An Ethernet Play on the Factory Floor

Arthur Cole

The introduction of IP and Ethernet protocols onto the factory floor is leading to a scramble among vendors to see who will lead the growing field of industrial IT.


The latest move comes from server and communications software company Kepware Technologies, which recently purchased COI Software for an undisclosed sum. COI developed Industrial Simple Network Management Protocol (iSNMP), used to bring industrial asset management in line with Ethernet-based monitoring and analysis.


In the world of industrial controls, iSNMP provides real-time monitoring for the growing number of Ethernet systems in the manufacturing plant. As these devices follow their enterprise brethren into virtualization and other advanced techniques, iSNMP likely will play a crucial role in letting managers know how their networks are fairing.


Kepware already provides untold numbers of communications protocols so its servers and other systems can communicate with top-tier automation firms such as Rockwell and Siemens. The addition of a network monitoring and management protocol affords a means to provide the enhanced interoperability and security that customers are looking for.


And unless someone else comes up with a competing management protocol, Kepware should be in pretty good shape as the industrial controls market becomes increasingly automated.

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