Unified Namespace is a powerful event-driven architecture that allows for seamless communication between nodes in a network. It operates on the principle that all data, regardless of whether there is an immediate consumer, should be published and made available for consumption. This means that any node in the network can work as either a producer or a consumer, depending on the needs of the system at any given time.
Unified Namespace typically utilizes MQTT or Apache Kafka as a central message broker, and is designed to be highly scalable and easily connect nodes in the network. This is in contrast to Industry 3.0 architectures, which often have a more linear data flow and are less flexible in terms of connectivity.
One of the key benefits of Unified Namespace is its ability to facilitate bidirectional communication between nodes. For example, a machine learning node could provide input to a PLC, which could then adjust its usual algorithms based on this new information. This type of interaction is not possible in traditional Industry 3.0 setups, which only allow for data flow in a single direction from sensors to the PLC to SCADA and MES to the ERP.
Unified Namespace is intended to be a comprehensive business-encompassing space where all nodes can communicate with each other and share important data. It was coined by Walker Reynolds of 4.0 Solutions, and you can learn more about it by watching his YouTube videos on the topic:
If you have not read about event-driven architecture, we suggest that you do that.
Otherwise, you can proceed to the next chapter.