In this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, we sit down with the co-creator of MQTT and President of Cirrus Link Solutions, Arlen Nipper, to talk about MQTT and its role in the industrial sector.
To kick off the episode, Arlen shared his own background and the road that led him to MQTT and Cirrus. Arlen has more than 42 years’ experience in the embedded computer/industrial communications market sector. He started as a SCADA/Automation engineer for Koch Industries and moved on to found Arcom Control Systems, where they saw a huge demand to convert legacy device protocols to industrial standards like Modbus. When AT&T introduced the first VSAT server that leveraged TCP/IP, his team saw an opportunity to better make use of the infrastructure and MQTT was born.
Arlen also spoke to why MQTT so popular, citing its flexibility as they never specified any rigid topic namespace or payload representation. Though, because that made interoperability difficult in the industrial space, Arlen’s team went on to write Sparkplug, an open specification that defines a well known MQTT Topic Namespace and Payload representation for the industrial automation market.
Moving on to talk about MQTT in the real world, Arlen shared some of his observations on the adoption of MQTT in the industrial sector in comparison to other industries and verticals. He also shared his thoughts on how IoT has driven industrial companies to reconsider their automation infrastructure and the role that MQTT plays in that evolution.
Arlen also shared some of the real-world use cases where MQTT really shines and how Cirrus Link Solutions typically engages with customers in the IoT and IIoT spaces.
To close out the episode, Arlen hinted at what we should look for in the near future for MQTT and Sparkplug, and how the current COVID-19 pandemic has affected Cirrus and their technology.
Interested in connecting with Arlen? Reach out to him on Linkedin!
About Cirrus Link Solutions: Cirrus Link focuses on MQTT technology for OT (Operations Technology). Cirrus Link is a strategic partner with Inductive Automation who provides the Ignition Industrial Application Platform that a lot of MQTT modules plug into.
This episode of the IoT For All Podcast is brought to you by Hologram.
Check them out at hologram.io
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(01:52) Intro to Arlen
(06:01) What is MQTT?
(07:36) Intro to Cirrus Link Solutions
(10:22) How has the adoption of MQTT differed between “regular” IoT solutions and industrial solutions?
(20:17) What role does MQTT play in digital transformation efforts?
(23:39) How is IoT driving the industrial sector to think about automation infrastructure differently than they had before?
(26:34) What does a typical customer engagement work for Cirrus?
(28:12) Where are you seeing the biggest challenges in MQTT adoption?
(30:35) Are there any specific use cases where MQTT really shines?
(33:56) What should we be looking for, in the future of MQTT?
(36:04) Has COVID-19 affected anything for Cirrus or MQTT?