Plan Your Infrastructure
Choose the hardware and devices that users will use to interact with your ThingWorx application. Then define an infrastructure architecture plan.
Before you begin, complete these steps:
Identify hardware and devices for end users
Before you define your infrastructure, determine what hardware and devices users will use to interact with your ThingWorx application. They may use computers, tablets, or other mobile devices. Whatever they need to use will affect how you create your infrastructure architecture plan.
When you identify hardware and devices, consider the following:
- Who will interact with the application?
- What environments will users be in when they interact with the application? For example, will the application be used in a showroom, an office, an industrial area?
- How will users interact with the application?
- Will one or both hands need to be free?
- Will users wear safety gear, such as gloves, helmets, or eye protection that might hinder their ability to see, hear, or touch?
- What screen sizes will the application be displayed on?
- Will users move around with a device or interact with the application from a stationary place?
- Are there environmental factors to consider (such as temperature or exposure to water, dust, or other elements)?
Based on your findings, you may use existing hardware and devices or purchase new.
Define an infrastructure architecture plan
To define an infrastructure architecture plan, involve project members who will work on infrastructure as well as those who design and connect products to the edge. Keep in mind the details from your integrations and edge connectivity plan.
Some topics to consider as you create your infrastructure architecture plan:
- Will you deploy ThingWorx on-premises, in a PTC-hosted cloud, your own data center, or private cloud?
- Will ThingWorx or applications need to be available at all times?
- Is downtime acceptable? Consider both planned downtime (upgrades, updates, maintenance) and unplanned (failures, outages).
- How many environments will you need? How many users will each environment need to support? We recommend at least 4 environments:
- Dev: create new applications, features, or work on patches
- Test/QA: validate and test new versions, patches, and configurations
- Staging: a close replica to your prod environment to do integrated, end-to-end tests such as for scale and load
- Prod: host the live, tested applications that users will interact with
- How will security requirements affect your infrastructure?
- How will security change over time?
- What hardware will you need?
- How much processing power and memory will hardware require? Consider:
- The number of users who will be accessing data during peak usage
- The number of data points that will be called during peak usage
- The complexity of the business logic and mashups being used
- The total number of connected devices that will be managed by ThingWorx
- How often data is sent from each device to ThingWorx
- Data storage
- What is your data retention and archival policy?
- What data will be saved in what database?
- How long does data need to be available to ThingWorx in the Mashup?
- Networking to support users
- Do you have the proper network to support the users of your ThingWorx applications?
- What devices will your users be using?
- How will end user devices impact the network design?
Consider whether your organization will increase the number of connected products or create additional applications to support other use cases in the future. Refer to your long-term roadmap. Design your infrastructure to meet those needs from the beginning. This may take more time now, but it will be easier to grow later.
When you’re ready, document your final decisions and share them with the project team.
Identify infrastructure changes
Once you’ve completed your infrastructure architecture plan, compare it to what exists today. Take note of what you’ll need to purchase. Consider how to adjust your design to work within the constraints of existing architecture until you’re able to upgrade.
Begin sourcing hardware
If your infrastructure architecture plan requires additional hardware, start sourcing that hardware as soon as possible. This is especially important if the procurement process at your organization requires multiple approvals.