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What do we mean by “PI in the Cloud”?
I think when entering a discussion about “PI in the Cloud” some context needs to be set. There are many ways of interpreting what that means. For example, are we talking about PI Servers running in the cloud, or are we talking about being able to access PI data from a cloud service? They might seem to mean the same thing, but they are not. To some PI in the cloud is viewed as a set of computers located in a datacenter that are hosting PI servers. This is one scenario, but there are many, many more. I think it goes back to what problem is a PI user faced with and trying to solve. Is it data access, maybe it is being able to scale a large system, maybe it is to tie a distributed system together, or maybe it is to move hardware from on-premise into a data center.
Today, some of this is very possible, like improving data access and security. If someone wants to access data from the cloud via a mobile device, this is very do-able. I would think that one thing OSIsoft is looking at in the near term is extending its infrastructure to the cloud. This would mean that there would be some means for a PI system to be extended, not full deployed, to the cloud. I envision that this would start with a set of cloud services and security where data could be easily accessed from the cloud. As things progress, I could see PI collectives being deployed to the cloud and connecting to local interface nodes. Also archives could be spread across multiple servers and data centers. I think that being able to easily scale a PI system in the cloud will be a big deal for large enterprise users. We may be far off from that day, but I think that the way the PI System as a whole is becoming more and more based on a service oriented architecture we will progressively see parts of the system being abled to be moved. User and developers will have more options and capabilities than ever before. As I’m am interested in the mobile area, this is really exciting times and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens! What do you think? What features would you like to first see moved to the cloud?