A few weeks ago we introduced you to a new building analytics package that simplifies data storage and usage for commercial buildings. In that post we mentioned our core belief that a strong, secure and smart OT network is the future of building automation and controls. Here we’ll take a step back and define the OT network before we continue diving deeper into the products that are making all these big ideas possible.
What is the OT Network?
Operational technology includes hardware or software that monitors and has the ability to affect change in physical devices in a building, factory or enterprise. There are many types of networks in the world today, think home networks that allow computers, tvs and mobile devices to connect to the world wide web, or office networks that support email.
The OT Network is modeled after these networks but it’s designed with building controls and building data in mind. The goal of an OT network is to create a secure “backbone” for the processing and transfer of building data (within edge devices or back and forth to a cloud), support secure remote access to the network and individual devices, and to create autonomy in the field.
Why do you need an OT Network?
It’s almost an old story now, but field technicians, controls contractors and systems integrators are constantly walking a tight rope between completing a job on time and within budget and jumping through hoops to work with on-site IT (which in the case of new constructions, isn’t even on-site yet). The OT Network doesn’t replace the need for cooperation with IT, but it does address all of their concerns while also adding security, potentially decreasing costs and solidifying scalability of a BAS.
The Products That Get You There
From fiber to secure remote connectivity, new products are available for the building automation industry to support an operational technology network that is easy to set up, cost-effect to operate and not that different from what you’re used to. An OT Network can be installed on top of your existing edge devices. The middle layer of the network architecture is where all the magic happens. Pre-terminated fiber connected to edge and aggregation switches make it easy to add, remove and control devices. Secure VPNs offer trustworthy portals between clouds and on premise networks. Edge gateways offer more processing power and storage than ever before.