Two weeks ago, I wrote about increasing collaboration between traditional “regulated utilities” to tackle the requirements for the Smart Grid. I pointed out that current Telecom capabilities (i.e., automated billing, time of Day pricing and deep performance monitoring) were good starting points.

Today, Jeff Taft of Cisco posted about Smart Grid Data (and how to make it safer).  In the post he pointed out 5 areas of concern (direct citation):

1.         Advanced metering data

2.         Waveform oscillography (e.g. samples of current and voltage waveforms)

3.         Telemetry (e.g. SCADA data)

4.         Asynchronous event messages (the real-time data I warned about earlier, e.g. smart device event alarms and alerts, plus command and control instructions)

5.         Grid metadata (data about the data that provides context, such as network models and topology that show what is connected to what in what order)

He also went into detail on metadata which I found very insightful as to the issues facing Smart Grid adoption.

I quickly found parallels between these data classes and what is being accomplished today in the Telecom networks. Let me be quick to point out that I am seeing similarities that could be leveraged to address the issues in a collaborative environment; not a direct replacement or usage strategy for the telecom capabilities.

From my point of view:

Smart Grid Data Performance Monitoring Network Management
Advanced Metering data Deep Packet Inspection (data), Minutes of use statistics (Mobile), Line testing and Home alarm data transmission (landline) Automatic Policy based decisions on data traffic, call handoff in mobile networks (assured transmission), alarm messaging forwarding, testing data storage and correlation
Waveform Oscillography Loss of signal, loss of synch, los of frame regardless of transmission or network media Automatic rerouting, auto recovery, performance statistics collection for Service Level agreements, predictive maintenance routines based on performance data
Telemetry Tracking of data on ancillary systems apart from network elements Correlation of telemetry alarms to network alarms for fault location and isolation
Asynchronous Event Messages Continual monitoring of alarm data in Network management systems, Network Operations Centers, Customer response and Technical assistance systems Sets/gets commands, Operations, Maintenance, Administration and provisioning commands, alarm correlation for fault location, isolation and response
Grid Metadata Auto learning in data networks (BGP, OSPF, RTP, MPLS), Spider web self learning networks in 3G and 4G mobile networks.  Auto correcting and self-healing networks Automated network and logical map creation. Automatic records keeping and updating.  Connecting Ordering, Billing, Customer Service and Technical support systems in End to End Business support Systems

I considered these areas through 10 minutes of thought.  I would certainly welcome more insight, details and corrections as warranted.  The key point is that there are definitely areas of possible collaboration to improve the smart grid introduction, mass deployment and acceptance.  It is also an opportunity for Telecom / data companies to get more involved in network based services for the Smart Grid.  Your thoughts or comments?