By Omar Rafik, SolarWinds Senior Manager, Federal Sales Engineering

 

Here’s an interesting blog that discusses digital twins, and emerging technology with network impacts; I think it’s something federal IT folks should keep an eye on.

 

Digital twin technology is the ability to create a digital representation of a physical object, which—thanks to a series of sensors—can be used to monitor the object’s health, movements, location, and more. Take, for example, a military vehicle equipped with numerous sensors. Data collected by these sensors creates a digital representation, or digital twin. The digital twin then provides a real-time understanding of the vehicle’s status, such as location, engine performance, temperature, or even tire pressure.

 

Digital twins may sound like the stuff of science fiction. Yet, digital twin technology is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018, according to research firm Gartner, Inc. Gartner recently announced “48% of organizations that are implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) said they are already using, or plan to use, digital twins in 2018.” Gartner’s survey also indicated that “the number of participating organizations using digital twins will triple by 2022.”*

 

Data Analytics and Monitoring

 

Data analytics is the “brains” behind digital twin technology.

 

As with the military vehicle, collecting and analyzing data fed by the vehicle’s sensors allow the federal IT team to understand a broad array of real-time information about the vehicle.

 

Collecting this information over time allows the team to gain a historical perspective. Historical analytics can then be used to uncover potential warning signs and predict failures before they occur. Data can also be used to diagnose a problem and even, in some cases, solve the issue remotely. With this knowledge, the digital twin can continuously model and adapt its prediction of future performance.

 

As you might imagine, having the right data analysis tools will determine the level of information you can derive through a digital twin. Luckily, many of the tools agencies already have on hand can be used to analyze this information.

 

Assess the tools you have in place. They need to be able to compare different data types, as well as visualize performance metrics on a correlated timeline to create data patterns. These two capabilities are the basic starting point for digital twin data analytics.

 

Monitoring

 

Monitoring tools for federal agencies can be used to optimize the object’s performance, and even predict future performance. Monitoring can also help optimize system performance, improve capacity planning, and indicate where connected devices can affect networks.

 

Be sure you have a range of monitoring tools, including network monitoring, server and application monitoring, storage monitoring, and more. Ideally, all these monitoring tools will work in conjunction with one another so the federal IT pro has a single view of the entire infrastructure.

 

Conclusion

 

Signs point to digital twin technology coming on fast and becoming a staple for many agencies within the next three to five years. This is great news, based on the advantages it can provide. Take the above advice on data analytics and monitoring, and you might just find yourself in a prime position to create an ideal infrastructure for digital twin technology.

 

Find the full article on our partner DLT’s blog Technically Speaking.

 

*Gartner Press Release, Gartner Survey Reveals Nearly Half of Organizations Implementing IoT Are Using or Plan to Use Digital Twin Initiatives in 2018, March 2018, https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-03-13-gartner-survey-reveals-nearly-half-of-organizations-implementing-iot-are-using-or-plan-to-use-digital-twin-initiatives-in-2018

 

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