Finnish telecoms giant Nokia has unveiled what it claims is the first-ever off-the-shelf, cloud native industrial edge to meet the mission-critical needs of asset-intensive industrial environments.

According to Nokia, the MX Industrial Edge (MXIE) will address “a new category of Industry 4.0 applications that require increased capabilities and performance at the network edge, and tight integration with industrial systems and networking solutions”.

The MXIE has been designed as a specialist solution for the manufacturing, energy and transportation sectors through a process which Nokia said combines compute, storage, wired/wireless networking, one-click industrial applications and automated management onto a unified, on-premise operational technology (OT) digital transformation platform.

Powered by the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, the industrial edge has been built around the principles of “develop-once, deploy-everywhere” according to the manufacturer in a move which the Finnish firm said will help support large-scale logistics companies including Eddie Stobart, Hermes and DPD.

Take-up in the UK industrial and logistics sector is on track for a record-breaking year, according to recently released data from Knight Frank. Alongside this, research company Gartner has predicted that 75% of industrial data will be processed at the edge by 2025.

Stephan Litjens, head of enterprise solutions at Nokia, said: "Industry 4.0 is transforming asset-intensive industries by integrating and digitalizing all processes and systems across the industrial value chain. 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 Edge is built from the ground up to deliver the guaranteed performance, security and reliability that OT digitalization [sic] use cases require."

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Author: Richard Hook