Turning old into new: Keeping an eye on your industrial IT environment with PRTG

 Originally published on November 11, 2020 by Patrick Gebhardt
Last updated on November 11, 2020 • 6 minute read

The production environment continues to prepare for the digital, more efficient future and in the sector this is very often paraphrased with the initially cryptic, but ultimately meaningful terms greenfield and brownfield. While a greenfield industrial plant is built "on a greenfield site", completely new and according to specific ideas, brownfield installations are those in which an existing plant is modernized. This article is part 2/2 of a short series on the topic of retrofitting. Here you can read part 1/2.

Bringing OT and IT together

The gap between operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) begins with the challenges that each area faces. OT experts, for example, focus on keeping assets and remote physical equipment up and running, while IT professionals focus on maintaining data flow and access to all technical facets of an organization. OT and IT sometimes have different goals and certainly different requirements. As a result, their solutions may differ. In IT, solutions are implemented according to a top-down approach, breaking down the overall infrastructure into sub-components and developing solutions for each of them. In OT, solutions are approached starting from the individual components to build a more complex system.

Most IT monitoring tools speak IT only, which means they only support classic IT protocols such as ping, flow, SNMP, or packet sniffing. To bring IT and OT together, however, they must at least have an API and support protocols such as MQTT, Modbus TCP, or standards like OPC UA. PRTG offers all this and much more.

Screenshot_2020-09-17 INSYS icom and Paessler - Merge IT and OT

We at Paessler have entered into strategic partnerships, for example with INSYS icom, the manufacturer of intelligent routers. Those routers act as gateways to translate protocols from the industrial IoT environment into IT protocols and thus enable a smooth communication between OT and IT. As typical edge devices, the gateways of INSYS icom form the interface between production plants and MES, ERP, SCADA, and the cloud. They enable IT to access machines and production lines for condition monitoring and remote maintenance.

There's no harm in trying

PRTG is already applied in the digitization and digitalization of industrial plants - and periodically the possibilities are multiplied by new sensors, supported protocols, and strategic partnerships. The PRTG trial can be easily downloaded here. Our trial runs for 30 days and is guaranteed to be a non-annoying experience with no hidden costs. We don't hold anything back and you receive the full PRTG feeling with all features we have to offer.

Digitalization, retrofitting and Industry 4.0 - Join our webinar!

In an informative webinar on Dec 2, 2020, we will inform you about what we at Paessler are working on. IT and OT have become more connected to each other - and to external data collectors in the cloud or in data centers. This is why there is a growing need for a unified view of these two worlds:

  • In this webinar, you will learn how PRTG Network Monitor can provide this unified view.
  • PRTG features 6 new sensor types out of the box that introduce new monitoring possibilities for industrial environments. These include MQTT, Modbus TCP and OPC UA, the interoperability standard in the industry. The result is a vendor-agnostic monitoring application that integrates the IT and OT worlds in an holistic approach.
  • We'll not only present our new sensors, but we’ll also show use cases demonstrating how these sensors can help you master your daily challenges in IT and OT monitoring.

👉 Here you can register for our English webinar on Dec 2, 2020. But if you're more comfortable in German, good news: Here you can register for the same webinar on Dec 1, 2020. Why is it one day earlier? Well, we Germans also think that 5 minutes early equals being on time. We just can't help it.

⏰ If you cannot make it, simply register and we will provide you a link to the recording shortly after the webinar.

📱 To always stay up-to-date on new webinars in the future, we recommend to subscribe to our newsletter. It's a very un-salesy newsletter and some days it's even somewhat funny.