Nerve Overview

Nerve documentation

Build your System your Way

Nerve is an open edge computing platform that promotes vendor independence and flexibility. Nerve modules enable you to tailor an edge computing solution that best suits your needs. As the solution scales, or the application changes, Nerve modules can be combined to add more functionality.

Nerve runs on off-the-shelf hardware, scaling from gateways to IPCs. Its open architecture allows you to deploy your own software, or applications developed by third parties. Software is managed through an intuitive user interface available at the edge or in the cloud. With Nerve, you can reduce system complexity and cost, improve machine performance, and offer new services to customers.

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Nerve Modules

Nerve consists of node 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. Independent of which module you license, Nerve offers you a secure foundation for managing software, data and devices at the edge. Learn more about how Nerve keeps your system secure.

  • The Remote Services module offers a range of features that enable you to remotely connect to machines in the field. Features include remote screen viewing, remote tunneling and remote shell access to any edge devices running Nerve and to software workloads hosted on Nerve. Remote Services even offers the ability to connect to other devices (using a Nerve node as a jump host), and to program PLC applications remotely. Remote access can be configured when setting up workloads in the Management System or locally at the node.

  • The Data Services module provides a collection of features that support you with data connectivity, data storage and visualization. The module includes the right to host one Docker container per node which enables you to build analytic applications that run on the machine. A graphically configurable multi-protocol data gateway collects data from IOs and PLCs and forwards the information to analytic applications running on the node and to the cloud. An integrated database enables data to be stored on Nerve at the edge and in the central Management System. Data Services integrates Grafana for visualization of data gathered from the databases locally or in the cloud.

  • The Edge Hosting module allows you to run multiple software workloads side-by-side at the edge and manage them remotely from the cloud. Workloads can be deployed from the integrated software repository in the form of lightweight Docker containers or full Virtual Machines. The repository holds all workload images and configurations that are available to deploy to nodes. Here, users can define settings and parameters for each workload. The Edge Hosting module also provides a centralized logging infrastructure which enables users to record all system events, node events and application messages.

  • The Soft PLC module can be used to access fieldbus-level sensors and actuators. Users can collect data and pre-process in IEC 61131-3 languages or run control applications for machines. The integrated CODESYS Soft PLC acts as an EtherCAT master and PROFINET master/device for ingesting high-speed data at cycle times down to 1 ms. Nerve supports CODESYS 61131-3 applications as workloads which can be managed at the edge or remotely. Control applications can be programmed and tested using the CODESYS IDE on a Nerve node. Locally created workloads can then be distributed to other devices from the Management System.

Nerve Architecture

Nerve provides an interface between machine infrastructure and cloud services. The platform consists of node software that runs on devices at the edge, as well as a management system that runs in the cloud or on a local server.  Nerve modules run in combination on nodes and in the Management System.

Nerve Security

Nerve includes a wealth of features to ensure that the system always operates securely and keeps production data secure.

  • Nerve software development processes are compliant with IEC 62443 (security requirements for industrial automation and control systems). Certification is envisioned for 2022. Nerve is regularly penetration tested by a third-party security consultancy.

  • Our Software-as-a-Service offering is hosted on Microsoft Azure in Frankfurt, Germany, compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). With Nerve, offline operation is fully supported, thus data can be kept fully on premises.

  • All connections to the Management System are secure using TLS 1.2.

  • Nerve provides central update mechanisms for applications and firmware to ensure your devices are always updated with the latest security patches. Centralized logging helps to detect threats.

  • Access to all services requires login and all passwords stored on Nerve are encrypted. Nerve’s Role-Based Access Control ensures that users can only perform functions and use services they are authorized to access. User management can be integrated in your IT systems using active directory.

  • An additional level of security is provided by the inherent isolation of user applications using VMs and Docker containers. Resource reservation prevents denial of service on the application level. The communication between workloads can be controlled via a set of pre-defined networks.

Getting Started

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Nerve Kit

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

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