Paessler has enhanced its flagship solution, PRTG Network Monitor, with support for communications standards and capabilities within an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) environment.

In the announcement, Paessler explains that organisations need a holistic view not only of operations tech (OT) but of data pertaining to their traditional IT infrastructures – enabling enhanced insights into machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.

PRTG can now monitor ‘factory floor’ data, through support for the industrial interoperability standard OPC Unified Architecture (UA), an ability to monitor the health status of Soffico Orchestra, and implementation of the MQTT messaging protocol.

This includes MQTT Broker and MQTT Statistics, as well as sending out MQTT-based notifications.

Helmut Binder, CEO at Paessler, said the move should assist its IT monitoring customer base to move towards industrial IoT.

“Roll-out of these new market-driven features in PRTG, tailored to industrial environments, marks the beginning of our journey to build a more comprehensive offering for the evolving monitoring needs of our customers,” Binder said.

Markus Mediger, product manager for IoT and industry at Paessler, said the PRTG solution is about achieving that ‘single view’ of IT and OT across an organisation.

“This is an increasingly important tool for IT teams but also for industrial engineers — allowing them to check the overall status of programmable logic controllers (PLCs), industrial computers (IPCs), and other controllers on the factory floor,” Mediger said.

Not only has Paessler joined the OPC consortium on open connectivity for industrial automation devices and systems, but it teamed up with players such as smart-machinery gateway maker INSYS icom and integration engine vendor Orchestra.

Paessler is seeking other partners to help it extend its industrial IoT ecosystem, according to the announcement.

Expanding opportunities in IIoT

The industrial IoT market has been predicted to almost double to $110.6 billion a year by 2025, according to analysis from Markets And Markets.

Patrick Gebhardt, blogging for Paessler, noted that the trend towards digitisation of industrial processes, often referred to as Industry 4.0, means that industrial systems and processes are moving towards more automation and even autonomy.

By reducing the need for human intervention, organisations such as manufacturers can reduce human error, among other benefits.

In addition, having ‘smarter’ and internet-connected technologies means that data can be collected and analysed fast enough to deliver near real-time insights, increasing business agility.

“Production, development, sales and even suppliers and customers can be integrated into the networked processes.

“‘Smart’ factories do not even have to be built from scratch, thanks to retrofitting and brownfield,” Gebhardt wrote.