Nokia Unveils Off-the-Shelf Industrial Edge to Accelerate Journey to Industry 4.0

Telecom solutions vendor Nokia has unveiled its cloud-native industrial edge solution which allows enterprises to accelerate their operational technology (OT) digitalization initiatives and advance their journey to Industry 4.0. The new Nokia MX Industrial Edge is a scalable application and compute solution designed to fulfill the mission-critical digital transformation demands of asset-intensive industries such as manufacturing, energy, and transportation.

Industry 4.0 requires extensive digitization and connection in industrial environments of equipment, machinery and other assets. Due to the amount and speed of the generated data and the requirement for real time automation, data must be increasingly handled on the edge – at the point of production. By 2025, Gartner forecasts the processing of 75% of industrial data at the edge.

The new Nokia MX Industrial solution would uniquely combine compute, storage, wired/wireless networking, one-click industrial applications and automated management onto a unified, on-premises OT digital transformation platform.

By taking use of Nokia MX’s Industrial Edge, companies would profit from a local cloud architecture that combines edge needs into a “convenient and easy to use” package that can be implemented as-a-service everywhere. It would eliminate the complexity, expertise, and economic obstacles normally linked to high-level computer applications and task essential networking deployment, integration, and life cycle management.

“Enterprises are increasingly focusing their digital transformation efforts on the application of software and cloud capabilities to operational technologies (OT) to reap the benefits of agility and cost-efficiency in asset-intensive industrial environments,” said Caroline Chappell, Research Director, Analysys Mason. “Enterprises need on-premises edge clouds, like the Nokia MX Industrial Edge, to provide secure, resilient, and high-performance execution environments for mission-critical OT applications. Enterprises will be looking for an edge cloud solution partner that can tap into a broad ecosystem of cloud stack and industrial application vendors, understand their stringent operational needs, data sovereignty requirements, and which can bring a deep knowledge of the network to an increasingly complex, connected industrial landscape.”

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud

The Nokia MX Industrial Edge is powered by the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC), providing enterprises a single pane of glass user experience to manage everything from applications to private wireless networking.

“Industry 4.0 is transforming asset-intensive industries by integrating and digitalizing all processes and systems across the industrial value chain,” said Stephan Litjens, Head of Enterprise Solutions at Nokia. “This will result in an explosion of data – and taking the right actions based on that data in near real-time will be critical to the success of digital transformation initiatives. Ensuring performance, along with aspects like keeping data local and secure while being resilient against internet connectivity failures, are not possible with a centralized cloud, making the on-prem edge the architecture of choice for this new breed of OT applications. The Nokia MX Industrial Edgeis built from the ground up to deliver the guaranteed performance, security and reliability that OT digitalization use cases require.”

The Nokia edge solution is also available for enterprises in combination with Nokia Digital Automation Cloud applications, such as High Accuracy Indoor Positioning, Plug-an-Play private wireless, or with Nokia’s alternative private wireless solution, Nokia Modular Private Wireless (MPW). Flexible consumption-based pricing models would allow for ‘pay as you grow’ subscription flexibility while reducing upfront investments.

Nokia AirFrame Open Edge Server

Nokia MX Industrial Edge comes in a variety of configurations to support small, medium, and large-scale industrial deployments. Based on the Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server, leveraging Intel’s latest innovations and CPU for highcapacity processing, the Nokia edge solution is designed for compute-intensive tasks and advanced AI/Machine Learning (ML) workloads optionally supported through graphic processing unit (GPU) support.

In addition, high-performance network interface cards (NICs) and packet processing systems scale to support very large 5G standalone (SA) private wireless traffic flows. It would offer extreme resilience and reliability through an end-to-end, high availability (HA) architecture, supports geographical redundancy (GR) for business continuity. A guaranteed performance would be assured via integrated orchestration features for service performance management.

Digital Transformation

With a single-click deployment of industrial apps on MX Industrial Edge, business clients may speed up their OT scanning efforts. The catalog comprises Nokia apps for a range of typical situations of digitization and is supported by applications from other software providers (ISV) that undergo reliability, performance and security testing of onboard processes. In addition, Nokia’s ecosystem-neutral strategy would enable industrial clients, in hyperscale cloud and industrial partner clouds, to benefit from edge-cloud compatible apps.

Finally, with its industrial connectors providing industrial protocol translation and with the Nokia Integrated Operations Center that delivers a single glass panel view from all the systems and helps create industrial automation workflows, southbound IIoT system integration complexity also is made easier by the MX Industrial Edge.

“All industrial and enterprise campuses, such as factories, logistics hubs, ports, et cetera, are multi-solution and multi-partner environments,” added Mr. Litjens. “By adopting an ecosystem-neutral approach and integration plug-ins, our customers get unparalleled flexibility and benefit from the widest array of applications and use cases to adopt innovations to advance their digital transformation.”