GE To Offer Industrial Data Analytics in the Cloud

GE this week announced it was getting into the cloud services business with a platform designed for industrial data analytics.

The "digital industrial company" said its Predix Cloud is the first and only cloud service for working with and taking advantage of the tremendous amount of data being collected from the vast, interconnected network of systems, sensors and devices, whether you call it Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) or, as GE does, the Industrial Internet.

"Predix Cloud will drive the next phase of growth for the Industrial Internet and enable developers to rapidly create, deploy and manage applications and services for industry," the company said in a statement.

That Industrial Internet will comprise more than 50 billion connected assets by 2020, GE quoted analysts as saying, providing data from systems ranging from time series data generated by locomotives to 3D MRI images.

The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering will utilize Pivotal Software's open source Cloud Foundry for application development, deployment and operations, with general availability planned for next year.

"A cloud built exclusively to capture and analyze machine data will make unforeseen problems and missed opportunities increasingly a complication of the past," said exec Harel Kodesh. "GE's Predix Cloud will unlock an industrial app economy that delivers more value to machines, fleets and factories -- and enable a thriving developer community to collaborate and rapidly deploy industrial applications in a highly protected environment."

GE said its cloud will be of special importance to developers, providing them with new insights. "Developers will have visibility into their operating environments and every actor connected to it," the company said. "In doing so, businesses will be able to deploy and monitor machine apps anywhere, continuously adjusting to new demands in the physical and digital world while providing the security and visibility required for operational effectiveness." GE said those developers will be able to leverage pre-built services for machine learning and heuristic analysis, along with physics- and engineering-based modeling "enable developers and data scientists to deploy effective analytics."

The service will restrict access, unlike public cloud services, with a "gated community" model, implementing an on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing scheme.

"In contrast to platforms that have to rely on outside vendors to supply specific operational capabilities, GE Predix's secure and comprehensive environment ensures consistency of service, performance, compliance and security even for global deployment," said GE exec Ariella Brown in a blog post. "The 'service delivery' model also means customers can scale up and down in a rapid and cost effective manner as their requirements change."

While being rolled out to GE businesses late this year, it won't be available to others until next year, with no more specific time-frame given.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.