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Platform is ‘first to manage big industrial data in the cloud’

25 June, 2013

General Electric claims to be offering “the first big data and analytics platform robust enough to manage the data produced by large-scale, industrial machines in the cloud”. It says that the platform, built to support the Industrial Internet and turn big data into real-time insights, will benefit industries such as energy production, transportation and manufacturing.

When combined with new and existing services, it will help users to manage and operate critical machines in the "cloud" – running their businesses better by increasing productivity and cutting waste and downtime. According to GE, this is the first time that industrial companies will have a common architecture that combines intelligent machines, sensors and advanced analytics.

“GE’s industrial-strength platform is the first viable step to not only the next era of industrial productivity, but the next era of computing,” says Bill Ruh, vice-president of GE’s Global Software Center. “The ability to bring machines to life with powerful software and sensors is a big advancement – but it is only in the ability to quickly analyse, understand, and put machine-based data to work in real-time that points us to a society that benefits from the promise of big data. This is what the Industrial Internet is about and we are building an ecosystem with partners to save money for our customers and unlock new value for society.”

GE’s platform is supported by its new Proficy Historian HD software – claimed to be the first historian data management software to be based on the Hadoop Java-based programming framework that supports the processing of large data sets in distributed computing environments. The Historian provides real-time data management, analytics, and machine-to-operations connections in a secure, closed-loop architecture, allowing users to move from a reactive to a predictive industrial operating model.

To bolster its Industrial Internet initiative, GE has announced a series of partnerships, including:

•  a global strategic alliance with Accenture to develop technology and analytics applications that will help companies to take advantage of the massive amounts of data generated through their operations;

•  an extension of an existing technology partnership with Pivotal to jointly develop and deploy Industrial Internet technologies; and

•  a strategic relationship with Amazon Web Services, which will be the first cloud provider on which GE will deploy its Industrial Internet platform.

GE’s Industrial Internet offerings, grouped under the Predictivity banner, include advanced software-based, cross-industry products designed to deliver secure access to decision support tools, automation, and expertise and optimize asset and operational outcomes. They include condition-based maintenance, outage management, and controls and plant automation and are “cloud-agnostic”, allowing them to be deployed at an asset, in a facility at a user’s site, in GE’s cloud, or in a third-party public cloud.

A recent report from the Wikibon project estimates that industrial data is growing more than twice as quickly as any other type of “big data”.

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