Elster launches IP AxisLink platform for AMI, DA convergence

Raleigh, N.C., April 26, 2011 — Elster released its IP AxisLink platform, including the IP AxisLink integrated router/gatekeeper/gateway and IP AxisLink secure tunnel server.

The IP AxisLink platform extends the reach of Elster's EnergyAxis end-to-end smart grid solution by providing IP-enabled convergence between advanced metering infrastructure and distribution automation networks. 

The IP AxisLink platform provides full Internet Protocol (IP)-based communication and interoperability with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), DA and outage management systems to support a utility's existing infrastructure.

The IP AxisLink router and IP AxisLink server empower utilities with greater flexibility and multi-technology options to integrate their smart grid deployments.

With support for TCP/IP, IPv4 and IPv6 communications, the IP AxisLink router is compatible with a variety of wide area (WAN) and local area (LAN) network options.

This helps optimize smart grid investments by extending connectivity to DA devices through converged paths of access. The IP AxisLink router can also house the EA Gatekeeper AMI LAN controller module, allowing utilities greater configuration options to meet specific geographic and communications infrastructure requirements.

The IP AxisLink router provides parallel operations for converged AMI and DA communications. Access to DA control devices is managed using IP-based protocols over the EnergyAxis communications network, providing utilities with greater flexibility in selecting which devices may be addressed.

The IP AxisLink platform is built with the same robust security features that Elster employs in all of its EnergyAxis-enabled components to protect a utility's investment, infrastructure and the privacy of smart meter data.

The device uses Elster's WAN interface card (WIC) for its WAN Communication, which adds security layers onto the utility's existing infrastructure. The IP AxisLink platform supports ANSI C12.22 for AMI communications and Secure Layer Transport (TLS) VPN tunneling for DA communications. As with other devices using the WIC communication modules, the IP AxisLink router has unique cryptographic keys, which EnergyAxis manages and secures across the system.

The IP AxisLink device and server offer advanced SCADA data path encryption and authentication mechanisms. The IP AxisLink server provides an IP routing function and serves as a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel server to the IP AxisLink devices.

The IP AxisLink router is easily installed with EnergyAxis and seamlessly integrates with other system-enabled network devices. There are multiple options for installation, including integration within existing DA control cabinets or within a NEMA 4X-rated enclosure for mounting on utility poles or pad mount equipment.

IP AxisLink routers housing the EA_Gatekeeper module allow utilities to avoid installing and maintaining separate communication equipment for AMI and DA at the same location for a uniquely converged solution.

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