Rockwell Automation brings OT, IT world together through Red Hat’s Ansible

As the adoption of automation, Internet of Things, cloud computing and edge technologies continues to explode across the enterprise, the conversations and tensions between operational technology and information technology systems increasingly begin to arise.

“Even the connectivity to this OT room makes people in this world uncomfortable because there are obviously moving parts… damage to the equipment,” said David Rapini (pictured), business manager of PlantPAx process automation at Rockwell Automation Inc. ” So we’re working in this space to really make those connections a lot more open…there’s a lot more we can do in this space.”

Rapini spoke with theCUBE industry analysts John Furrier and Lisa Martin at the AnsibleFest event during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s live streaming studio. The discussion covered how Rockwell Automation is addressing the issues between OT and IT. (*Disclosure below.)

What Rockwell Automation is doing to merge the worlds of IT and OT

With approximately 22,000 employees and sales of 7 billion, Rockwell Automation is one of the largest global automation suppliers of equipment focused exclusively on automation. The company makes controllers for the automation industry – industrialized software, power drives, robotics content and applications. They cover a wide range of industries – and the challenges with OT versus IT have grown.

“Once you start deployment [servers] and actually connecting it to the rest of the infrastructure … it’s about 700 clicks of a mouse for someone to know what they’re doing to power it up the rest of the way and connect it,” Rapini said. “These OT people don’t usually have those skills.”

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According to Rapini, Rockwell Automation’s goal is to become a facilitator for the IT and OT worlds to come together and work better together to understand each other’s needs, goals and objectives. And Rockwell Automation is implementing Red Hat Inc.’s Ansible Automation Platform, which will enable users across the enterprise to create, share, and manage automations to provide a consistent user experience for all stakeholders.

“Our first goals are … primarily our servers. So having that capability and that connection to get there gives us some power with Ansible,” Rapini said. “That makes [servers] really consistent and assembled so every application looks and feels the same, and [OT and others] know what they’re going to get when their servers come up. So that’s a big one.”

Here’s the full video interview, part of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the AnsibleFest event:

(*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the AnsibleFest event. Neither Red Hat Inc., the primary event coverage sponsor of theCUBE, nor any other sponsors have editorial control over the content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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