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August 6, 2015

Bit Stew, Energy Advisor Partner on Industrial IoT

Consulting firm Blackstone Technology Group, which focuses heavily on the energy sector, is partnering with “software-defined operations” specialist Bit Stew Systems in a bid to extend big data capabilities into global energy and other industrial markets.

The partners said their collaboration would help promote adoption of Bit Stew’s analytics platform and other big data applications into the utility along with the oil and gas sectors. That in turn would provide a boost to data analytics targeting the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), the partners said.

The industrial sector is said to be ripe for new big data solutions as traditional approaches like Apache Hadoop and Storm fall short of meeting the requirements for handling vast amounts of industrial sensors data generated, for example, by thousands of miles of U.S. pipelines.

Bit Stew’s Mix Core platform geared for industrial IoT applications is designed to automate “data ingestion” and then applies machine intelligence to automate data management and discern patterns in industrial data.

The industrial analytics platform along with Bit Stew’s Mix Director application are designed to help industrial customers extract value from large networks of connected devices, stated Mike Allman, president and chief operating officer of Bit Stew Systems.

The Mix Director application, formerly Grid Director, runs on the Mix Core platform. It is designed to provide industrial customers with contextual and real-time view of their operations, assets and customers.

Under the partnership agreement, Blackstone said its energy unit would become a certified partner of Bit Stew as each looks to expand into the utility and oil and gas markets.

The partners said their collaboration would add value to the industrial IoT by delivering operational and financial benefits. Blackstone Energy said it plans to leverage Bit Stew’s big data platform to reduce the complexity of big data generated by its utility and energy clients. Among the tools to be used are predictive analytics, pattern recognition and dynamic event management, the partners said. A unified view of operations, assets and network systems are intended to help Blackstone’s clients monitor systems and manage risks while identifying efficiencies and boosting big data-driven automation.

Among Blackstone Energy’s current utility, oil and gas clients are BP, Chevron, Detroit-based DTE Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric and Tokyo Gas.

The big data partnership reflects the unrelenting growth of data being generated by electric and gas utilities, data volumes that are overwhelming existing IT infrastructure as more sensors are connected via smart grids and along natural gas pipelines, for example.

Bit Stew estimates there are more than 305,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in the U.S. today and every 30,000 miles of pipeline generate an estimated 17 terabytes of data per day.

“The scale and complexity of data generated in industrial sectors is simply unprecedented in other sectors – and industrial organizations are struggling to make sense of it all,” Bit Stew noted in a recent blog post.

Moreover, “traditional data warehousing models and open-source alternatives like Apache Hadoop and Storm have been touted as solutions to these types of “Big Data” challenges. However, utilities have found that these approaches cannot handle the scale and complexity of data generated in industrial environments.”

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