Cisco teams up with Schneider Electric on smart building management

Schneider Electric and Cisco join forces on connecting building management systems to Internet Protocol (IP) networks. (Pixabay)

Schneider Electric and Cisco have joined forces on connecting building management systems to Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The two companies said they have developed, tested and validated designs to bridge operational technology and IT building management systems for smart buildings.

With the advent of IoT, smart buildings are increasingly digitized for greater efficiency. The solution from Schneider Electric and Cisco enables multiple Schneider Electric EcoStruxure Building IP architecture topologies to integrate with existing building layouts using Cisco industrial Ethernet switches to connect to Schneider's SmartX IP Controllers. 

The combined solution meets system availability requirements upon deployment, saving customers time and resources, according to Schneider and Cisco. It also can enforce consistent identity-based security polices on network infrastructure, and segment, identify and mediate cyberattacks as they occur.

The solution uses high-speed IP networks to manage real-time system operations, and it can scale from small to large deployments while managing the data that is collected from the IoT sensors.

It also enables technicians without a lot of IP experience to commission Ethernet fieldbuss switches prior to installation with plug and play, zero-touch configuration tools.

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Large college campuses are among the organizations that are starting to implement IP-enabled building management systems for better performance and improved security. Cisco and Schneider cited a deployment at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana as one example.

"Cisco is excited to partner with Schneider Electric, delivering comprehensive IP-enabled Building Management System solutions to enable the seamless migration of the University of Notre Dame's infrastructure to a converged architecture," said Mike Austin, senior director, Cisco Global Partner Organization, in a statement. "By combining Cisco's IT innovation with Schneider Electric's OT innovation, we are uniquely positioned to deploy this solution in a highly scalable and secure manner."