cloud computing

Why organisations are increasingly turning to digital twin technology to bridge the gap between physical and virtual innovation

Digital Twins May Be 20 Years Old This Year, But Thanks To The Convergence Of New Technologies They Are More Relevant And More Powerful Than Ever

William Vargo – Managing Director
Defence Enterprise Solutions
QEC Captain’s Chair.

When Dr Michael Grieves first unveiled the concept of the digital twin in 2002, it was considered revolutionary. His idea was to create digital replicas of objects, processes and systems, enabling engineers to create, test and develop in a virtual environment rather than a physical one. Grieves’ argument was that putting a digital twin through its paces was not only faster and more cost effective than working on its real-world counterpart, it would also give engineers and developers new and exciting opportunities to innovate and unlock value.

It has taken science two long decades – and the advent of Industry 4.0 – to catch up with Dr Grieve’s brainchild. Now, however, we are finally realising the full benefits of this transformative technology across sectors as diverse as defence, manufacturing, aviation and urban planning.

Thanks to recent advances in areas such as IoT connectivity, computing power, data storage and systems interoperability, digital twin simulations are significantly more detailed and dynamic than ever before, enabling engineers to achieve results that were previously beyond their reach. In many ways comparing old and modern digital twins is like comparing blurry, black-and-white photographs with modern, full-colour, high-definition digital images. The difference really is that dramatic.

Modernising the world’s leading navies

For example, the Royal Navy is using digital twin technology to virtualise the computing environments aboard the latest state-of-the-art vessels in its surface fleet. Digital twins enable its engineers to put ships’ systems through their paces, spin up new scenarios at speed, create new capabilities and patch potential issues all within a virtual space. And the Royal Navy isn’t alone. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Department of Defense is creating digital twins of the US Navy’s four shipyards – including the iconic Pearl Harbour – as part of a $21 billion modernisation programme.

Meanwhile, in the manufacturing sector, leading companies are now using digital twins to virtualize entire production processes – equipping factories with thousands of sensors in order to measure and gather data in areas such as equipment performance, energy consumption and environmental conditions. This data is continuously fed into the digital twin simulation in real time, so that engineers and developers can optimise the way products are designed, made and improved.

Forward-thinking automakers such as Tesla are leading the digital twin revolution in the automotive sector. Tesla, for example, creates a digital twin of every car it manufactures. The firm then updates software based on individual vehicles’ sensor data, before uploading system updates to its products.

Driving unprecedented growth

This step change in capability across multiple sectors is predicted to drive unprecedented growth within the digital twin market, generating a compound annual revenue growth rate of 38%, according to the latest research, reaching a value of US$35.8 billion by 2025.

This increased adoption is boosting accessibility for large and small organizations alike. By the end of 2022, the IDC predicts that 40% of IoT platform suppliers will integrate simulation into their platforms, systems and capabilities, enabling users to create basic digital twins, with 70% of manufacturers using the technology to conduct process simulation and scenario evaluation.

Organizations looking to leverage digital twin technology must first overcome the following five major challenges if they are to optimise their return on investment:

  1. Issues related to data. Digital twins are effectively built from data, so overcoming challenges related to data trust/accuracy, privacy, cybersecurity, convergence and governance are key to success.
  2. The lack of standards. Implementation often suffers due to the absence of adequate frameworks and regulations for digital twins, especially in the manufacturing sector.
  3. Potentially high cap-ex investment. Without careful management, the cost of IoT sensors and connectivity can become prohibitive. The key is to capture the right data to achieve the desired outcomes.
  4. Connectivity-related obstacles. In large-scale projects, such as optimising smart neighbourhoods, ubiquitous high-speed connectivity such as 5G is a must. Edge computing capability may also be needed to filter data flows and reduce latency.

Choosing the right solution partner will not only help organisations address these five challenges, it will also fast-track digital twin adoption in other ways as well.

The right partner will know how to clearly define use cases and desired outcomes and they will also be able to advise on the most effective type of twin for each scenario. For example, a parts twin, (which can help analyse the characteristics of an individual part), a digital twin (which replicates a full product), or a systems digital twin, (which virtualises a range of products to understand how they operate on a system level). They will also know how to gather and deliver specific system requirements, such as generating large volumes of ‘what if’ scenarios.

For a deeper dive into digital twin technology read our case study, which reveals how Defence Enterprise Systems (DES) is collaborating with BAE Systems to cut software development times and costs for new vessels within the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

William Vargo – Managing Director

Read the Case Study

Register your details below to read our case study, which reveals how DES is collaborating with BAE Systems to cut software development times and costs for new vessels within the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

On Wednesday DES were in Portsmouth to watch HMS Queen Elizabeth leave Portsmouth for the first time since her global mission.

Captain Ian Feasey Royal Navy, Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: “We return to sea today as the United Kingdom’s Very High Readiness Strike Carrier for routine operational activity and training.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2022/march/09/220903-queen-elizabeth-departs-portsmouth-for-first-workout-since-global-mission
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HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth 09/03/2022
Details of HMS Queen Elizabeth

At 280 metres long, weighing 65,000 tonnes with a top speed of 25+knots, it is impossible to not be impressed by the size and power of the Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy. This awe-inspiring warship is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/surface-fleet/aircraft-carriers/hms-queen-elizabeth

Whilst boasting state of the art weapons systems, its prime function is to transport air power round the globe.

Able to carry up to 40 aircraft, F35 Jets can be moved from hangar to deck in under a minute.

As well as being a powerful deterrent and symbol of British influence, HMS Queen Elizabeth will replace HMS Ocean as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship. As the Fleet’s principal ship, she will carry senior naval staff, receive foreign dignitaries, and act as a command and control centre for the entire Royal Navy.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/surface-fleet/aircraft-carriers/hms-queen-elizabeth
An inside look into HMS Queen Elizabeth
What DES’ experience with HMS Queen Elizabeth means for you

DES have the ability to bring digital transformation, to any company no matter the industry and there are many benefits to come from this.

Through our bespoke engineering, this means that any piece of hardware no matter how large can be assisted virtually from a remote location.

We have many articles explaining our experiences and how we can benefit your company. Click below for a discussion about how we can help you.

DES to Display at MakeUK Defence Merging Tech Meet the Buyer

Having only become a member in 2022, we are excited to be part of a Meet the Buyer event for emerging technology.

Make UK Defence is a national not-for-profit, member of Make UK – the manufacturers’ organisation, one of the world’s largest manufacturing organisations

DES will be attending MakeUK Defence’s first meet the buyer event of 2022

With other participants including market leaders Airbus, Babcock, MBDA, Qinetic and Thales, we are looking forward to joining in and sharing what we have been working on.

With the topic of emerging tech being the focus of the event, our Digital Twin programme will be front and centre along with our Digital Infrastructure opportunities.

There is still plenty of time to get your own ticket, so come along and join us! Tickets are available here.

Working closely with MakeUK, not only do we want to showcase our emerging technology, but also our bespoke options and commitment to both the defence and manufacturing industries at home and abroad.

Get in touch below to find out how we can help out.

Russian Incursions Mean We should all check our cyber security

Following Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory we should all take this as an advanced warning to ensure our cyber security is secure.

The National Cyber Security Centre has advised organisations to enhance their cyber security offerings. This is because of a history of cyber attacks following such incursions as we are seeing in Ukraine at the moment. Whilst there has not been any evidence of this occurring yet, we should not sit back and wait until it does. Please read more about our cyber security offering through our partner Fortinet.

Research shows that 91% of cyber incidents that occur inside an organisation are caused by some form of human error such as inadvertently clicking a spearphishing email. Privileged access abuse is linked to an estimated 80% of data breaches. In a world where the odds are heavily tipped in favor of cyber adversaries, data security must take precedence. Whilst there are some who think that a firewall is enough to protect against threats, we must all be educated on cyber threats and how best to defend against them.

DES believe we should all look into our cyber security practices to ensure we are all cyber secure

Some of the things you can do to protect your business are;

Here are some of the things you can make sure you are doing to stay cyber-secure, Fortinet products will many of these immediately, however there are practices here we can make sure we are all doing.

  • Phishing emails are still prevalent, make sure staff have a process to report anything they see that could be critical. Do NOT open links from unknown sources and provide information, even if the email has come from a seemingly known source.
  • Ensure that there is an offline backup and that this is done recently so that it will be useful if you are hacked. This MUST be password protected to best protect against ransomware.
  • NEVER leave your devices open and unattended, even when in a seemingly safe space.
  • Be aware of shoulder surfing from people within your organisation.
  • Report all suspicious packages do not open them.
  • Keep passwords UNIQUE and NOT shared across other accounts. A leak of information from other accounts could compromise your internal systems.
  • Ensure firewalls are installed properly and have up to date rules running as had been set. Fortigate will make sure you are always protected.
  • When storing your devices make sure it is either turned off or in airplane mode.
  • STRONG passwords are also essential, make sure they are a different combination of random uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters that is difficult to guess, even for someone who knows personal details of your life.
  • Take care against JUICE JACKING, this is particularly common in remote working scenarios such as train stations, airports or conference areas. Do not log into unknown wifi, and be careful when using remote plugs, as malware can be installed directly to your device.
  • Ensure ALL devices and firmware of all employees are patched, with updates turned on to remain up to date against the latest threats.
  • TURN OFF bluetooth and automatic connections.
  • Encrypt ALL sensitive data and communication paths.
  • Internet facing services are a common target from cyber criminals and so these MUST be protected.
  • Ensure ALL accounts are reviewed with any old accounts removed, these are often left and can act as an easy way in for hackers.
  • Employ multi factor authentication. With mobile devices these are easy to set up and particularly easy to use.
  • Make sure your external internet facing data is correct and up to date, with all domain registration is held securely.

How Fortinet can Help

Fortinet is the trusted cyber-security partner of high-risk industries. 70% of FTSE 100 companies use Fortinet.

By employing a Fortinet system you have complete control of your cyber security.

A Fortigate connects perfectly with Fortinmanager and a variety of other Fortinet products to not only give you protection, but also lets you know what is happening. With AI involved Fortinet is learning how best to defend against you, and with its Sandbox technology, you are protected against even the most convincing looking attacks.

For more about Fortinet and how DES can assist your cyber-security needs get in touch today.

DES Visit Aircraft Carrier Fleet

This week some of DES visited Portsmouth and were able to see both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales docked next to HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’ flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar.

Whilst HMS Queen Elizabeth was having a re-fit of the flight deck having recently returned from operations, HMS Prince of Wales was boasting the new NATO livery, having recently been named the NATO Command Ship for the next 12 months.

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HMS Prince of Wales (left), HMS Queen Elizabeth (rear), HMS Victory (right) photographed at Portsmouth Naval Base 2022
Details of HMS Queen Elizabeth

At 280 metres long, weighing 65,000 tonnes with a top speed of 25+knots, it is impossible to not be impressed by the size and power of the Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy. This awe-inspiring warship is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/surface-fleet/aircraft-carriers/hms-queen-elizabeth

Whilst boasting state of the art weapons systems, its prime function is to transport air power round the globe.

Able to carry up to 40 aircraft, F35 Jets can be moved from hangar to deck in under a minute.

As well as being a powerful deterrent and symbol of British influence, HMS Queen Elizabeth will replace HMS Ocean as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship. As the Fleet’s principal ship, she will carry senior naval staff, receive foreign dignitaries, and act as a command and control centre for the entire Royal Navy.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/surface-fleet/aircraft-carriers/hms-queen-elizabeth
No alternative text description for this image
HMS Prince of Wales photographed next to HMS Victory
An inside look into HMS Queen Elizabeth
What DES’ experience with HMS Queen Elizabeth means for you

DES have the ability to bring digital transformation, to any company no matter the industry and there are many benefits to come from this.

Through our bespoke engineering, this means that any piece of hardware no matter how large can be assisted virtually from a remote location.

We have many articles explaining our experiences and how we can benefit your company. Click below for a discussion about how we can help you.

DES are Returning to BAPCO 2022

Join us at the Coventry Building Society Arena on the 8th-9th March for a return to BAPCO 2022.

After a successful trip last year, we are looking forward to speaking with those in the emergency services.

DES utilise our commitment to the highest standards of service, which is essential for the emergency services industry. Our bespoke high-end solutions and products have been tested in pressure environments in high risk companies, and we know that when lives are on the line DES’ solutions will not let you down.

BAPCO brings public safety technology users, experts & suppliers from across Europe all together, under one roof, all for free.

2021 saw a busy show as the sector reunited for the first time in 18 months, coming together once again to share insight, knowledge and ideas. 

https://www.bapco-show.co.uk/

If you are also coming to BAPCO let us know and it would be great to see you!

SD-WAN – What you need to know (Including Benefits)

What is a SD-WAN

A SD-WAN connect users to their devices, from any device from any location at any time, no matter where their apps are stored.

Whereas WAN was hosted in an enterprise data-centre, however through the growth of cloud services such as AWS, Google Cloud, DropBox, Salesforce and others it added time delay, reduced quality whilst also using lease line bandwidth availability which increases spend and reduces efficiency.

What is SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide-Area Network)? | Juniper Networks
The breakdown of a SD-WAN solution.

With the increased use of the aforementioned cloud based solutions it makes more sense to use the internet to access apps which are hosted there. This drove a more intelligent software defined solution. A SD-WAN does not route traffic on addresses but rather uses technology to divert traffic based on the business requirements for the specific applications. The control function has been centralised, this can then be used across multiple SD-WANs globally. There is no limit to this and as many SD-WANs can be combined for complete company wide security protection as well as more consistent, predictable application performance. Because this is done through software, the process of adding new devices, and updating procedures is quick and easy.

Benefits of SD-WAN

App Compatibility – on average 70% of apps are hosted on the cloud. Using a SD-WAN gives greater optimisation and security for the majority of your work.

Enhanced Agility – you can run traffic through multiple bandwidths for example 4G, MPLS, and Broadband. This means that the optimised service is always provided as multiple bands can be used at once and the best service can always be achieved.

Reduces IT Technician Requirements – if one of the bandwidths go down, traffic can be immediately re-routed through one of the others without performance being affected. Maintaining business standard and performance but also reducing the requirement for IT technicians to fix issues.

Increased Speed –  by using the internet for bandwidth this gives you better performance than traditional means.

Quicker Onboarding Process – leverage internet services new location can be brought online much quicker by utilising the remote sharing of information and not relying on physically being in the location.

Zero Touch Provisioning – this means that a new location can be automated through to be brough online without mistake rapidly, and through utilising broadband this process can occur in a few days instead of the traditional weeks.

Enhanced Security –  end to end segmentation breaks down bandwidth to fully assess traffic to ensure that you will not be put at risk. Security delivered in the cloud is easier to keep up to date and protect against the most current threats.

Lowers WAN Cost – when SD-WAN was first introduced the lower cost broadband, was the greatest asset. However, whilst this is still the case, many CISOs see greater benefits in the productivity and security offered by a SD-WAN, which combined with the opex costs being reduced by 40% brings a great amount of efficiency for their company.

Enables Digital Transformation – making the business cloud ready bringing many other benefits read our article on the Benefits of Digital Transformation here.

Why use a Fortinet for your SD-WAN

At DES we recommend using Fortinet for your SD-WAN requirements.

Within every Fortigate firewall is a SD-WAN, thus bringing all the aforementioned benefits of a SD-WAN with the security of a Fortinet product.

Fortinet are the trusted partner to high risk industries, with 70% of the FTSE 100 companies trusting their cyber security with the Fortinet suite.

Simplified WAN architecture bringing the WAN within the Fortigate firewall and linking with other Fortinet products such as Fortimanager this reduces footprint and power usage. By having these centrally orchestrated this simplifies the WAN management and enforces a regular quality of service and security across all devices. Reduce risk and expense.

Fortigate Next Generation Firewall

The Fortigate Next Generation Firewall provides high-performance, consolidated security for end-to-end protection across the entire network. Through awareness of applications, users, and content within network traffic, FortiGate NGFWs offer comprehensive protection against known and unknown threats for example ransomware, malicious botnets, zero-day, and encrypted malware. They offer scalable throughput of advanced security services, flexible network interfaces, and top performance delivered by Fortinet’s powerful security processors. The market-leading FortiOS operating system ensures superior price per performance and security efficacy. 

Fortinet Security Fabric
DES provides Fortigate Firewalls

With wired and wireless network support, single-pane-of-glass management, and end-to-end visibility, FortiGate firewalls also helps minimise deployment complexity and save IT resources.

Included FortiGuard services offer full-featured network firewall, application control, intrusion prevention, sandboxing, anti-malware, and web filtering.  FortiGate firewalls are optimized for the enterprise edge, cloud, and data center, as well as distributed and remote locations. FortiGate NGFWs can also be deployed in internal network segments to increase threat visibility and enhance breach discovery and mitigation to stop the uncontrolled spread of threats within the network.

Benefits Of using Juniper

Juniper is a global leader in the global switch market. They offer automated products which helps reduce errors and therefore reduce costs. Juniper has a very simplified user experience allowing the full capabilities to be used to their fullest extent.

The programme allows feedback at any point of programming journey and allows modified software on isolated parts without effecting the entire system.

Defence Enterprise Solutions are very proud to have Juniper as part of our partnerships with their market leading products.

Security – coming with over two decades of experience in the defence industry, security is a top priority. All Juniper products give you the highest quality of security, which is essential no matter the industry.

Affordability – better pricing structure allowing offerings for all budgets and requirements, offering a greater flexibility to their competitors.

Efficiency – by requiring less technicians, Juniper products allow growth without the need to grow the support functions.

Quality – more and more companies are moving to Juniper for their products, they last longer and are a better fit for them.

Automation – by allowing pre-set procedures to occur automatically, thus removing human error, your security will not be compromised and your efficiency continued.

Future Proof – a term that is key for any digital transformation is that it will not be out of date immediately. Juniper are constantly updating and improving their suite, using their products means your digital infrastructure is a good investment for multiple years.

Benefits Of using VMware

You can run any app on any cloud on any device with a digital foundation built on VMware solutions for modern apps, multi-cloud, digital workspace. The flexibility that VMware can give you and your company are vast, far more than can be written into a brief article, which is why with our in house Vexperts with close to 20 books on VMware, DES unstand VMware better than most.

Defence Enterprise Solutions have in house vExperts who have written multiple books on VMware. We are proud to partner with VMware and offer their products.

VMware provides virtualisation of almost all elements of computing at an enterprise level. Many of the benefits of VMware will contribute to the Benefits of Digital Transformations, an essential process for successful businesses in the 21st Century.

Cost Saving – Introducing VMware assists in reducing costs, moving away from hardware and creating a flexible working environment.

Boosts Efficiency – by being able to run multiple virtual machines, businesses can utilise workloads better, saving IT costs and digital working space. The VMware spread the workload efficiently, leading to optimal performance at all times.

Risk Free Testing – Vmware allows you to try out and install operating systems without endangering your productivity. This reduces risk and so is a major tool in any R&D department.

Running of Any App – Virtual machines allow you to download and run any operating software / system that you want.

Security – with more localised virtual machines this allows you to manage security locally and can be removed easily.

Interconnectivity – Vmware is ideal to work in partnership with multiple other products, from running a digital twin through, or working partnership with Juniper or Fortinet products, all combine seamlessly for optimal performance and security.

A very useful video from IBM explaining further about VMware. Contact us for a more in depth discussion as to how DES can assist you with your VMware needs. https://www.vmware.com/uk.html

DES join Tim Berners-Lee at Cloud Expo Europe

DES will be attending Cloud Expo Europe https://www.cloudexpoeurope.com/welcome

March begins for DES with another trip to London, this time to visit Cloud Expo Europe at the Excel Centre in London.

DES’s values and business model work well with CloudExpo Europe’s themes of Sustainable Cloud, Emerging Tech, Digital Acceleration. As well as the overall Cloud Expo there are separate areas within the show for DevOps, Cyber Security, Big Data & AI as well as Data Centre World. Particularly within the Defence Industry DES has many years of high end experience in these areas and we are very excited to share these with our friends and clients next week at the Excel Centre.

With key speaker Tim Berners-Lee making an appearance, we are looking forward to hearing more from the man who gave us something we could not imagine to live without.

We are particularly excited to bring our Digital Twin and bespoke digital infrastructure to a wider audience beyond our defence / maritime industry experience. If you are coming along let us know and we look forward to meeting you there!

Get in touch below to find out how we can help out.