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September 19, 2012

Cisco News - Elster and Cisco 'Couple Up' to Offer an AMI Communications Solution

By Cheryl Kaften, TMCnet Contributor

They come from good stock and they both have been in high demand, so it should be no surprise that Cisco (News - Alert) and Elster have formed a relationship though which they will integrate the former’s communications platform into the latter’s advanced meters.

This week, Silicon Valley-based Cisco Systems (News - Alert) and Research Triangle-based Elster Solutions announced that they will team up to offer smart grid solutions for field area networks using Cisco's technology. The solutions will integrate the Cisco Connected Grid Endpoint IPv6 RF Mesh reference design with Elster's EnergyAxis System to provide utility ratepayers with a flexible, secure, and economical advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) communications scheme.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Cisco has developed a complete suite of communications solutions for the smart grid. These include the Connected Grid Endpoint reference design, as well as a full suite of switching, routing, network management and security products for field area networks, substations and grid operations.

In addition to providing a comprehensive suite of AMI capabilities, Elster's EnergyAxis architecture enables smart meters to act as sensors for distribution automation and asset management applications including outage notification, voltage monitoring, asset monitoring and loss detection. 

These advanced solutions enable utilities to extract even more value from their AMI investments. Elster is licensing the Cisco Connected Grid Endpoint reference design and software development kit (SDK).The addition of the Connected Grid Endpoint reference design further expands the EnergyAxis System interoperability and standards-based optimization.

With its innovative Software-Defined Radio and advanced software-based metrology, Elster's REXUniversal meter platform offers utilities the flexibility to deploy this device with the Cisco GridBlocks Solution Architecture, the Landis+Gyr GridStream architecture (previously announced), as well as the Elster EnergyAxis Architecture.

Elster intends to develop EnergyAxis communications firmware that will operate within Cisco's 1000 Series Connected Grid Routers, and leverage application programming interfaces from the Cisco Connected Grid Network Management System.

"Cisco is committed to supporting our customers' need for interoperable vendor solutions," said Lionel Chocron, vice president, Connected Energy Networks at Cisco. "By licensing the reference design to industry leaders such as Elster, we are enabling utilities to combine AMI communications over a common, reliable and secure communications infrastructure."

"As a smart grid solutions industry leader, Elster is committed to true interoperability and innovation," said Ed Myszka, president of Elster Solutions. "This announcement builds on Elster's track record of collaboration and integration to deliver the next generation of interoperability needed by utilities as they deploy smart grid solutions."

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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