NASA selects Vortex Suite for SMART National Airspace System

155080main_facet_hrVortex OpenSplice, Cloud and Fog data sharing platforms provide scalability, dynamic discovery, Qualities of Service and tooling capabilities required by system

Vortex OpenSplice, Vortex Cloud and Vortex Fog have been selected by NASA for use in the SMART-NAS (Shadow Mode Assessment Using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System) Project.

SMART-NAS is an air traffic management simulation project designed to accelerate the transformation of the National Airspace System, which is one of the most complex systems for controlling commercial, military and general aviation aircraft in the world.  In this effort, SMART-NAS aims to explore and enable plug-and-play alternative concepts, technologies and architectures for deployment in the NAS.

Over the past seven years, NASA has trusted PrismTech’s superior software, service and expertise to meet a variety of program goals.

Vortex platforms were selected by NASA for SMART-NAS after an in-depth evaluation of the various data sharing platform options that are based on the Object Management Group®’s (OMG®) Data-Distribution Service™ (DDS™) standard.  DDS is a proven technology that can meet the stringent performance, availability, safety and robustness criteria imposed by mission-critical, highly distributed and real time systems, such as those found in air traffic control and air traffic management systems. Key to Vortex, however, is its functionality to extend DDS beyond embedded and LAN-based networks out to an intelligent real-time data exchange for Tactical Clouds to enable highly scalable system of systems solutions.

To accelerate the transformation of the entire NAS, proposed functions must be integrated, tested and fully validated before being deployed into NAS.  SMART-NAS aims to examine, in real-time, the robustness, stability and reliability of new approaches to the entire system or any of its parts by taking operational data such as weather conditions, flight plans, airports arrival rates and system constraints – to ensure safe and seamless operations from ground level to outer space.

Vortex optimally addresses the real-time information distribution and management challenges posed by high performance real-time data-processing systems.  Vortex OpenSplice is being used in numerous air traffic control and management systems throughout the world.

Further information about Vortex platforms is available from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex.

Vortex 2.0 is now available to download

PrismTech is pleased to announce that Vortex 2.0, a major upgrade of its award winning Intelligent Data-Sharing Platform is now generally available for evaluation and purchase. The Vortex platform provides the most comprehensive Industrial IoT solution for integrating devices, real-time high performance edge-based Fog networks and Cloud systems.

Vortex 2.0 delivers significant benefits in terms of support for Fog computing, improved robustness, security, platform support and ease of use. Vortex 2.0 includes the following new functionality:

  • Vortex OpenSplice 6.6 – includes new features such as Google Protocol Buffer (GPB) support, latest ISO C++ API, dynamic network partitions, Durability Service optimizations, coherent updates – full PresentationQoSPolicy support,  RnR Service – split file recording and Python scripting support for OpenSplice Tester
  • Vortex Fog 1.x – a new addition to the platform providing secure interest based routing of real-time information between UDP (multicast and unicast) enabled edge networks and TCP endpoints, enabling Device-Fog, Fog-Fog and Fog-Cloud connectivity
  • Vortex Cloud 1.3 – includes new Boundary Security solution
  • Vortex Lite 2.0 – latest ISO C++ API, enhanced Durability QoS, support for Windows 10, Mac OS X10.1
  • Vortex Insight 1.2 – usability improvements

Vortex is ideally suited for mission-critical distributed and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications. It is based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) for Real-time Systems open standard and builds on proven technologies to provide an efficient solution for Internet scale real-time data sharing. Vortex is a crucial enabler for systems that have to reliably and securely deliver high volumes of data with stringent end-to-end qualities-of-service (QoS); for IIoT systems Vortex delivers the right information to the right place at the right time.

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PrismTech releases Vortex 1.2

PrismTech announces Vortex v1.2, the latest version of its award-winning intelligent data-sharing platform for the Internet of Things

Includes significant new functionality, with improved robustness, performance, scalability and ease of use

PrismTech™ announced the general availability of Vortex™ v1.2, the latest version of its award-winning intelligent data-sharing platform for the Internet of Things (IoT).  The Vortex platform provides the most comprehensive real-time data sharing solution for integrating device (sensors to servers), web, mobile and cloud environments.

Vortex is ideally suited for mission-critical distributed and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications.  It is based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) for Real-time Systems open standard and builds on proven technologies to provide an efficient solution for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud Internet scale, real-time data sharing.  Vortex is a crucial enabler for systems that have to reliably and securely deliver high volumes of data with stringent end-to-end qualities-of-service (QoS); hence its suitability for delivering the right information to the right place at the right time.

Vortex v1.2 delivers significant benefits in terms of improved robustness, performance, scalability and ease of use.  It also includes the following new functionality:

  • Vortex OpenSplice™ 6.5 – support for the latest Java 5 PSM, a Streams API for ISO C++ and an overall performance improvement.
  • Vortex Cloud 1.2 – selective routing that allows users to control exactly what Topic data is shared across the Cloud and between LANs.
  • Vortex Insight 1.1 – support for system browser sorting / filtering and inclusion of a new Vortex Cloud instance browser.
  • Vortex Lite 1.0 – new low footprint DDS implementation targeting resource constrained embedded devices.

“Vortex is proving to be a key enabler for the Internet of Things,” said Angelo Corsaro, CTO, PrismTech.  “These latest enhancements help ensure that Vortex continues to be the most comprehensive data sharing platform in the industry.”

Vortex is available for free 30-day evaluation. Click here to evaluate.

Vortex Cloud Getting Beyond Cloud Messaging Live Webcast

Date: 18th March 2015
Location: Online

Why Attend:

  • Understand how Vortex Cloud differs from mainstream Cloud Messaging technologies such as Azure Service Bus, Amazon Simple Queuing and Notification Service, Google Cloud Messaging, etc.
  • Learn about the key features provided by Vortex Cloud
  • Learn how to build and deploy Internet Scale native and web applications with Vortex Cloud

Abstract:

Cloud Messaging is a key building block at the foundation of any Internet Scale native and web application. PrismTech’s Vortex Cloud provides an innovative solution to address the problems of efficiently and securely distributing data and raising events on an Internet Scale.

This webcast will (1) position Vortex Cloud with respect to some of the mainstream Cloud Messaging implementations, such as those found as part of the Microsoft Azure Platform, Amazon EC2, and the Google Cloud Platform (2) explain the unique features provided by Vortex Cloud, and (3) teach you how to get started writing native or web applications that leverage Vortex Cloud.

The webcast will last approximately one hour.

Webcast Presenter:

Angelo Corsaro, Ph.D. is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at PrismTech where he directs the technology strategy, planning, evolution, and evangelism. Angelo leads the strategic standardization at the Object Management Group (OMG), where he co-chairs the Data Distribution Service (DDS) Special Interest Group and serves on the Architecture Board. Angelo is a widely known and cited expert in the field of real-time and distributed systems, middleware, and software patterns, has authored several international standards and enjoys over 10+ years of experience in technology management and design of high performance mission- and business-critical distributed systems. Angelo received a Ph.D. and a M.S. in Computer Science from the Washington University in St. Louis, and a Laurea Magna cum Laude in Computer Engineering from the University of Catania, Italy.

Connected Boulevard — It’s What Makes Nice, France a Smart City

Known as the capital of the French Riviera, the city of Nice, France, is many things. It’s beautiful, it’s cosmopolitan and it’s vibrant. But it’s also something else — it’s possibly the smartest city in the world.

Among spectacular panoramic views, the rich culture, and all the shopping and nightlife opportunities is an underlying connectivity. It’s actually an intelligent data-sharing infrastructure that is enhancing the city’s management capabilities and is making daily life more efficient, enjoyable and easier for the more than 300,000 residents that call Nice home and the more than 10 million tourists who visit each year. It’s what makes this city smart… really smart.Chart for Angelo's Blog Post

Nice has been gaining much attention lately thanks to a series of innovative projects aimed at preserving the surrounding environment and enhancing quality of life through creative use of technology. Connected Boulevard is a great example of this.

The city launched the Connected Boulevard — an open and extensible smart city platform — as a way to continue to attract visitors while maintaining a high quality of life for its citizens. Connected Boulevard is used to manage and optimize all aspects of city management, including parking and traffic, street lighting, waste disposal and environmental quality.

A number of companies played a key role in the launch of Connected Boulevard, including Industrial Internet Consortium members Cisco, which is providing its Wi-Fi network, and PrismTech, which is providing its intelligent data-sharing platform, Vortex (based on the Object Management Group’s Data Distribution Service standard) at the core of the Connected Boulevard environment for making relevant data ubiquitously available.

Architecture Maximizes Extensibility and Minimizes Maintenance Costs

Think Global, an alliance of innovative start-ups and large companies, designed the Connected Boulevard architecture with an eye toward maximizing extensibility and minimizing maintenance costs. In a smart city environment, the main costs typically come from system maintenance, rather than initial development and launch efforts. A big part of these maintenance costs come from the replacement of sensor batteries. To help reduce these operating costs and maximize battery life, the Connected Boulevard project team made an interesting and forward thinking move — one which was in direct contrast with some of the latest thinking by those in the smart device and edge computing community.

Connected Boulevard relies on “dumb” sensors. These sensors typically are simply measuring physical properties such as temperature and humidity, magnetic field intensity, and luminosity. Once collected, these measurements are sent to signal processing algorithms within a cloud, where the data is then “understood” and acted upon. In the Connected Boulevard, magnetic field variation is used to detect parked cars, temperature and humidity levels are used to determine when to activate sprinklers, luminosity and motion detection are used to control street lighting.

The sensors in the Connected Boulevard rely on low power protocols to communicate with aggregators that are installed throughout the road network. Powered by the power line, the aggregators use Vortex to convoy the data into an Amazon EC2 cloud. The data is than analyzed by a series of analytics functions based on the Esper CEP platform. Finally, relevant information, statistics and insight gained through the data analysis are made available wherever it is needed within this connected ecosystem.

The applications within Connected Boulevard use caching features to maintain in-memory, a window of data over which real-time analytics are performed. The results of these analytics can be shared with applications throughout the overall system, where decisions are then made, such as what actions should take place. For example, the Nice City Pass application checks for free parking places and can also be used to reserve them. If a car is occupying a parking space that the driver has not paid for, a notification is sent to the police to ensure that the violating driver is fined.

Significant Benefits

After the initial installation of Connected Boulevard a few years ago, traffic congestion was reduced by 30 percent, parking incomes increased by 35 percent and air pollution has been reduced by 25 percent. It’s also anticipated that savings on street lighting will be at least 20 percent, but possibly as high as 80 percent. These are real, tangible results… and are clear examples of a smart city at work.

There’s more to securing the IoT than you’re aware of

Many would argue that the consumer and internet of Things (IoT) are improving the quality of our lives and the environment by reducing pollution and augmenting productivity and efficiency. For instance, think of somebody living in Nice, France (see my blog on smart cities) who has experienced – thanks to the smart parking system – a reduction of more than 30 minutes in the time needed to park downtown. This not only improves this person’s overall experience, it also reduces the CO2 emissions caused by the car being driven around in search of a parking spot. In another example, consider smart refrigerators. These appliances can keep track of the food they hold, warn you about expiration dates, suggest recipes, and help with the shopping list. Who wouldn’t want that? But in this wonderful connected world, all that glitters is not gold.

Several industry reports have highlighted a series of security holes. The recent HP Fortify study on IoT security notes that 70 percent of the devices don’t use transport security, thus sending unencrypted information over the Internet! In addition, 90 percent of the devices collected some form of personal information. And a relatively high number of devices use trivial passwords, like 1234. Imagine how this lack of security can turn a digital paradise into hell if somebody, other than you, gained control of your appliances.

Let’s turn our attention from the consumer IoT to the industrial IoT. Here, security is even more important as the devices involved aren’t simple appliances but power grids, aircraft engines, city lightning, sewers, etc. Thus, the impact of a security hole can be far more devastating than that of somebody hacking your refrigerator.

Many IoT security reports argue that a big part of the security issues can be solved by properly applying well-known security principles and techniques, such as using transport encryption, robust passwords, supporting secure firmware and OS upgrades, avoiding cross-scripting attach, etc. Yet most of these reports focus on securing the interaction between a device and a and don’t address the problem of data security in general.

If we consider a more sophisticated IoT application, such as smart cities or smart grids, we quickly realize that access to information needs to be properly regulated. For instance, it may be acceptable to allow everyone to learn about the level of production of a given electric power generator. On the other hand, it’s necessary to allow only specific users access to set the production target. Likewise, for privacy reasons, you may be happy that the position of your car is known when it gets stolen.

Clearly, both the consumer and industrial IoTs need more than the ability to secure access and pipes through which the data flows. It’s essential for these systems to properly address data security. Yet, today few IoT applications are providing support for data security in the form of controlled access. The main reason being the lack of support from the infrastructure they rely on.

IoT systems interested in having a full security solution, including access control on data flows, should look at platforms based on data distribution service (DDS). DDS has recently been equipped with a security standard that, along with introducing transport security, allows to control access to data. PrismTech’s DDS-based Vortex, for instance, supports authentication and transport security as well as Topic-based access control to handle allowed operations. This includes create, read, update, and delete operations that an application can perform on a given kind of information.

The figure shows a hypothetical system in which different users are allowed different access rights on the various kinds of information. Arthur Dent can read and write the topic A and only read the topic B, while Zaphod Beeblebrox can read and write any kind of information. Poor Marvin can read everything and write nothing.

Clearly, security can’t be an afterthought in IoT applications as the implications can be severe. Furthermore, IoT applications have to think beyond basic transport security and start to reason about data access control. The OMG DDS as a data sharing standard provides a suitable infrastructure for tackling all distribution and security aspects required by IoT applications.

PrismTech to Present Vortex Intelligent Data Sharing Platform at Industrial Internet Consortium Meeting

Vortex presentation features as part of IIC’s “member information sessions” at its quarterly meeting in Austin, Texas

Boston, MA, USA – September 05, 2014 – PrismTech™, a global leader in software platforms for distributed systems, will be a featured presenter during the “member information sessions” prior to the start of the Industrial Internet Consortium’s quarterly meeting scheduled in September in Austin, Texas.

The day-long member information sessions are scheduled September 15 at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin and will feature several consortium members.  PrismTech’s session titled “Vortex™: The Intelligent Data Sharing Platform for the Industrial Internet of Things” will run from 11:15 am to 12:15 pm.  Company executives and technical leaders will provide an overview of the Vortex platform for Industrial Internet environments, including a detailed Q&A session.

A public forum titled “The Industrial Internet: A Sense of the Future” will run in parallel with the member information sessions.  The Industrial Internet Consortium quarterly meeting, hosted in the same location, will run September 16-18.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications are naturally data-centric and operate as data-flow systems where (1) data is efficiently and securely gathered from a large and disparate set of end systems and applications, such as embedded, mobile, web, enterprise and cloud applications, (2) high volume data flows are analysed in real-time and stored for long term analytics, and (3) intelligence derived by the analytics engines, processed data and control decisions are efficiently and securely shared.

Information is the currency of the IIoT, therefore the selection of the data-sharing technology is a critical element of successful IIoT systems.  The market is currently considering a number of different technology solutions; among these, the OMG’s Data Distribution Service (DDS) is emerging as the standard that best fulfils the data sharing needs of IIoT systems and applications.

This presentation will (1) introduce PrismTech’s Vortex: the only DDS-based platform designed ground up to address the data-sharing needs of the most challenging IIoT systems, (2) explain how Vortex compares to other technologies and addresses the efficiency, performance, scalability, interoperability, and security needs of IIoT systems, and (3) highlight a number of key use cases that demonstrate how Vortex is being used today.

Vortex includes components to connect and share real-time information between mobile phones and tablets (Vortex Café), sensors and machines (Vortex Lite), Cloud services (Vortex Cloud), browsers (Vortex Web), corporate systems (OpenSplice™ Enterprise) and complementary networks (via Vortex Gateway).  From its Starter Kit (Café, Web and tools) to the full Vortex suite, its components are delivered in convenient and affordable development and deployment bundles to simplify the evaluation and procurement process.

Further information about Vortex is available from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex.