Understanding crX: The new highly secure cloud exchange service for utilities

It’s been a while since Macrosoft has been building an automated cloud-based common roster exchange (crX) for electric utilities to exchange information during an outage event. In this regard the recent introduction of the mutual assistance common roster has been a game changer. As utilities widely implement the mutual assistance common roster, the information exchange between the utilities internal roster and common roster becomes seamless, accurate and highly automated.

Primarily we are trying to achieve 2 main functions with crX:

  • First is to provide a robust, cloud-based, electronic data exchange network for utilities and their associated partners, to share common roster information over a highly secure and automated environment.
  • Second is to build a translation program for each utility joining crX, to allow the utility to both receive and send common roster information, while retaining the current utility internal roster format and data.

When a Utility signs up for the crX service, Macrosoft will create translation programs specifically for them to download and upload information consistent with the common roster format. Also in due course of time it is expected that the common roster template will undergo some changes, which will be automatically updated to utilities that have already signed up with the crX system. Along with the common roster exchange, we will also be introducing a new cloud based version of RoD. Both crX and RoD Cloud will take advantage of the latest private secure cloud technologies. RoD Cloud will have a subset of the functionality of RoD and utilities that already use RoD will be able to use the functionalities of the common roster network. For utilities that are not using RoD they will have to initially sign up to use RoD Cloud.

Download crX Whitepaper

Security has been one of Macrosoft’s highest priority in building the crX system. crX is available as as a private cloud allowing only registered companies and users to access the highly secure crX network. During an event, a utility using crX can designate other utility companies as partners. Registered utilities can only exchange information with the designated partner companies thus avoiding any unsolicited response. Usually utility in need of a roster will be able to send an email request to other partner utilities and companies. At the same time, if companies receiving the email is registered with the crX, then they will be able to send a common roster to the utility immediately. If the company is not registered with crX, then they will be sent access credentials to register to crX and after that they can send roster information to the requested utility.

A utility already registered on crX will be able to review, edit and upload new rosters under their secure account and send it to partner utilities/companies. For utilities/companies that are not registered with crX, a one-time temporary login will be provided using which they can upload and send the roster to the needed utility, after which it expires. To use this service further the utility/company will have to make the temporary login permanent.

Overtime registered utilities would have acted both as receivers and responders and stored sufficient roster information onto the crX. A utility can view all of their sent and received rosters via their own secure area of the dashboard. Every single roster displayed along with its corresponding emails will be tagged by timestamp, event designation, receiving utility, and version # (if applicable). crX system maintains the utilities internal roster format as-well-as the transformed roster format along with the timestamp and the number of uploads for all the rosters uploaded so far by the utility. All this information is well organized and stored in an encrypted fashion in the crX system for assessment and reference at a later stage.

The crX system will be most useful when all the utilities within a single regional mutual assistance group (RMAG) sign up and use it during an event. Download our final White Paper in a series of 3 to explore the functionality of crX and examine a case study wherein a utility is getting ready for an event.

Download crX Whitepaper

About the Author

Dr. Ronald Mueller

Ron is CEO and Founder of Macrosoft, Inc.. Ron heads up all company strategic activities, and directs day-to-day work of the Leadership Team at Macrosoft. Ron is also Macrosoft’s Chief Scientist, defining and structuring Macrosoft’s path forward on new technologies and products, such as Cloud; Big Data; and AI. Ron has a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from New York University, and worked in physics for over a decade at Yale University, The Fusion Energy Institute in Princeton, NJ, and at Argonne National Laboratory. Ron also worked at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ., where he managed a group on Big Data, including very early work on neural networks. Ron has a career-long passion in ultra-large-scale data processing and analysis including: predictive analytics; data mining, machine learning and neural networks.

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