Nokia adds third-party apps to MXIE edge system, claims 100Gbps on single 5G server
Nokia has added a number of applications from third-party Industry 4.0 vendors to its new MX Industrial Edge (MXIE) solution, released last week, including PTC’s ThingWorx IoT platform and Kepware industrial connectivity engine, plus the Linux Foundation’s Fledge framework for IT/OT data aggregation. It also confirmed Microsoft’s Azure edge portfolio is available ‘out-of-the-box’, and said it will bundle ’connectors’ for industrial IoT tools from AWS and Google Cloud, as well.
Ahead of the release of a new range of MXIE devices on Thursday (October 14), Nokia confirmed a bunch of third-party industrial software has been bundled to its new MXIE platform, built on top of its existing Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) proposition for private LTE and 5G, which already features various Nokia-developed IoT apps. It also claimed a private 5G capacity record with Intel, reaching 100Gbps throughput on a single edge server (see below).
The expanded MXIE setup brings in additional compute power and third-party apps. Both Kepware and Fledge support multiple industrial data protocols and formats, to aggregate data from disparate IT, OT, and IoT systems. Their appearance in the MXIE package brings key IT/OT crossover capabilities, noted Nokia — required to unlock new industrial IoT functionality.
Disparate industrial systems, it explained, must be able to communicate together, as well as with north-bound IoT systems governing new industrial applications. “This is enabled using software plugins to the industrial device or edge… By integrating these within high performance… private networks, enterprises will benefit from the pervasive connectivity of myriad industrial connected devices, systems, and sensors.”
Nokia is also offering the Edge Video Orchestrator (EVO) streaming application from German industrial system integrator Smart Mobile Labs, with which it has worked on a private 5G network at the University of Kaiserslautern. The EVO app is designed for high-reliability, low-latency video streaming, from multiple sources. The German outfit claims to guarantee delivery of multiple streams with “as little as” one millisecond latency.
The Finnish vendor has also confirmed Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge Services are ready bundled in its new Industry 4.0 platform, providing edge versions and edge complements for its sundry cloud-based industrial IoT applications, geared for factories, cities, warehouses, and transportation hubs. “Nokia continues to create connectors towards other web scale partners,” it added.
Besides, the MXIE package now incorporates mixed reality tools to provide support for remote operations from industrial AR provider Taqtile. The Seattle-based firm’s Manifest platform provides AR collaboration tools and training materials. Nokia noted its application in “zero-fault production industries”, for edge-based industrial operatives to tap into remote expertise, back in the office, and even abroad.
The Nokia MXIE solution — presented as a first-of-its-kind “cloud-native, mission-critical industrial edge solution” — takes a “neutral approach”, Nokia repeated, so users can work with whichever over-the-top vendors they prefer. Tuuli Ahava, director of the company’ enterprise solutions application program, said: “At the end of last year we began onboarding industrial partner applications on the application catalogue.
“Today, we are on an even more ambitious journey of partner expansion that allows our enterprise customers to tap into best-in-class partner digitalisation enablers. Third-party developers benefit from Nokia management and orchestration capabilities so applications can be quickly deployed on MXIE and offered to customers. We will continue to expand our industrial partner application offering and build further industrial and webscale connectors.”
Meanwhile, Nokia said it has achieved a new private 5G capacity record, reaching 100Gbps throughput on a single edge server. In a test scenario with Intel, it said it has demonstrated its own combination of private 5G (with DAC) and edge compute (with MXIE) is “ready for” serious-minded Industry 4.0, to provide high-bandwidth connectivity and heavy-duty processing for industrial “use cases running on the edge at scale”.
The test setup paired a single Nokia Airframe Open Edge R20 server with third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, plus dual 100Gbps network interface controllers (NICs) and fast packet routing. It ran the equivalent of traffic from 60 5G gNBs and 120 users at an aggregated total throughput of 100Gbps – “the equivalent of simultaneous transmission of several thousands of 4K camera streams,” said Nokia.
The Nokia MXIE hardware ran the routing function and the DAC 5G SA handled the core network and management functions. Most of the CPU processing and memory capacity remained available to tackle the processing of Industry 4.0 use cases running on the server, it said. “This achievement proves that the MXIE solution offers customers the flexibility and scalability to perform mission-critical tasks and implement advanced future technology.”
Janne Parantainen, chief technology officer for enterprise solutions at Nokia, commented: “This milestone achievement is a testament to our continued investment in providing customers with the best solution capabilities. The results are truly promising, as they demonstrate that private wireless networking and digitalisation application workloads can be consolidated into a single server providing significant cost savings and operation simplification.”
Caroline Chan, vice president of Intel’s network platforms group and general manager of its network business incubation division, said: “The combination of Intel’s innovations and CPUs alongside Nokia’s edge platform and 5G technology will offer enterprise customers the ability to connect, deploy, and manage their environments. Different verticals… will benefit from the scalable performance and high-speed, low-latency reliable communications.”