that can support Common Industrial Protocol.
Steve Hilton, analyst with MachNation, says that Cisco is taking a “hardware-plus” approach to try to lead in the IoT space. That’s why the company is introducing solutions, like LoRaWAN, that combine the company’s hardware with various middleware and applications.
IoT is a big area of focus for Cisco as it moves beyond its traditional markets of routers and switches. At a Cisco event last year, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said the company was going to target IoT verticals including manufacturing, transportation, utilities, and oil and gas.