Nerve Blue

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Introducing Nerve Blue

Nerve Blue is a radically open edge computing platform that promotes vendor independence and flexibility. Nerve Blue runs on off-the-shelf hardware, scaling from gateways to IPCs. Its open architecture allows users to deploy their own software, or applications developed by third parties. All of this is managed through an intuitive user interface available at the edge or in the cloud.  With Nerve Blue, users can reduce system complexity and cost, improve machine performance, and offer new services to customers.

Download Nerve Blue Flyer
Nerve Blue Documentation

A Complete Edge Computing Solution

Nerve Blue consists of software that runs on devices at the edge, as well as a management system that runs in the cloud or on a local server. These elements combine to provide a powerful and flexible edge computing platform.

Software

Nerve Blue provides an open software environment for running applications at the edge. It enables management of local device functions and facilitates pre-processing and visualization of data.

  • Real-time gatewaying of data from existing PLC and IO infrastructure

    Sharing of data between time-series database and applications

    Data connection to any cloud or ERP system

    Local and web-based data visualization

  • Virtualized environment running Windows or Linux virtual machines

    Supports lightweight Docker containers

    Choose to use your own applications or third party software

    Integrated soft PLC (CODESYS®)

  • Software management even when there is no connection to the Management System

    Displays health and system status information for the device

    Upload locally modified control applications to the Management System

    Controls outside access for remote viewing of local device via VNC, RDP, Shell

Management System

The Nerve Management System enables remote management of machines anywhere around the world and provides a platform for offering software-based services. It can be hosted either in the cloud or on a local server.

  • Central repository for applications (Docker containers, VMs and CODESYS® programs)

    Over-the-air updates and upgrades to device software and applications

    Simultaneous deployment of applications to multiple devices and locations

    User management for device and software configuration

  • VPN-like connection to Dockers and VMs running on any active device

    Remote screen and console access to devices and installed software

    Remote connection of CODESYS® engineering tool to devices

  • Role-Based Access Control to prevent unauthorized users from performing functions

    Server-side validation to protect against malicious user input

    State-of-the-art TLS 1.2 and certificate validation

Hardware

Nerve Blue runs on Intel Atom, Core i5 and Core i7 based hardware. Qualification of Nerve Devices is available on request or choose from a prequalified Nerve Device.

Getting Started

Nerve Blue Kit

The Nerve Blue Kit is a ready-to-use hardware and software package, designed to support the demonstration and evaluation of Nerve Blue features. The kit provides everything needed to start collecting, storing and analyzing data, and can be expanded to include your own machine infrastructure.

Nerve Blue Kit Flyer

Technical Specifications

Base System

Base System
Debian 10 (Linux Kernel 4.19.0)

Support for Atom, Core I5 and I7 based COTS hardware (qualifiable as Nerve Devices)

Hardware Support
TTTech MFN 100, Kontron A-250/A-150, Siemens Simatic IPC 127E/427E , Vecow SPS 5600
Hypervisor
Xen 4.11
OS Support
Linux and Windows (as virtual machine)
Soft PLC
CODESYS 3.5 (PROFINET Master/Slave, EtherCAT, Modbus TCP/IP), Cycle time down to 1ms

Hosted in a real-time virtual machine to ensure isolation

Workload Management
Local UI for Workload management

Resource management to ensure application performance

Extensible Architecture
Open for integration of 3rd party software firewalls (e.g. CISCO vASA)
Updates
Over-the-air updates, security patching and bug fixes for Base System
Communication Security
Encrypted Transport Layer Security (TLS 1.2) based communication

Firewall friendly – communication to the Management System uses port 443

Application Sandboxing
Applications are hosted as virtual machines and containers to maintain system separation
Network Segmentation
Configurable networking for separation of workload networks

Datapath

Database
Timescale Time-Series Database (optional InfluxDB)
Datapath
OPC UA with Authentication support

High speed data ingestion: 100,000 data points per second

Time stamp support in data-stream and at ingestion point

Input Protocols
MQTT / JSON, OPC UA Client/Server, OPC UA PubSub
Output Protocols
MQTT / JSON, OPC UA Client/Server, OPC UA PubSub, Timescale DB (SQL), InfluxDB
Data Visualization
Grafana locally on Nerve Device and remotely in Management System
Analytics
Python SDK and toolchain for analytics container creation

Analytics support built with Intel MKL and DAAL libraries.

Management System

Hosting
Hosted on Azure cloud or on-premises
Management System
Deployable as Linux Docker with browser-based GUI

View status of connected Nerve Devices, secure onboarding of new Nerve Devices

Supports low bandwidth and intermittent connections to Nerve Devices

Workload Management
Workload management (deployment and updates) remotely via Management System

Selective application deployment to mitigate user error

Workloads accessible from the external network

Support for local repositories (service PC or server)

Database
Timescale Time-Series Database
Data Visualization
Grafana via Datapath
Permission Management
Fine grained role-based access control to Management System

LDAP support, OAuth 2.0

Remote Access
Remote service access (VNC, RDP, Shell), remote port tunneling (e.g. for FTP)
Logging and Monitoring
Centralized logging support (Elasticsearch/Kibana)
Alarms
Alarms created through Grafana (RAM, CPU, temp. status & certificate expiry warning)