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UK mining company benefits from expanded edge computing portfolio

10 June 2019

A UK mining company is the first, globally, to take delivery of the new generation ztC Edge computing platform, the ztC Edge 110i. Stratus Technologies delivered the first units to UK distributor Routeco, for a customer running Rockwell Automation software to control and monitor power within their plant.

“With the latest additions to our ztC Edge computing solution, Stratus is responding quickly to the changing needs of our industrial, manufacturing, retail, transportation and emergency response customers, as their formerly-insulated operations are now becoming more decentralised and connected,” said Dave Laurello, CEO, Stratus. “Our heritage in fault tolerance has made Stratus the trusted choice for these companies’ computing needs, and with that, our solution has evolved to address a new set of issues around security, interoperability, and manageability.” 

The larger, more powerful ztC Edge 110i supports customers requiring more processing and data storage for their edge workloads. Unlike simple gateway products, ztC Edge is designed for critical business applications, including those that support the collection and analysis of real-time data at the edge. It is also unlike complex IT-like computing solutions as ztC Edge is designed for operational professionals to deploy, manage and maintain on their own.

Building on the success of the ztC Edge 100i, Stratus has worked hard with existing customers and partners by adding performance and monitoring capability alongside an innovative in-built security feature that protects networked devices that do not protect themselves. The new features remain closely aligned to the company’s commitment to making Edge solutions that are simple, protected and autonomous. These principles, which help overcome the main barriers to adoption for Edge computing, are vital to unlocking the potential of digital transformation for industrial and retail applications with limited IT resources at the application edge. 

According to Richard Sharod, VP EMEA, Stratus. “Throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, we are seeing strong uptake of our Edge computing platform – be that for manufacturing, process industry, or retail applications. ztC Edge is running a vast array of tasks for different companies including SCADA, HMI and Historian in industrial organisations, operations and infrastructure, in airports, power stations, shopping malls and machine building processes. We’ve added significant capability around security with ztC Edge 110i, as well as increased reliability with fault tolerance capability.”

In receipt of the first ztC Edge 110i units last week, George Elmes, IIoT Team Leader, Routeco said, “We are delighted to be the first Stratus partner globally to supply the next generation ztC Edge solution. The simplicity of deployment and operation matched with the ability to perform reliably in any environment makes ztC Edge an excellent choice for industrial customers. 

“Our first sale is case in point”, Elmes continued, “Customer needed a redundant platform to run Rockwell Automation software, which monitors and controls the power within the site. The Stratus ztC Edge 110i was chosen for its simplicity, redundancy and for the ability to work with just one vendor. This is an exciting platform for critical Edge Computing environments.” 

Highlights and key new features

ztC Edge (100i and 110i) is a rugged, secure, highly automated industrial computing system that protects and delivers business-critical applications quickly, reliably, and efficiently in distributed, under-resourced locations. This newest version includes updated software and new hardware options: 

• Security – ztC Edge 110i includes new features that address and solve the biggest threat to an industrial control system – adding devices to the network that do not protect themselves. This new solution offers a host-based firewall, restricted USB ports, improved authentication, updated secure communications protocols, and secure trusted boot.
• Monitoring – ztC Edge 110i extends its monitoring capabilities by providing better visibility and more fine-grained control. The new solution offers additional hardware sensors, application and VM performance monitoring, and OPC UA support, so customers can easily incorporate ztC Edge system health information into their existing industrial monitoring tools and dashboards.
• Performance – ztC Edge 110i addresses the need to efficiently meet a wider variety of availability requirements for workloads at the edge. The product introduces support for mixed fault tolerant and highly available workloads, providing customers the ability to meet stringent recovery time and recovery point objectives, while allowing them to match the level of protection to the criticality of their applications.

Stratus has begun shipping its newest version of ztC Edge to customers. ztC Edge is available through Stratus’ network of partners and distributors. The new product is available globally now.

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