Category Archives: Allgemein

Automation Gateway with Apache IoTDB…

The Frankenstein Automation Gateway can now write OPC UA tag values to the Apache IoTDB. Did some rough performance tests with 50 OPC UA servers and one IoTDB… the IoTDB is pretty impressive fast. Also the data model and terminology is interesting and it seems to fit good to a hirarchical structure in OPC UA.

In this lab I have connected 50 OPC UA servers (based on a .NET OPC UA server example) to Frankenstein. Each OPC UA server publishes 1000 tags of different type, so in summary we have 50000 tags connected to Frankenstein. The publish rate can be adjusted by setting an OPC UA tag. Sure, we do that via GraphQL over Frankenstein. On my commodity hardware I ended with writing about 250Khz to the IoTDB with an CPU load of ~200%. So, I assume the IoTDB is able to handle much more value changes per second.

Figured out that one DB Logger inside of Frankenstein roughly is able to handle 100000 events per second. We can spawn multiple DB Logger for scalabilty. Vert.X can then use multiple cores (Vert.X calls this pattern the Multi-Reactor Pattern to distinguish it from the single threaded reactor pattern).

Just to note: there is only a memory buffer implemented, so if the DB is down, then the values will be lost if the buffer runs out of space. But I think to handle such situations it would make sense to put Apache Kafka between the Gateway and the Database.

GraphQL Query to set the simulation interval:

query ($v: String) {
  Systems {
    opc1 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc2 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc3 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc4 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc5 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc6 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc7 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc8 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
    opc9 { Demo { SimulationInterval { SetValue(Value: $v) } } }
Query Variables: {"v": "250"}

Let’s Encrypt Certificate with WinCC OA on Windows

This is a manual way to get and use Certificates from Letsencrypt with the Webserver (ULC UX) in WinCC Open Architecture. You have to update the certificate manually before it expires.

  • Temporarily configure IIS (HTTP) to get a new certificate via WIN-ACME
  • Download Win-ACME, it is a Letsencrypt Client for Windows + IIS
  • Set “PrivateKeyExportable” to TRUE! in settings.json of Win-ACME!
  • Execute Win-ACME wacs.exe and follow the instructions for fist setup.
  • Execute wacs.exe --renew --baseuri to renew a certificate.

  • Export Root Certificate as PEM:
  • Save Root Cert as root-cert.pem to the WinCC OA project config directory.

  • Export the Host Certificate with “certlm”
  • Convert Certificate from PFX to Certificate and Private-Key
openssl pkcs12 -in [yourfile.pfx] -nocerts -out keyfile-encrypted.key
openssl rsa -in keyfile-encrypted.key -out privkey.pem
=> Save to config/privkey.pem

openssl pkcs12 -in [yourfile.pfx] -clcerts -nokeys -out certificate.pem
=> Save to config/certificate.pem

MQTT and GraphQL Gateway for OPC UA

Here is an OPC UA gateway with which you can access your OPC UA values via MQTT and GraphQL (HTTP). If you have an OPC UA server in your PLC, or a SCADA system with an OPC UA server, you can query data from there via MQTT and GraphQL (HTTP). In addition, the gateway can also log value changes from OPC UA nodes in an InfluxDB. The archived values can then also be queried via GraphQL.


Runs anywhere: Linux, Windows, Mac, …

Example MQTT Client:

Example MQTT Topics:


Example GraphQL Queries:

Here are some Videos/Demos:

Mount Disk Image on Linux

If you have created a backup of a disk with dd:

dd if=/dev/sdb of=image.img bs=4096

then you can create loop back devices with partitions:

losetup -f -P ./image.img 
losetup -a

then you can mount partition:

mount /dev/loop0p1 /mnt/disk

Another hint: Copy files with tar so that permissions and users are persevered:

tar cf - . | (cd /destination; tar xvf -)

tar cf - . | ssh root@server2 "tar xf - -C /destination/"

How to enable remote docker API…

Create a file “override.conf” in /etc/systemd/system/docker.service.d

ExecStart=/usr/bin/dockerd -H fd:// -H tcp://

Reload and restart the Docker daemon:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart docker.service

Now you can connect for example the Siemens Industrial Edge Publisher to the Docker engine and create a Industrial App from images on your Docker host.

SSH Keep Alive

Lot of times my ssh session get broken because I didn’t do anything for a while. Sometimes I have started “top” just that the connection does not get broken because of inactivity. But this is not really what I wanna do everytime. Luckily the SSH client can be configured to send alive telegrams for every session so that you do not need to pass arguments every time you open a SSH conneciton.

Following settings will make the SSH client to send alive telegrams to the other side every 60 seconds, and give up if it doesn’t receive any response after 2 tries.

Host *
    ServerAliveInterval 60
    ServerAliveCountMax 2

Nginx & Certbot (Letsencrypt) via Docker…

Initially you have to init the certbot and get the certificate manually.

# Directories used:
/var/www/certbot # handshake sites from certbot
/etc/letsencrypt # certificates are stored here
# Initialize Certbot:
docker run --rm -ti \
  -v /var/www:/var/www \
  -v /etc/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt \
certbot/certbot certonly --webroot -w /var/www/certbot -d <yor-domain-name> --email 

The letsencrypt and the www directory must be mounted on both containers. Certbot will check the certificates every 12h and nginx must reload the configuration periodically.

    image: nginx:1.17.8
      - 80:80
      - 443:443
      - /var/www:/var/www
      - /etc/nginx.conf:/etc/nginx/nginx.conf
      - /etc/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt
    command: "/bin/sh -c 'while :; do sleep 6h & wait $${!}; nginx -s reload; done & nginx -g \"daemon off;\"'"

    image: certbot/certbot
    restart: unless-stopped
      - /var/www:/var/www
      - /etc/letsencrypt:/etc/letsencrypt
    entrypoint: "/bin/sh -c 'trap exit TERM; while :; do certbot renew --webroot -w /var/www/certbot; sleep 12h & wait $${1}; done;'"

Nginx must be configured to publish the certbots well-known sites for the handshake and your sites must be configured to use the certificates from letsencrypt.

    server {
        listen 80;
        server_name <your-domain-name>;
        server_tokens off;
        location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {
            root /var/www/certbot;

        location / {
            return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

    server {
        listen 443 ssl;

        ssl_certificate     /etc/letsencrypt/live/<your-domain-name>/fullchain.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/<your-domain-name>/privkey.pem;

        root /var/www;
        index index.html;

        location / {
            try_files $uri $uri/ =404;