Technology

POWERLINE: INTERNET FROM THE SOCKET

Everything you need to know about Powerline and Powerline adapters

Whether e-mails, research or streaming – in most households a large part now runs via the Internet. If the WiFi doesn’t work properly, it can get on your nerves. And it was precisely for these cases that Powerline was developed: With a Powerline adapter, the home network is set up over the power lines. But how exactly does the Internet work from the socket? When and for whom does this technology make sense? And what should you look out for with the Powerline adapter? Here you will find all the important information about the somewhat different network.

  • What is a powerline?
  • How does Powerline work?
  • How to connect a powerline?
  • How do I get stable WiFi?
  • When does powerline make sense?
  • What can interfere with Powerline?
  • Which powerline adapters are the best?
  • Conclusion: The Internet is something different

Due to the high demand, we have updated this article and added the question “How do I get a stable WLAN?”.

What is a powerline?

There are numerous power lines in a house and while they are designed for lighting and power, they can be used for other purposes. Signals can also be transmitted with electrical cables without impairing the flow of electricity. And that is exactly what is meant by the term powerline: data transmission via the power line.
With Powerline products, the existing power lines can be used to set up or expand a local network and bring the Internet to all rooms without a repeater or laying new network cables. The technology behind it is also known as PowerLAN or Powerline Communication (PLC).

Note: Powerline is only used to create a local network. An Internet connection must therefore be available from which the Powerline adapter can obtain the Internet signals.

How does Powerline work?

A Powerline adapter seldom comes alone: ​​where there is a transmission, there must also be a receiver!


 

Have a hard time imagining how this is supposed to work? Simply plug the laptop power supply into the socket and YouTube is already powered? Then again, it’s not that simple. Of course, some technology is required to be able to establish the Internet connection through electrical wiring.
There are special adapters for this, the so-called Powerline adapters. These convert the data streams of the Internet connection into high-frequency signals. The signals then find a way through the power line to other powerline adapters.
The adapters convert the signals back into understandable data and, depending on the application, forward them to a PC, smart TV or another network device.

Powerline clearly explained

The Powerline principle can be easily symbolized with a little music. Imagine hiring a flute player who is particularly talented in improvisation to play at home. It is positioned centrally on the ground floor so that it can be heard in as many rooms as possible. Despite the loud sounds, the flutes can only be heard softly or not at all on the upper floors. Like a WLAN router, whose Internet signals can only be received weakly on the upper floors.
So that one can also enjoy his improvisations in rooms further away from the flute player, he has an assistant who notates his flute playing in notes. The sheet music is sent to the appropriate rooms in the building via a system of pipes. They have received thereby another flute player who can read music and faithfully reproduces the flute playing from the ground floor.
The powerline adapter next to the wireless router does not write the wireless signals on sheet music but converts them into other signals that can be transmitted through the power line. As soon as these signals are received by another Powerline adapter installed in the house, it understands the signals and converts them back accordingly, ultimately enabling a reliable Internet connection even in more distant areas.

Tip: If two adapters are not enough for you, you can easily expand your powerline network with several powerline adapters. If your garden shed has electricity, nothing stands in the way of internet access!

How to connect a powerline?

A powerline set always consists of at least two powerline adapters. One takes on the function of a transmitter and delivers the Internet, so to speak, in the powerline network. It is connected to a router with a LAN cable and plugged into a socket next to it. With most models, a powerline encryption button must be pressed briefly on the adapter connected to the router.
Within minutes, the other adapter, acting as a receiver, can be plugged into an outlet in any room in the house. Now the encryption button must be pressed here as well. As soon as the adapter indicates that a successful connection has been established, the powerline network is set up and data, photos, films and music will bring new momentum to your power line.
Tip: If you are not satisfied with the speed of your Powerline adapter, try different positions. Depending on the electrical circuit and electrical wiring, the performance of the adapter can change just by plugging it into an adjacent outlet.

How do I get stable WiFi?

Is the Wi-Fi reception poor in some rooms or does the connection break down frequently? There are some easy-to-implement measures to solve these annoying connection problems.
With a router, the quality of a WLAN connection depends, among other things, on the following factors:

  • location
  • frequency
  • Range

location of the router

The connection can be improved simply by positioning the router correctly. Be sure to place or hang the router centrally. Ideally, it should be slightly elevated and freestanding.
How good the signal strength of the router is can be measured with apps such as the FRITZ!App WLAN. When looking for the optimal location, keep in mind that walls, ceilings and furniture can interfere with the connection.

the frequency range of the router

Your router has always worked great and suddenly you are struggling with connection problems? Then it may be because other wireless routers have been installed in the area and are transmitting on the same frequency.
If your router can broadcast on a 5 GHz and a 2.4 GHz frequency, change the frequency range to 5 GHz in the settings. In this way, your router will no longer be disturbed by other WLAN routers in terms of frequency.
Note: The difference between the two frequency ranges is that the 5 GHz frequency can carry more data while the 2.4 GHz frequency has a longer range.

range of the router

If changing the position and frequency of the router does not help, its range may simply not be sufficient for all rooms and floors. There are two devices that can improve range: WiFi repeaters and powerline adapters.
While WiFi repeaters need a strong signal from the router to amplify it, a powerline adapter relays the WiFi signals over the power lines.

When does powerline make sense?

Powerline makes sense wherever the WLAN range is too short and no new network cables should be laid. Because the advantage of this network technology is that the necessary infrastructure is available in every room: power lines and sockets. Especially in old buildings, Powerline often offers an elegant solution to expand the WLAN network.

Which is better: powerline or repeater?

If the building is too big or the walls are too thick, both powerline adapters and WiFi repeaters offer a possible solution to extend the local network. Both have the advantage that the setup is easy for the user. No physical changes need to be made to the building and the devices are quickly connected to the home WiFi router.
The critical point when deciding on a powerline adapter or WLAN repeater lies in the environmental conditions. Because although both techniques depend heavily on the conditions in the environment, they do so in different ways.
Obstacles such as furniture, walls and ceilings can influence the way wireless repeaters work. Radio networks in the neighbourhood can also be a disruptive factor. While the power line goes through walls without any problems, the data rate that can be achieved depends primarily on the length and quality of the power line.
Which solution ultimately achieves the better results, therefore, depends heavily on the conditions in your own four walls and can best be determined by trial and error.
TipIt doesn’t matter whether it’s a WiFi repeater or a powerline adapter, a WiFi signal is generally distributed much better across the surface than up high. If you want to supply a house or apartment with WiFi over several floors, you should install a separate WiFi access point on each floor.

What can interfere with Powerline?

Since Powerline only uses the power lines, certain interference can also have a negative impact on data transmission. Wind and weather don’t really matter to Powerline, it’s the power line that counts. How fast the transmission with Powerline is depended primarily on the quality and type of power line.
In order for the fast gigabit power line to work, the circuit must meet the modern standard of the three wires neutral conductor, protective conductor and phase. This enables transmission rates that are around 60-80 per cent faster than in the circuits with just two wires that are often installed in old buildings.
In addition, the parts and components on the way from the transmitter adapter to the receiver adapter can also slow down the transmission. Overvoltage protection filters, electricity meters and residual current circuit breakers can ensure that too little bandwidth is left for data transmission and that the adapters can only exchange information poorly or not at all.
Other typical sources of interference are ballasts, power packs, dimmers, vacuum cleaners, drills and mailboxes. Even if the powerline adapters can correct errors, bandwidth is still lost.
Powerline via the power strip?
So that the data has a free path and high transmission rates can be guaranteed, the powerline adapter should be operated on individual sockets and not on multiple sockets or distributors. Another potential source of interference is separate circuits in a household. The electrician can solve this problem by installing a phase coupler.
Tip: The powerline software supplied by the manufacturer can be used to display the frequencies used for transmission between the powerline adapters. For example, if the vacuum cleaner is suspected of being a troublemaker, this can be confirmed by a drop in the displayed data rate while vacuuming.

Which powerline adapters are the best?

  • When looking for the best powerline adapter, there are a few things to consider that contribute to an optimal powerline network.
  • Integrated socket: If sockets are a rare commodity in your home, then an adapter with an integrated socket is recommended. You can operate your powerline adapter directly on a wall socket and the integrated socket is available for other devices.
  • LAN interfaces: The various adapter models differ in the number of LAN interfaces. While some only have one LAN interface, others have two or three interfaces. For example, if you want to supply printers, smart TVs and hair dryers with a powerline adapter, you should include this in the planning.
  • WLAN access point: Do you want to expand your WLAN? Then choose a powerline adapter with a ⦁ WLAN access point. This allows you to connect your devices to the adapter via WLAN and not via a LAN cable.
  • Speed ​​: Note that the manufacturer’s speed information is a theoretical value. In practice, this value is usually not reached and the speed in the local network depends heavily on factors such as the quality and length of the power lines used. Also, keep in mind that internet speed depends on your internet access. If your Internet connection is generally slow, your Powerline adapter cannot work miracles either.
  • Compatibility: If you want to expand your powerline network, make sure the devices are compatible. With older adapters, in particular, there is a risk that the latest standards are not supported or that the older adapter “thwarts” the new one.
  • Don’t be fooled by battery-powered models…
  • NoteIf you would like to use your powerline signal for more than the LAN interfaces provided on the adapter, you can expand it with a so-called switch. Plug the switch into your adapter and it will distribute the signal to your other devices through its ports.

Conclusion: The Internet is something different

Whether by antenna, telegram, carrier pigeon or radio – the exchange of information and data has always been possible in all possible ways. Data transmission via a power line may sound like a crazy idea at first, but it is a reliable technology that is uncomplicated for the user.
For those who do not want to lay new cables in their apartment or house, Powerline can offer a quick and elegant solution. After all, power lines and sockets are already available in all rooms, even in old buildings.
In order for the powerline network to ultimately meet expectations, it should above all be well planned. Depending on the type and number of devices to be connected, the desired number of LAN ports, the need for a WLAN function and the number of powerline adapters required can be determined.

5 tips on how to quickly make your product IoT-compatible

This is how you make your products fit for the IoT (Internet of Things)! 5 strategy tips that you should consider when engineering to secure your market share in the digital transformation.

we have the most important tips for implementing your product's IoT connectivity
IoT

More and more companies want to better position their products for the digital transformation. This year alone, around 26 billion IoT devices will go online worldwide. On the one hand, making them IoT-capable is not always easy and, on the other hand, it does not always make sense. Many are trying to make their existing products smarter and more connected. This is possible in many cases, but not always the most appropriate way. Because in digital engineering, too often products are created that offer no added value either for the company or for the end-user. For the product development of a successful IoT device, the approach must be customer-centric. Furthermore, suitable digitization skills and, last but not least, the right digitization strategy are essential. Because studies show: Around 25-45 per cent of all new IoT device developments fail. In dynamic digitization, some products are very well received, while others are already doomed to fail when they are launched.
So what separates successful IoT devices from the rest? If we look at companies that are successful in digitization, we get an idea of ​​​​how products can become compatible with the Internet of Things. We can learn from this and transfer experiences of such digitization strategies to product development. Implementing IoT connectivity to digital devices can be difficult. Especially if it’s the first time. So what does it take to make an existing product IoT compatible? And what are the advantages of product development of an innovative digital device for the Internet of Things?

Digitization: check the added value of connectivity!

Before you start developing an IoT product, you should ask yourself the following questions: If the product is smart after engineering, does it add value for you and your customers? And can the product collect useful data? Most products today can already collect data in some way. However, not all of this data is of any value to you or your end-users. For companies, the following must be clarified:

⦁ Can you integrate IoT data into your business processes?
⦁ Will you be able to effectively use the data collected to improve service to your customers? Because: A new IoT device is only successful when it is clear how the data will offer added value after engineering.

Product development: Include the cost of the IoT device!

Smart devices generate costs that a conventional product would not have. It is important to include these costs in the digitization strategy for product development:

  • What are the manufacturing costs? Is it clear how the connectivity costs will be covered? Normally, this happens through a higher sales price, but more and more often through service or subscription fees over the product life.
  • What are the ongoing costs for device support? Does the product generate large amounts of data that need to be stored in the cloud? Does the product require computationally intensive cloud services such as speech recognition?
  • What support does you as a company have to provide the end-user with product defects or upgrades?

Check the marketability of your intelligent device!

From a technology point of view, you can make any product IoT compatible. But is it worth it? While a WiFi-enabled watering can certainly be a nice idea, the demand for product development of such a device would be rather limited.

  • When it is clear what value your smart system will have for you and the end-users and you know the costs, you need to ensure that the product is marketable after engineering.
  • Can the value of product development be communicated to your potential customers quickly and easily? Do you understand this and are you willing to pay for it?
  • In particular, when innovating in a new category, you should answer the following questions: What is the greatest single value that your IoT device offers to the end-user? Can you simply communicate this value in terms of your product digitization strategy?
  • Be careful with new features in your engineering strategy. Each function is associated with development costs and makes the digital product more complex. Many companies add features hoping it will make the product more attractive. But often a simpler product offers more enjoyment and thus has a higher overall value.
  • To know if your product is IoT-ready, you should develop ⦁ prototypes of your digital devices. Do not develop the whole product at once, but proceed step by step in engineering. User experience testing and surveys of existing customers will help you create a more valuable digital product and better understand potential costs. That way, you’ll spot problems where you never expected them. And the digital product that comes out will be better.

Digital engineering: What you should pay attention to when it comes to technology and design

As soon as you are sure that the digitization strategy for your product is understandable to your customers, the device has added value and the costs fit into the business model, you can start planning – taking a few other points into account.
So there are different connectivity options for your digital innovation that you have to consider. Most IoT devices connect to a network via an app via Bluetooth or WiFi. The user then controls the device via the app. However, smart home devices often also use their own protocols (eg Zigbee) and there are also more and more devices that connect to the Internet on a mobile basis (eg NB-IoT or LTE- m). Each technology has advantages and disadvantages depending on where and how the device is used and the costs that the digitization strategy can support. Safety is important here, for example. The sheer number of IoT devices and the inconsistent security practices of device manufacturers have increasingly made the devices targets of cyberattacks.

“Hardware is hard” is a popular saying among hardware engineers. However, it is becoming increasingly easier to develop a new IoT device or to make existing devices IoT-capable. Prototyping has also become easier as companies now have affordable development boards and prototyping kits at their disposal. Standardized hardware components mean that companies don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to engineering and can start testing ideas quickly.

If the ideas prove successful, standardized development boards and 3D printers can be replaced with optimized custom boards and injection moulded parts that can be produced in high volumes. These individual design and engineering phases to create a product that can be mass-produced require many different skills and high investments. Good research beforehand and prototyping to get real user feedback gives you confidence that your system is on the right track and the investment will pay off.

The single largest item of an IoT solution is often the software. For an IoT device, there is embedded software for the device hardware, IT for cloud services (IoT platforms) and app software on the smartphone or computer. All of these and other elements must interact seamlessly with one another, like in a network. This ecosystem requires a lot of coding and testing to ensure the system performs optimally under a variety of conditions.

Great design and a carefully crafted user experience are not the only things that make an attractive product. The task of setting up a new IoT device can seem daunting at times. It is therefore important to make the first user experience after digitization as convincing and simple as possible. The entire digitization process, ie every step from connecting the device and installing the IT to using the product for the first time, must be carefully planned and implemented. Support calls and product returns can erode the profits of a new product. The response rate for consumer devices is estimated at 11-20 per cent. And 95 per cent of returns are not due to defects or defects. The product can work as desired and yet it does not satisfy the user. While industrial products don’t have the same response rates, user expectations are now just as high. And since many IoT products are based on service fees or subscription models, it is important that the products are used for a long time.

After product development: How to properly deal with competitors

You have completed all of the above steps. You know what to do with your hardware and software. You know how to make your product IoT-enabled. But then you discover that someone else has already developed the product you are planning to implement. A horror scenario! What should you do now?

It’s not necessarily a bad idea to develop something that already exists. Because that means: There is already a market for the innovative product. What you need to do is position your device in a way that offers value to your customers. What can your device do that the other cannot? What overall value can you offer your end-users, ie how do you show them that you really have their needs in mind?

If you can show your customers how your product differs from those of your competitors, you can better position and sell your product in the market. Turning your product into an IoT device is not always a good idea. However, if you have a marketable product that adds value and you can integrate the necessary hardware and software, you are well on your way to creating a successful smart digital device.

Which IoT application scenarios are possible for 5G campus networks

Deutsche Telekom’s 5G campus network could in the future place many scenarios relating to Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and digitization on a consistent communication platform. The new mobile communications standard also enables wireless technology in security-critical environments.

IoT
IoT

Industry 4.0 and digitization are also seen by more and more companies as an opportunity to bring production back to Europe. With new technologies, favourable personnel costs can be offset at other locations.
But the way in which production is carried out is also changing: “The trend towards smaller batch sizes and flexible product that can be quickly adapted to other orders increases the need for a wireless and secure network in the production facilities,” notes Christian Schilling, Senior Consultant at the management consultancy Detecon International GmbH, a wholly-owned T-Systems subsidiary.

Industry 4.0 requires low latency times

The public mobile network or private WiFi networks are often not sufficient for the requirements in the production environment – latency times and WiFi working on public, non-reserved frequencies often cause problems with data transmission. With the new 5G mobile communications standard, which allows important data to be prioritized, the requirements in the production area, in particular, can be better addressed.
With the 5G campus network, Telekom is presenting an alternative that can be used to integrate intelligent production in a radio network and with a standard (4G or 5G). With 5G campus networks, companies receive private mobile phone coverage with guaranteed, high transmission quality directly at their location. At the same time, public mobile phone coverage will also be improved locally. Campus networks are generally open to all technologies and can already serve as a springboard to 5G in the near future in the context of LTE (in combination with edge computing).

5G added value lies in the combination of different use cases

With the health check from T-Systems, companies can check what a 5G campus network can do for them in concrete terms. “Connectivity is an enabler. We work with the customer to develop concrete use cases that make production more efficient or simpler. We show how an investment pays off,” says Schilling.
This is usually not just based on one scenario, says the consultant: added value usually comes from the interaction of different use cases. A transformation strategy and roadmap will be developed for this purpose. “The Telekom campus network does not come off the peg, it will look different for each company,”

The classic areas of application for 5G include:

smart production

In many cases, 5G makes cabling in production redundant. Even security-critical applications with the lowest latency times can be covered by the standard designed for this purpose. This means that changeovers between orders can be faster and more flexible. Another problem is also solved: integrating the increasing machine-to-machine communication and sensors often poses challenges for existing radio technologies. The data is often collected in advance via a gateway. In the 5G campus network, information can be provided in real-time in conjunction with edge computing. In this way, computer performance can be shifted away from the devices to the edge cloud. If a campus edge cloud is operated, sensitive data does not have to leave the campus: an important security aspect in production.

Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

With 5G, large volumes of data can be transmitted securely, even in real-time-critical applications. A prime example of the data hunger and latency requirements of new technologies are augmented and virtual reality. They are becoming increasingly relevant for Industry 4.0, for example in the area of 2. connected workers. Employees are guided through processes using data glasses, and individual steps can be compared by the system for quality management. At the same time, the technology helps to carry out repairs on-site, with an expert providing support via data glasses and video, who may be working remotely with the machine manufacturer.

Remote monitoring and remote control

Another typical Industry 4.0 scenario is the complete networking of production, in which a 3. digital image (digital twin)  is created. Through planning and simulations based on the data that is continuously collected from machines and assets, production can be controlled, optimized and promptly adapted to changes. A 5G campus network can form the connectivity basis for secure data exchange based on uniform standards.

Safety Monitoring

In the area of ​​security and safety, systems with mobile cameras, among other things, ensure continuous monitoring of the production site. This involves the transmission of large amounts of data. In the future, AI technologies related to image recognition can help to automate security tasks. With the help of AI and machine learning, even the smallest deviations and irregularities can be detected. In the future, open spaces outside the factory building can also be monitored with drones.

Smart (inter)logistics

Autonomous transport systems and intelligently reacting vehicles that know the layout of locations and, in the event of a problem, choose alternative routes to continue supplying production with material, are increasingly being used. One challenge here is fleet management, with the control of different systems. Here, too, 5G can score with the extremely low latency times

How artificial intelligence optimizes laser processing

Artificial intelligence is currently a hot topic in all sectors – including laser technology. How to choose an AI solution for better processes.

laser processing
laser processing

How can data and algorithms be used to increase the quality and efficiency of processes in laser processing? Researchers, laser technology manufacturers and users are asking themselves this question at the same time, because with the emerging Industry 4.0, with solutions artificial intelligence (AI) are also becoming increasingly important. The first solutions in the field of laser technology that uses artificial intelligence already exist.

How is artificial intelligence used in laser material processing?

For example, machine builder Trumpf uses artificial intelligence to control laser systems using voice commands. With the system equipped with a marking laser, the system operator can issue all relevant control commands such as ‘Open/close the door’, ‘Start the marking process’ or ‘How many products have you marked today?’ speak directly into a microphone. The laser system responds accordingly and executes the voice command. You can find out more about the machine in our article ‘Trumpf: AI moves into laser material processing ‘.
However, significantly more researchers and manufacturers are dealing with AI systems in the field of quality assurance – some AI applications are already being developed, especially for laser welding. Most of the time it is about the quality control of the welds. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) is also researching in this area.
“We want to use our AI solution to recognize different quality categories in laser welding,” reports Christian Knaak. The scientific employee of the Fraunhofer ILT deals with Zero Defect Manufacturing and in this context with Deep Learning and spoke about it at the first ‘AI for Laser Technology Conference ‘ in Aachen.
“We want to detect seam collapse, binding errors and incorrect seam widths,” Knaak continues. “And we also want to recognize when the seam is in order.” For this purpose, the measurement data from welding processes – in this example the camera images of the weld seams – are evaluated and the system is then supposed to make statements about the quality of the seams. There are two possible approaches: the classic machine learning approach and deep learning.

What do I need for a successful AI project?

“AI needs a sustainable database. And a team that implements the project together and in which the individual members have the necessary specialist knowledge from the departments involved.”
Christian Kohlschein, Hotsprings GmbH
 
“Machine learning sometimes needs bad process results. If too many results are good, then the algorithm says that everything is good. But then the AI ​​​​solution is useless.”
Stephan Schwarz, Mercedes Benz AG
 
“The biggest challenge when introducing AI solutions is the cultural transformation of the company. Faster technology and better algorithms alone cannot make a difference.”
Benjamin Kreck, Microsoft
 
“When selecting suitable algorithms for quality analysis, the domain knowledge of the employees is required. This is the only way to find suitable classifiers and algorithms.”
Christian Knaak, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology

What is the difference between classic machine learning and deep learning?

In machine learning, knowledge about the area of ​​​​application (so-called domain knowledge) plays an important role. Image processing algorithms are used to extract and classify features from the camera images. “We have five classes,” explains Knaak. “These are typical images of welding tests with examples of lack of fusion, seam collapse, increased night width, OK seams and no seam.”
The features of these images are then used as a ‘fingerprint’ for the various seam conditions to be recognized by an algorithm. The appropriate algorithm is selected by determining the recognition rates of various algorithms using a training data set. The algorithm with the best detection rate can then be used for the process data.
Deep learning requires less domain knowledge but requires significantly more data. “The special thing about this method is that the task of extracting features, which was taken over by image processing algorithms in classic machine learning, is now handed over to a neural network,” explains Knaak.
This neural network recognizes the features and processes the data in several layers. This makes it possible to analyze very complex image features. “The end result is the same as with the classic approach, where you need a relatively large amount of domain knowledge,” reports Knaak. Both methods are therefore suitable for analyzing the seam quality, only the prerequisites differ.

With cloud automation, the vision becomes a reality

Use the IT infrastructure efficiently with the help of cloud automation

While cloud service providers are making it easier for companies to access more and more computing power and storage space when needed, comparatively little has been done to reduce the workload associated with managing the cloud infrastructure. To be able to use the cloud more effectively, it is important for companies to understand what they can automate in the cloud. While iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) provides tools to automate workflows between the applications hosted in a cloud without complex API programming, Cloud Automation uses special software tools and methods to automate manual tasks associated with administration and are connected to the operation of a cloud-based IT infrastructure. The original vision of cloud computing automated on-demand services that can be dynamically scaled will become a reality with cloud automation. To get Best Automation Training visit this website Burraq Engineering Solutions

Cloud Automation
Cloud Automation

From manual work to automation

Provisioning and operating workloads in the cloud have traditionally been a time-consuming process that requires extensive manual configuration by IT operators. Common tasks such as configuring virtual machines, setting up VM clusters, setting up virtual networks, and managing availability and performance must be done manually. If a workload requires a hundred virtual machines, they must be configured individually.
Cloud automation can be used by companies to reduce the manual effort required to provision and manage cloud computing workloads and services. Cloud automation can be used in public as well as in private and hybrid cloud environments in order to reduce the administrative effort and to achieve workflow goals such as continuous integration and continuous provision. Cloud automation tools can be configured to automatically control the installation, configuration and management of cloud computing systems so that companies can get the most out of their cloud-based resources.

Cloud automation isn’t everything

In addition to cloud automation, cloud orchestration is also part of a well-thought-out cloud deployment. It defines the delivery and management of the tasks to be automated and streamlines tasks or processes to improve efficiency and reduce manual workload. The automatic provision of servers, the backing up of data or the detection and elimination of unused processes are some of the tasks that cloud automation can perform in real-time without human interaction. The cloud orchestration organizes and coordinates these defined tasks into a uniform approach in order to achieve the intended goals. Cloud orchestration combines low-level tasks into processes and coordinates them across the infrastructure, which often consists of several locations or systems. In a metaphorical sense, cloud orchestration is the arrangement of these pieces to form a finished puzzle, while cloud automation is a piece of the puzzle.

Wide range of tasks – from IaC to version control to data backup

IT organizations that rely on a cloud-based infrastructure can automate a number of tasks to lower their IT costs, reduce errors, and increase their operational efficiency. Below are some of the most common tasks that cloud automation can make more efficient.
Typical areas of application for cloud automation include

  • Establishing an infrastructure as code (IaC)
  • Version control for workflows
  • Implementation of regular data backups
  • Shutting down unused instances and processes

Establishment of Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC)

The concept of Infrastructure-as-Code describes the process of managing and deploying the technology stack using software and code instead of configuring individual hardware elements. Cloud platforms with virtualization functions can automate the detection of computer resources in the network and organize them in pools so that IT operators can flexibly provide resources regardless of their physical configuration or their location in the server room. These results in an infrastructure as a code architecture in which users can execute automated, codified processes to achieve the desired hardware configuration without manual setup.

Set up version control for workflows

With increasingly stringent data privacy and security requirements for confidential data stored in the cloud, organizations can use cloud automation tools to provide version control for workflows in which that data is used. This enables the organization to demonstrate to a regulator that the same secure configuration was used each time the data was accessed or changed.

Performing data backups

Even data that is stored in the cloud should be backed up regularly to avoid data loss. With cloud automation, IT operators can configure data backups in such a way that they are carried out automatically outside of business hours without manual intervention.

Cloud automation does more than just reduce manual work

Cloud automation offers a number of advantages. Once a process is defined, it can be repeated with little or no manual intervention and even set up to run on a fixed schedule. In addition to the obvious advantage of reducing manual work, cloud automation offers other advantages:

Cloud automation offers a number of advantages. Once a process is defined, it can be repeated with little or no manual intervention and even set up to run on a fixed schedule. In addition to the obvious advantage of reducing manual work, it offers other advantages:
Agility: Companies can quickly scale server instances and storage to better adapt to changing requirements.
Effectiveness: Quality assurance and test functions are also effectively activated by cloud automation, eg B. by allocating computer resources for the workload of the tests to be run.
Speed: Increased delivery speed of the cloud infrastructure and administration. With this, tasks can be completed faster. An IaC tool can eg, For example, you can set up a hundred servers in just a few minutes using predefined templates.
Control: Better management and centralized management of existing environments
Security: Significantly reduces the risk of human error, malicious insiders, and account compromises.
Reliability: The continuous monitoring of cloud services and the automatic reaction to problems ensure that business processes run smoothly.
Change management: The improvement of the CI / CD method (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery) ensures a better overall process cycle, at the same time reducing the likelihood of software errors and increasing development stability.
Improved governance: When setting up systems (manually or on an ad hoc basis), administrators keep track of what is actually going on and have a centralized way of controlling the infrastructure.
Cost: Fewer manual processes also mean fewer errors, so less time is spent diagnosing and debugging and more time is left to get things done. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the IT infrastructure is significantly reduced.

The key to more scalability and agility

The main difference between cloud automation and other types of automation lies in the types of services to which cloud automation applies. Since cloud-based environments allow users to access resources differently than they have on-site (eg cloud environments typically do not give end-users control over physical servers), cloud automation focuses more on the automation of infrastructure services than on physical equipment.
But cloud automation is also the key to dealing with the scalability and complexity of its environments. Certainly half a dozen local servers can be managed manually without any problems. In the cloud, where there is a multitude of different types of VM instances to choose from, automation plays a special role in avoiding the operation of servers that are not required.
Because cloud environments are made up of a number of different types of services that are constantly changing, automating the management of cloud resources is critical to getting the most benefit from the cloud. Without cloud automation, companies deprive themselves of the scalability and agility that a cloud offers for a more comprehensive IT strategy.

This is how technology and engineering used in a new era

New technologies are revolutionizing the panorama of economic development, and of employment opportunities, throughout the world. Unsurprisingly, the engineering, construction and building sectors are no exception. Here are some of the New Technologies that revolutionize our sector:

 Software and methodology

The BIM methodology is one of the key figures in the immediate future of the construction sector. As you may already know, its use will become mandatory in Spain in public building tenders in December 2018 and in civil engineering tenders in July 2019. Meanwhile, other European avant-garde countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom or France already apply BIM in their projects, especially in those of greater scope. A clear example is found in Crossrail in London, where the use of BIM allowed the integrated management of neither more nor less than 5 million documents and a total of 300,000 CAD model files.

engineering
engineering

Index of contents

According to recent studies, the BIM market will grow at a rate of 19.45% in the next 5 years, a fact that is not surprising, since the implementation of BIM reports countless advantages over traditional methodologies, including:

The integral management of the project from the point of view of all the professionals who take part in it.

Consideration of the useful life of this and the phase of dismantling of the infrastructure, in addition to the design phase.

The use of design elements typical of civil engineering or building, such as doors, walls or pillars (as opposed to the elements of other methodologies: lines, points, planes, etc.)

The reduction of construction costs by 20%.

But the BIM market is not only growing at an unstoppable rate in Europe since according to recent studies in Latin America, but the recruitment of BIM Manager profiles will also grow by 11% in the coming years. As examples of large projects developed under BIM methodology in this region, we find the New International Airport of Mexico City or the Panama Canal.

Faced with such a scenario of promising prospects for the BIM methodology, it seems obvious that the professional future of any civil, building or architect-engineer passes through its domain.

Smart cities

Another important field of development that is becoming essential in the engineering and architecture sector is found in the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to the development of cities to improve their efficiency, both in terms of building, such as mobility, energy systems, urban services, transport and infrastructure in general.

New technologies smart cities

This is the emerging market for so-called “smart infrastructures”, whose growth rate stands at 19% per year until 2020. It is estimated that cities occupy 2% of the planet’s land surface and yet consume about 75% of global resources, so efficient resource management is both beneficial and necessary for the future of the planet. Many cities in the world have already joined this trend in favour of sustainable development, such as New York, Singapore, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin or Tokyo.

In the case of Spain, according to the IESE 2017 Cities In Motion ranking, Madrid and Barcelona seem to be leading the way, although Malaga, Seville and A Coruña are also very well placed (among the top 100). While in Latin America the cases of Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Medellín or Montevideo stand out, also all of them are in the Top 100.

But this is only the beginning and “Smart Cities” represent the future of urban centres in the world, and with it come new professional opportunities for technical professionals, such as data engineers, cybersecurity experts, the technical advisers in reform or the inspectors of environmental health and energy efficiency.

In addition, the development of the Smart Cities market brings with it the implementation of other new technologies, such as the Internet of Things, sensors or drones, which seem to have no end in their applications to the design, construction and maintenance of infrastructures. intelligent, thus also generating new job opportunities for engineers and architects who master them.

Digitization and agile methodologies

Last but not least, we find the case of Agile Project Management Methodologies, whose development comes hand in hand with the arrival of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation, which represent an inescapable reality in the business landscape current.

According to IFTF, by the year 2030 100% of organizations worldwide will be purely technological, so it is not surprising that the supply of employment-related to technological development does not stop growing. In fact, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs claim to have implemented digitization programs in their companies and 42% of SMEs will allocate the bulk of their investments this year to the development of technological tools.

Digitization

However, the digitization and implementation of projects of a technological nature opens up a new range of challenges – and thus opportunities – for professionals. Traditional work procedures and methodologies seem to become obsolete due to the nature of these projects, characterized by continuous change and flexible planning. It is precisely for this reason that Agile Methodologies are emerging as the ideal tool for treating newly emerging technological projects (software development, scientific research, innovation, artificial intelligence, etc.).

Agile Methodologies provide the flexibility and adaptability necessary for such projects. The figures make it clear: 71% of organizations worldwide already use Agile Methodologies and these generate 30% more profit and increase revenues 37% faster than those that do not.

In summary, new technologies are bringing with them a multitude of novelties, and with them opportunities, in the economic-business paradigm and technical professionals we have a lot to say about it.

Latest Technology

Latest Technology: What to expect in 2021?

The world of the latest technology continues to evolve at a lightning pace but also to impress with its myriad possibilities, mainly because of its almost essential role today in this time of crisis. Between health measures, confinement and teleworking, technology has once again proved its importance and effectiveness. So what are the latest technological advances that are gaining in importance in 2020 and that could be among the trends for 2021?

Today’s article offers you 4 major technological trends that are gradually materializing and could very quickly emerge in 2021:

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

You have surely heard of the concept of AI, Artificial Intelligence, where techniques are implemented to allow machines to “simulate” intelligence. AI is used in many areas today, especially when it comes to handling difficult calculations or large amounts of data.

Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence

For example, artificial vision is integrated into smartphones, mainly in cameras, allowing sensors to automatically identify objects to adapt their settings according to the captured scene. It also allows automatic organization of images according to object, scene or face among others.

In addition, AI is also present in the field of sales, in particular with the popularity of “chat bots” allowing businesses to spontaneously respond to customer requests through an instant messaging system. On the E-Commerce side, automatic or voice search makes it easier and faster to find products. On the other hand, some applications try to adapt their content and thus personalize their services according to user preferences.

Augmented reality (AR)

Another emerging technology, AR, or augmented reality, fuses the real world with digital elements while allowing the user to interact in real-time. How does it work? According to the Futura Tech website: “The synchronization of the real world and virtual information is done using geolocation and onboard sensors (accelerometer, gyroscopes, etc.) which locate the user in relation to his environment and adapt the display to his movements ”.

Augmented reality
Augmented reality

An example of AR that has now become an integral part of the field of sales, the possibility of testing a product before buying it. Many stores or online stores allow customers to “analyze” a product before making a purchase; clothing, shoes, accessories or even devices, the customer can determine in advance whether the product suits him or not.

The AR is also invited in the real estate field; some online furniture stores allow their customers to visualize the appearance of a piece of furniture to see if it suits them in terms of size or decoration. Likewise, some apps now allow you to preview walls in a room in different colours.

The network of the future, 5G

A hot topic in 2020 but also a source of debate, the emergence of 5G. Gradually, we see the arrival on the market of smartphones equipped with this new technology, which could well in the near future be THE network used throughout the world.

5G Internet
5G Internet

In summary, 5G, therefore, promises us:

10x faster internet speed,

A consequent decrease in latency,

And wider coverage to allow the management of a greater number of connected objects, among other things.

More concretely, this new ultra-fast network could make it possible to manage more than smartphones, tablets or connected objects, but also a real “ecosystem” of machines. These are houses, vehicles, security systems or even a real smart city.

However, the advent of 5G is still not unanimous, especially when it comes to the impact of its waves on health. Some claim that these could prove to be very dangerous for human health, an idea that was denied following a study conducted by the ICNIRP (International Commission for the Protection against Non-Ionizing Radiation) last March. . However, the subject remains to be debated.

“The Internet of Behaviors”

Does this term sound unfamiliar to you? The Internet of Behaviors (or “Internet Of Behaviors”) refers to a technology in charge of monitoring human activities with the aim of “influencing” behaviour. This technology will be mainly used in the field of Marketing, more particularly in order to convince the user to buy products.

A more concrete example, a health and well-being application with access to information such as weight, physical activity, heart rate and others could soon be able to automatically suggest a specific diet or better habits to the user according to the ‘information collected and thus “influence one’s behaviour” in order to achieve a final objective, “sell the product”.

In addition, some companies such as banks and insurance agencies could use this technology to offer more personalized services or “better tailor them” to user needs.

However, as with 5G, the subject remains to be debated, this time in relation to the confidentiality and security of the data used.

The latest smartphones are entering our catalogues

At Digital4Business, we are gradually starting to focus on the latest trends of the moment with the latest smartphones being added to our mobile catalogue; Galaxy S20, Note 20, iPhone 12 or connected objects, nothing but new technology to ensure fleet renewals!

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