We shall place CPS devices on the moon and return the data safely by the end of the decade.

(With apologies to John Kennedy). With the image on the left I am not comparing CPS or the data produced by CPS devices to the devastation that is a flood. I am simply equating the data to the end result of a flood where land normally dry has water sitting on it. More data than the system can handle.

So the first thing is a clear standard for what a CPS device really is. NIST published a recent draft framework that is pretty good. The EU also has a framework (focused on IoT, CPS is a NIST term).. The concept leads to three things:

  • How devices communicate.
  • How devices are secured.
  • What happens to the data produced by a device.

In my professional assessment there are two more considerations, the power consumed and the bandwidth available for CPS devices.

I prefer to break bandwidth into two distinct buckets when I consider CPS’s impact on Bandwidth. That comes from the long years I’ve spent chasing connectivity.

  • Bandwidth from the CPS device to the recording or storing system.
  • Bandwidth from the reporting system to the receiving device.

Basically we have system. The inputs are the CPS devices that are sprinkled around the world. That sprinkle (10 billion devices in 2015) will become a dollop very soon (46 billion devices by 2020). The business rules are how we secure the data, how we secure the devices, how we modify or present the data collected and how we manage where that data is. The outputs can be your cellular device, a web page or reporting page or other more formalized applications (Mainframe or Client Server based).

Systems can operate in a loop. I talk to the same device every day with the same device. The device sends information. The receiving device confirms and waits for the next time the first device sends the information again. A loop. The loop can be closed by physical or cyber security, or simply by a direct connection between the device and the receiving system.

The system can also be broadcast. The device sends information to a large number of receivers. Weather data and stock data fit this model, broadcast from a device to millions of other devices.

The limit becomes the bandwidth of the device. So you tailor information for devices. The same is true going forward for Smart Devices in the CPS world. That device needs to know how much bandwidth is available for the information it has. There are CPS sensors that really don’t to fail in terms of information provision. Volcano eruptions, earthquakes, Tidal waves, radiation leaks well you get the idea we really want those sensors to work real time.

So we build business rules in between the inputs and the outputs to manage the presentation of data. What device is this going to. What is the screen size of the derive or where am I presenting the data. What is the available bandwidth. I got back to my tongue in cheek example. The open personhole cover warning system. Data relevant to public safety has to be able to stomp all over any other data. IE even if you are on the phone with grandma you have to give a little bandwidth for high priority information (the personhole cover 2 feet in front of you IS OPEN!).

Personally I think the cool reality that is possible and that I have talked about before is the creation of CPS brokers. A cloud broker solution that allows a group of companies to come together in a community broker. Where the aggrade services offered by the broker isn’t just cloud service providers. Its common CPS devices and common services beyond that (I called it the copyrighted term Broker Marketplace).

Oh what a brave new world…

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