Applications in The Cloud
NEXGEN uses The Cloud to make smart metering more secure, more reliable, more convenient, and more cost-effective.
What is the Cloud?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing power as a service rather than a product. You get the benefits of computer resources without the capital investment or the maintenance that comes from owning them. The Cloud is a lot like the electric grid, but instead of delivering electrical power, The Cloud delivers computing power.
The Cloud is enabled by many technological advances, the biggest of which is the Internet. The Internet enables data to reliably and almost instantaneously be sent anywhere in the world, so you don’t need your computer server — or your data – near you. Being Internet-based, your meter data can be delivered to you through a web browser on any computer with Internet access. You can either receive pure data for you to further process, or access data through a web-based application with a graphical user interface.
It’s called the Cloud because the actual computers can be located anywhere. Software applications might be run on several computers at the same time located in different locations. Increasingly the Cloud means big, secure data centers located in cool climates near inexpensive sources of power — all things that save money.
Why the Cloud for AMI?
First, you save money. There is no up front capital cost. With Cloud computing you pay only for the resources you use. You don’t need to engineer for the highest possible load-levels because the Cloud is dynamic. It adds or removes resources as needed. Utilization and efficiency are increased, so you pay a lower cost for what you use. Centralization of infrastructure into data centers means lower costs (such as real estate, overhead, etc.). The Cloud also boosts reliability, because multiple redundant sites are used. Security is also enhanced due to centralization of data and increased security-focused resources. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
How NEXGEN Cloud Works For You
Glen Canyon’s NEXGEN Cloud software resides in the Cloud. It performs several functions: First it is the head end collector of meter data from NEXGEN gateways. Second, it is a meter data manager, organizing the collected data in a database for later retrieval. Finally, it is the source of a suite of applications such as power outage, remote disconnect, pre-pay — all of which are accessible by the utility through standard web browsers.
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