Thursday, 22 November 2018 12:01

Aruba and Siemens enter partnership to bridge industrial IT and production

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Two global networking and communications companies — Aruba, itself a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and Siemens — have announced a strategic partnership to deliver industrial clients greater simplicity, security and efficiency in their networks.

Specifically, the two businesses say their partnership bridges the Information Technology and Operational Technology worlds and will see them providing industrial clients with insightful data networks enabling high plant and network availability, combining Siemens’ industrial Ethernet networking and Aruba’s wired and wireless LAN infrastructure.

Industries targeted include manufacturing, facilities, logistics, transport and defence.

Aruba’s contribution to the partnership is LAN switching, software-defined branch capabilities to unify disparate networks and services, wayfinding and location-based services through beacons, edge computing systems to enable real-time data processing, and indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi solutions, providing robust and consistent connectivity across plant and factory sites.

The partnership helps service industrial customers seeking to leverage the Industrial Internet of Things to connect more and more devices to the network, gathering real-time data for decision-making and predictive analytics.

The two companies see IIoT as raising new challenges with data traversing the boundary separating IT and OT and requiring deep expertise in both worlds to bridge the gap. Here Siemens and Aruba say their partnership delivers cyber security and trustworthy data alongside plant availability and manufacturing output targets.

Klaus Helmrich, member of the management board at Siemens AG, said: “The co-operation between Siemens and Aruba is an important step to complement our industrial networks offering, which is one of the pillars of the Digital Enterprise, with the additional IT offering from Aruba. Customers will benefit from futureproof, integrated communication networks ensuring availability and security.”

Keerti Melkote, president and co-founder of Aruba, said: “Working together for nearly three years, Siemens and Aruba have addressed the OT/IT divide thru technology integration, backed by validated reference designs. The resulting solutions are ideal for a variety of industrial applications, and are backed by both Siemens’ and Aruba’s support teams.”

The solutions include wired and wireless networking products and related software that can be implemented via several channels including the companies’ extensive partner networks with direct access to their engineering and support experts.

Aruba and Siemens say they can jointly address customer requirements spanning pre-sales consulting and engineering, professional services (including project management, commissioning, factory acceptance testing, and design engineering), managed operations and maintenance services, and after-sales support.

The solutions help ensure network security that spans both the IT and OT worlds; for example, Aruba’s 360 Secure Fabric for IT networks can be combined with Siemens’ "Defence in Depth" OT security concept. Since customers’ security needs vary, especially in older legacy deployments, Aruba and Siemens say they will also tailor security solutions to address specific customer requirements.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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