OptoBlog

Introducing OptoU - free online training

Posted by Janice Colmer on Jul 20, 2018 8:30:00 AM

Looking to learn more about IIoT technologies, control systems, and how they work together? It’s time to check out OptoU!

This free online training program provides convenient, on-demand training courses to fit in with your busy schedule. With its “watch and learn” premise, course topics are made up of video and written lessons. The secure sign-in feature lets you return to unfinished lessons and learn at your own pace.

Read More

Topics: EPIC, Ignition Edge, MQTT, Node-RED, Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, Security, Training, I/O, Networking, PACs

Request-response vs. publish-subscribe, part 2: Which to use?

Posted by Jean Femia on Feb 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM

In part 1 we met two communication models for computers on a network: request-response and publish-subscribe. Now let's take a look at when you might want to use each, and why.

Request-response: proven and reliable

In a request-response architecture, each client opens a direct connection to each server, because the client requests data directly from the server.

In automation, typically clients are PCs and servers are PLCs or PACs. So each PC opens a direct connection to each PLC or PAC from which it needs data. 

Read More

Topics: EPIC, MQTT, Ignition Edge, Data acquisition, Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, Networking, Integrators, OEM, Machine builder, IoT, Remote monitoring, Internet of Things, groov

Request-response vs. publish-subscribe, part 1: What's the diff?

Posted by Jean Femia on Feb 8, 2018 11:17:12 AM

We all know that computers and other electronic devices—printers, routers, laptops, smartphones, and more—are networked so they can exchange information.

But how does that information get where it’s supposed to go?

How does a spreadsheet get to the printer, a YouTube video get to your smartphone, or—most important for automation engineers—a value from a sensor get to your HMI?

Read More

Topics: MQTT, IIoT, IoT, Industrial Internet of Things, Internet of Things, groov, Data acquisition, Networking

OptoNews Tip: Two Ethernet interfaces - different on PACs & brains

Posted by Jean Femia on Apr 12, 2017 5:12:50 PM

Opto 22 SNAP PAC controllers and brains both have two Ethernet network interfaces—pretty handy. But do you use them the same way? That's the question we'll answer in this tech tip.

Most devices used on an Ethernet network have one network interface with an RJ-45 connector. But SNAP PAC controllers and EB brains each have two interfaces—two RJ-45 connectors.

However, the two interfaces on controllers and brains are designed for different uses.

Read More

Topics: optonews, OptoNews 2017-04-12, PACs, Networking, Tips

OptoNews Tip: Basic tool for troubleshooting PACs and more

Posted by Jean Femia on Mar 29, 2017 3:53:34 PM

One Ethernet network troubleshooting tool our Product Support Group recommends is Wireshark. It's been a helpful choice for many years, and it's free.

Our recent blog post explains where to get Wireshark and how to use it. You can pay a lot for network analysis tools—and in some cases you may need them—but many times, the free ones do the job. 

Read More

Topics: Networking, optonews, OptoNews 2017-03-29, Tips

Social Engineering: Your automation network's largest security vulnerability

Posted by Matt Newton on Mar 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM


When most people think about cyber security, they probably conjure up thoughts of someone locked away in a dark room, wearing the same grey hoodie for months. Staring at a screen for days at a time looking for just the right network packet to tell them where and how to attack. But that's not always how hacking is done.

Read More

Topics: Security, Process control, PACs, Networking

OptoNews Tip: Essential network cables & adapters

Posted by Jean Femia on Mar 15, 2017 4:31:37 PM

When you're working on your network, what's in your toolkit? 

For automation networks or IT computer networks, a few essential cables and adapters should be in your kit.

That way you've got them handy, whether you're troubleshooting network problems or just keeping your equipment and line up and running.

Read More

Topics: optonews, OptoNews 2017-03-15, Networking, Integrators, Tips

Debugging your industrial network with Wireshark

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Note that the information below applies not only to PCs, PACs, and PLCs, but to pretty much any industry-standard compliant network device.

There are a ton of great network analysis tools out there today that you can pay huge sums of money for. But a go-to industry standard, and my tool of choice for everyday network troubleshooting, is a free piece of software called Wireshark.

Read More

Topics: Networking, IoT, IIoT, PLCs, PACs

The rise of the IoT middleware platform

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In a recent developer survey conducted by the Eclipse IoT Working Group, IEEE IoT, and Agile IoT, 40.8% of respondents indicated the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions they were either currently building or planning to build were IoT platforms or IoT middleware.

Almost every large IT or OT company today has some form of IoT platform or middleware, with the current number of self-described IoT platforms exceeding 150.

Read More

Topics: IoT, IIoT, Tips, groov, Networking, Node-RED, Data acquisition, Remote monitoring

Basic Industrial Ethernet Network Troubleshooting

Posted by Matt Newton on Feb 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Ethernet networks have taken over as the prominent bus architecture for industrial automation networks. And for good reason.

Ethernet simplifies and homogenizes connectivity between industrial devices. We don’t have to worry about male or female DB9 and DB25 serial connectors, no concern for DTE or DCE devices, and forget about straight-through vs. null-modem cables. In general, the world is a much happier place.

However, even with the added simplicity Ethernet offers, troubleshooting Ethernet networks can be a bit more involved than serial networks.

Let’s assume you’re trying to establish communication with an industrial Ethernet device that for whatever reason has dropped off the network. Here are a few tips I always use when starting to troubleshoot an industrial Ethernet network.

Read More

Topics: Networking, I/O

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all