The Eclipse Arrowhead project consists of systems and services that are needed for anyone to design, implement and deploy Arrowhead-compliant System of Systems. The generic concept of the Arrowhead Framework is based on the concept of Service Oriented Architectures, and aims at enabling all of its users to work in a common and unified approach – leading towards high levels of interoperability.
The Arrowhead Framework is addressing IoT based automation and digitalisation. The approach taken is that the information exchange of elements in the Internet of Things is abstracted to services. This is to enable IoT interoperability in-between almost any IoT elements . The creation of automation is based on the idea of self-contained Local Clouds. Compared to the well-known concept of global clouds, in Arrowhead a local cloud can provide improvements and guarantees regarding:
- Real time data handling
- Data and system security
- Automation system engineering
- Scalability of automation systems
The Arrowhead Framework provides support for building system of systems (SoS) based on service-oriented architecture patterns. Each SoS consists of various Application systems already existing or under development. These Application systems then utilize the Core Systems developed as part of the Arrowhead project and their Services that provide support in addressing fundamental issues related to governance, operational management and security, for example:
- How does a service provider system make its possible consumers aware of its available service instance(s)?
- How can a service consumer find (discover) what service instance(s) it might be interested in and allowed to consume?
- How do we remotely control (i.e. orchestrate) which service instances a consumer shall consume?
- How does a service provider determine what consumer(s) to accept?
The smallest unit of governance within the Arrowhead Framework is hence related to a Local Cloud (LC), which in general is a closed, local industrial network. Each Local Cloud must at least host the mandatory core systems within its network: creating the minimal supported functionality needed to enable collaboration and information exchange between the various systems within the local cloud. The three mandatory systems for each Local Cloud are:
- Service Registry,
In addition to the mandatory core systems, a number of additional, supporting core systems and services are provided to enable the design, engineering, operation and maintenance of IoT-based automation system of systems. Such supporting core systems are:
- Gatekeeper and Gateway systems
- Event Handler system
- SystemRegistry system
- DeviceRegistry system
- Data Manager system
- Quality of Service (QoS) Manager and Monitor systems
- Translation system
- Plant Description system
- System Configuration system,
- ...and many more.
Inter-cloud information exchange is supported by Gatekeeper (control plane) and Gateway Systems (data plane) together with Arrowhead Relays, whereas security issues are covered through various measures, including AAA functions (Authentication, Authorization, Accounting), certificate handling or data encryption.