How can I use a PI Server for IIoT deployments?
Many of the new Industrial IoT (IIoT) data patterns require data collection, storage, and analytics capabilities on or near the sensors that are generating the data. The PI Server can be installed on an edge gateway along with PI Connectors and PI Interfaces and deployed near these IIoT sensors and used to collect, store and analyze the IIoT sensor data. The PI Server includes the PI Data Archive, PI AF Server, and Analysis Service.
What is an edge gateway?
Edge gateways are an emerging class of computer hardware developed primarily to collect, store, and process data from IIoT sensors. Edge gateways are more rugged and field-ready than traditional, rack mounted servers. Notable features about edge gateways:
Environmentally hardened (temperature, vibration, shock)
No moving parts
Small form factor
Generally support communication with sensors through multiple types of connectivity (Ethernet – wired and wireless, serial, GPIO, Bluetooth, etc.)
Why would I use an edge gateway?
Edge gateways provide connectivity to remote and mobile assets by enabling you to run the PI Server closer to where your assets live. Edge gateways can also make it easier to add sensor technology which runs parallel to an existing automation systems. Edge gateways can aggregate wireless sensors that live “on the shop floor”. This is often a more economic option for adding sensors to legacy assets instead of “ripping & replacing” existing systems. How is a PI Server on an edge gateway different from an interface node? There are three advantages to putting a PI Server closer to a remote or mobile asset:
Local data access – data can be viewed locally before its relayed back to a central PI Server. This enables decisions to be made locally and in real-time.
Data storage – a PI Server on an edge gateway can store data for long periods of times (days or weeks). This ensures no data is lost due to unreliable network connectivity.
Edge analytics – processing data close to where it originates allows raw data to be filtered and preprocessed before relaying back to a central PI Server. This reduce network bandwidth and saves money on data transmission costs.
Technical Questions - Hardware
Which edge gateways can I use?
Any that meet our hardware requirements.
How do I decide which gateway I need?
Any gateway that meets the requirements listed in the
edge gateway sizing guideline
document is allowed.
Does OSIsoft have a list of preferred edge gateway suppliers?
Yes, ADLINK, Advantech, Dell, HPE. Specific models from these vendors can be selected based on hardware specs per the
edge gateway sizing guideline
How do I connect sensors to the edge gateway?
Most edge gateways include multiple options for connecting sensors. Select the edge gateway with the appropriate physical data connectivity options and hardware specifications to meet the given scenario.
Does OSIsoft have a preferred list of IIoT sensors?
We are developing our IIoT partner ecosphere and are including sensor suppliers.
Technical Questions - Software
Which operating system do I need on the edge gateway?
The edge gateways must run the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise or Windows 10 Enterprise operating system.
Which OSIsoft products are compatible with edge gateways?
The currently shipping versions of the following OSIsoft products can be installed on an edge gateway, as long as the operating system is supported and there are sufficient hardware resources on the gateway.
PI Data Archive
PI AF Server
PI Analysis Service
PI Web API
PI System Management Tools
PI System Explorer’
Can I use any PI Interface or PI Connector?
Yes, any standard PI Connector or PI Interface can be used. The list of standard PI Interface and PI Connectors is available here:
List of standard PI Interfaces
List of standard PI Connectors
How many PI points can I use when running a PI Server on an edge gateway?
From 250 up to 2500 PI points.
How many assets can I have?
There’s no official limit, but there’s a practical limit based on PI point count.
Is a PI Server running on an edge gateway different software than a standard PI Server?
No, it’s the same software but limited to 2500 PI points since the edge gateways have fewer hardware resources than a server-class PC.
Can I develop my own application to access data off a PI System running on an edge gateway?
Yes, OSIsoft recommends you use our latest developer technology – PI Web API.
Can there be visualization reporting directly off an edge gateway?
Yes, PI Web API allows customers and partners to develop their own light weight visualization clients and is a popular choice for displaying data on edge gateways. For other visualization clients, check the release notes and user manual for a listing of compatible operating systems.
Alternatively, the data can be relayed to a central PI Server where existing visualization tools can be used.
Do I need to use a PI Interface or PI Connector to collect data on an edge gateway?
PI Interfaces or PI Connectors are preferred, but you can use the PI Web API for limited, remote inbound connectivity or AF SDK for local inbound connectivity.
Do I need to send the data to a central PI Server?
This is the intent as the edge gateways typically have limited storage capacity, but it is not mandatory that the data is sent to a central PI Server.
How much data can I store on an edge gateway?
It depends on the PI point count, data collection frequency, and storage capacity on the edge gateway; refer to the edge gateway sizing guideline doc for more details.
Can I use an edge gateway running Windows 7?
No, Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and Windows 10 Enterprise are the only Windows client operating systems supported on the edge gateway.