With nearly four decades’ experience in SCADA and telemetry systems, Arlen Nipper is co-developer of the MQTT protocol and now president and CTO of Cirrus Link Solutions. In September he joins a panel titled “Preparing Legacy Systems for the IIoT” at the Smart Industry 2016 conference. Today he provides us a preview of that panel.
Smart Industry: Why is there still a huge gap between existing OT systems and available Industrial Internet of Things technologies?
Arlen: Problem #1 is the fact that we are still doing OT in the very same way as we did when I first started in the industry in 1978. In 1978 I went to work for Koch Oil and had the opportunity to work on a brand new SCADA system they were installing on a new pipeline. We had a host SCADA system that was polling brand new Modicon PLC’s using Modbus. We’re still doing that today.
The notion of poll/response protocols at the central core of OT infrastructure MUST change. The very existence of poll/response protocols will need to disappear. Poll/response protocols dictate that we connect “devices” to “applications”. On day one that solves a problem, but then any future changes become harder and harder until customers get to a point were all innovation simply stops.