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Adaptable, Seamless and Unparalleled Cloud Technology

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Alex Wilson from Wind River takes us through the lifecycle that surrounds Helix lab cloud technology platform.
Alex Wilson, Director of Business Development, Aerospace & Defense, Wind River

Q. What is cloud life cycle? What comprises Cloud infrastructure?

A. Lifecycle is all about how devices move from concept through to deployment, in software terms this includes design, development, delivery, deployment, and retirement. For Cloud Lifecycle, this can be viewed from two angles, the Cloud Infrastructure Lifecycle, and Cloud Services Lifecycle. For Services, or applications, Cloud technology offers features that enable management and update of applications in a more cost effective way than traditionally deployed applications, thus the lifecycle of Cloud Services is one of the many benefits of Cloud based applications, allowing easier development, deployment, and upgrades by using centrally managed services and cloud providers.

Cloud Infrastructure is both the server “farms” that support the cloud itself, and the software infrastructure to manage cloud and cloud technology services. These are often Open Sources projects such as OpenStack, or environment containers such as Docker. Virtualization is a key technology here that allows providers to “move” services between hardware platforms for hardware upgrades or maintenance without interrupting services. High Availability such as is provided with Wind River Titanium Server is key here to provide service up-time whilst performing these low level hardware maintenance functions.

Q. What are the exciting applications of IoT using Helix lab cloud technology?

A. You can find examples of customer applications we can talk about on our Website. A couple of good examples of IoT customers are Group NIRE and Diakin Applied.

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Group NIRE was spun off from Texas Tech University and privatized in order to provide real-world testing and development for alternative energy solutions, notably wind. Wind turbines not only generate power, but also generate enormous amounts of data. Group NIRE was collecting data from a variety of locations and integrating it manually in order to analyze turbine performance. The process was taking too much time and eating into the engineers’ productivity. The group needed a more efficient approach—one based on the Internet of Things—that would combine multiple datasets into a single data stream in one location.

Daikin Applied, the world’s largest heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) company, is capitalizing on the opportunities created by the Internet of Things (IoT) by using the Intel IoT Gateway based on Wind River® Intelligent Device Platform XT to transform their business.

Q. How can virtualization aid in tackling real time decision making strategies in a connected environment?

A. Virtualization, such as provided in our VxWorks or Linux Virtualization Profiles, provides the designer flexibility in design of applications, in particular it allows the designed to isolate and partition the system in a way that makes sense to the application, for example, isolating safety and security features from the network, or protecting critical data from hacking. In terms of real time decision making, virtualization can play a role in a couple of areas. One is that by using virtualization to protect your critical real time applications (often with a functional safety requirement) you can separate the communications and data analysis at the back end from these safety functions. The protection and isolation provided by environments such as VxWorks means that you can host applications with multiple safety levels by provision of a robust virtualized applications capability. Virtualization also provides flexibility in what and how you deploy applications based on real time decision making, for example allocating more CPUs to applications during peak demand of that application, or transparently moving application between physical machines for hardware maintenance activities.

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