Early on, companies like General Electric Co. (GE) began to see the need for an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform that could go beyond the capabilities of what was already commercially available. From the beginning, GE set out to build a platform that could take advantage of what the cloud had to offer and combine it with edge computing technology to better meet the needs of the industrial sector. GE’s Predix was the result.
The Predix platform is an operating system and platform for building applications that connect to industrial assets. It collects and analyzes data, as well as delivers real-time insights for optimizing industrial infrastructure and operations.
John Magee, chief marketing officer of the Predix Platform Technologies Group at GE Digital, spoke to Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick), host of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, at the GE Digital compound in San Ramon, CA, as part of the GE Digital Innovation Day, about how GE has had the needs of industrial businesses in mind from day one while working to create the Predix platform.
Why Predix was needed
Standard business software and cloud platforms are essential to today’s business, but in the industrial realm, they only take you so far. Companies working in the industrial sector have a unique set of requirements. The kinds of data they are working with and what is done with that data, as well as the distributed nature of the sites where the work is actually taking place, all have an impact on why a platform like Predix was needed.
“When you think about the massive amounts of data coming off these machines, this equipment, these assets … the number-crunching horsepower that the cloud gives you, the economies of scale and the secure environment are essential to industrial IoT,” said Magee.
The edge-to-cloud continuum
The ability to have computing power actually on the distributed machinery where various types of analytics can be run and decisions can be made, and then at a later point uploaded to the central node is an integral part of Predix. Edge computing combined with the flexibility and data-handling ability of the cloud is what makes the platform special, and makes it different from everyday cloud platforms.
“What we’ve done with Predix is make it possible to support those kinds of unique industrial requirements with what we call an ‘edge-to-cloud continuum,'” said Magee. “So what we’ve really got is an end-to-end, cloud-based system that also supports the edge nodes.”
Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the GE Digital Innovation Day 2016.