Cirrus Link Announces IoT Bridge to Connect OT Data to Microsoft Azure

Jan. 29, 2023
Automatically connect MQTT Sparkplug models to Azure to accelerate industrial IoT time-to-value.

 Cirrus Link today announced the availability of the IoT Bridge for Microsoft Azure available on the Azure Marketplace, which connects standard MQTT Sparkplug data models to Azure Digital Twin and updates data changes to Azure Data Explorer for time series data. Cirrus Link developed the IoT Bridge, a software widget based on Sparkplug that converts OT data to IT data automatically with zero coding required. Customers can create a factory, or any asset data models with Sparkplug templates, then automatically connect the models to Azure with no coding required, saving time and effort and accelerating time-to-value. These models and time series data are objects which are easily consumable for Azure services and AI/Big Data applications to provide insight for increased productivity, cost savings and higher uptime.

With Sparkplug enabled platforms such as Ignition from Inductive Automation, the process to jump the OT /IT gap has been vastly simplified from a long and costly effort to something that can be standardized and deployed in a matter of hours. As data is collected from the factory floor, by remote assets or any type of data producer, MQTT Sparkplug normalizes it through templates such as a model of a motor including critical meta properties and sends the data to a MQTT server. IoT Bridge for Azure subscribes to the MQTT messages from the MQTT server and automatically creates the digital twin in Azure Digital Twin including the meta properties.  Without the IoT Bridge, companies have typically spent thousands of consulting dollars building customized coded solutions that are not scalable and end in catastrophe as a lost cause.

“Sending data models to the cloud continues to be one of the biggest challenges for companies adopting Industrial IoT,” said Arlen Nipper, President and CTO of Cirrus Link and co-inventor of MQTT. “Without IoT Bridge, a homegrown solution is the only option which often results in a massive data lake with inconsistent data and a lot of upkeep. Now customers can drop a box into the factory, point it to an MQTT broker, and IoT Bridge does the work seamlessly.”

Azure Digital Twins is a platform as a service (PaaS) offering that enables the creation of twin graphs based on digital models of entire environments used to gain insights that drive better products, optimized operations, and reduced costs. Azure Data Explorer is a fully managed, high-performance, big data analytics platform that makes it easy to analyze high volumes of data in near real time.

IoT Bridge for Azure from Cirrus Link:

  • Consumes MQTT Sparkplug data (data model and tags)
  • Auto-creates data models to Azure Digital Twin
  • Auto-discovers data assets
  • Pushes tag data to Azure Digital Twin and Azure Data Explorer
  • Requires no programming or code

Customers can download and install the IoT Bridge software and within 30 minutes they can automatically have data in Microsoft Azure. The IoT Bridge takes OT data and points it to IT quickly and easily with an open standard approach.

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