New ProductsNovember 12, 2020

Large-scale IIoT with groov EPIC version 3.0 firmware

Epic 30 controller

Opto 22

Opto 22 has debuted its second major firmware release for 2020 (the third since initial release in 2018) of the groov EPIC edge programmable industrial control platform. Version 3.0 focuses on enhancing the scalability of industrial internet of things (IIoT) and automation projects. It introduces centralized user management via LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol), the option of lower-cost Ignition Edge® licensing, and improved maintenance and troubleshooting capabilities for remote installations.

Fulfilling the promise of IIoT requires building networks of hundreds, thousands, or millions of connections, but the very magnitude of these systems can create an administrative bottleneck.

groov EPIC’s Linux-based operating system and embedded framework of connected applications allow it to grow to meet these challenges. EPIC already supports such IT standards as DNS, DHCP, HTTPS, VPN, and MQTT; and now with version 3.0, users can take advantage of central user management using an LDAP-compatible directory server, like Microsoft® Active Directory. Rather than defining user access profiles repeatedly for individual network devices—creating potential gaps in security—with LDAP, IT administrators can define permissions once and manage them centrally across an organization. For regulated industries like pharmaceutical manufacturing, central user management is a critical data integrity requirement.

Cost can also be a limiting factor in the growth of IIoT and edge computing networks. That’s why long-time Opto 22 partner Inductive Automation® has adjusted licensing for the Ignition Edge integration platform embedded in groov EPIC. Two field device connections and unlimited OPC UA client connections are now supported at a reduced base licensing cost for users who upgrade to Ignition Edge 8.0, available as an additional firmware update.

For experienced Ignition or Ignition Edge users, version 8.0 also supports optional features like scripting and mobile visualization. The standard version 3.0 firmware retains current Ignition/Ignition Edge 7.x licensing.