As the number of connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, so does the complexity of deploying new devices and managing existing ones. This is particularly true for low-power devices designed with limited memory and processing capabilities that operate over low bandwidth connections and often need to be managed using legacy device management technologies. For optimal value, these resource-constrained devices need a way to be easily remotely provisioned and managed so their data can be collected and routed to the correct application.
Recent years have seen significant advances in device management technology with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Device Management for cellular networks (GSM, CDMA, 4G, etc. ), TR-069 for fixed line networks (copper and fiber) and most recently, Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LWM2M) Device Management for constrained networks ( IEEE 802.15.4, IEEE 802.15.1, etc.). However, these networks (cellular, fixed line and constrained) and the devices (Class 0, 1, 2, and field and enterprise IoT gateways) they connect create complexity and challenge in designing an IoT device management software stack. The need for a common security framework further increases the complexity.
To meet the growing demand for managing and securing these devices, manufacturers need a secure device management component they can offer that is interoperable with other ecosystem partners’ devices and servers. One company offering such a solution is Altiux, an IoT solutions company and General member of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance.
A Converged Device Management Framework for Gateways
Altiux, as part of its IoT toolkit, provides a Converged Device Management Framework for IoT gateways to accommodate the multiple device and connection scenarios for industrial, energy, smart city, and smart home markets (Figure 1). This Converged Device Management Framework helps reduce operational complexity and provides a single pane of glass interface to manage devices irrespective of the device management method on the devices. The converged device management framework runs on Intel® IoT Gateway designs based on Intel® Quark™ SoCs or Intel® Atom™ processors equipped with common operating systems such as Wind River Linux*.
Figure 1. Altiux’s Converged Device Management Framework for IoT gateways enables interoperability between disparate device management deployment scenarios.
Intel IoT Gateway designs that include the Wind River Intelligent Device Platform XT already provide OMA DM and TR-069 (Figure 2). What the Converged Device Management Framework adds to these gateways is an OMA LWM2M client/agent along with several interoperability components (such as OMA DM to OMA LWM2M bridge). LWM2M is a relatively new open industry standard expressly designed for devices with low bandwidth, memory and processing capabilities. Built on top of the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP) messaging protocol from the Internet Engineering Task Force, LWM2M enables remote firmware upgrades, device monitoring, and configuration and device provisioning.
Figure 2. Altiux Converged Device Management Framework adds to Intel® IoT Gateway designs OMA LWM2M client/agent and bridge components to the management protocols (shown here) provided by Wind River Intelligent Device Platform* XT.
LWM2M implements the interface between device and server, based on CoAP and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS), binding these to UDP- or SMS-based replies for the transport layer. LWM2M is most commonly targeted at constrained devices as it provides a light and extremely secure communication interface along with an efficient data model for such environments.
By adding OMA LWM2M to Intel IoT Gateways, Altiux’s Converged Device Management Framework is able to support efficient device management as well as security workflow for CoAP-based devices. In addition to the OMA LWM2M client/agent, the Converged Device Management Framework provides:
- OMA DM to OMA LWM2M bridge for use with cellular networks
- TR-069 to OMA LWM2M bridge for use with fixed line networks
- OMA LWM2M Server support for remote device management from the application side
Altiux’s Converged Device Management Framework is available as part of Altiux’s BoxPwr IoT connectivity middleware (Figure 3). BoxPwr’s bidirectional connectivity middleware connects constrained and legacy devices to the IoT network infrastructure. Four configurable variants – Standard, Micro, Nano and Pico – power a wide range of applications ranging from low power devices like wearables and health monitors to complex applications requiring cloud connectivity like smart homes, intelligent buildings, smart street lighting, smart parking, fleet management, and manufacturing automation. Modular in nature, BoxPwr is easily integrated with existing third party device management, security and communication solutions. Moreover, this Converged Device Management Framework can be extended to manage devices in legacy networks in addition to constrained networks.
Figure 3. Altiux’s BoxPwr IoT connectivity middleware connects legacy and constrained devices to IoT network infrastructure.
IoTEE Edgeware Platform
In addition to its BoxPwr middleware, Altiux also offers a server-side edgeware platform for remote management of IoT devices and management of sensor data. Altiux’s IoTEE edgeware platform is an IoT platform that conforms to the OneM2M standard and provides device connectivity, device management, data management and application enablement functions. The platform supports multiple device connectivity protocols (MQTT, CoAP, HTTP, custom) and the converged device management server. The combination of BoxPwr on the gateway devices and the IoTEE edgeware platform provides customers with a pre-integrated solution for simplified development, deployment and management of IoT devices, in a very flexible, scalable and secure fashion.
Accelerate Time to Market with Intel® IoT Gateway Designs
Altiux targeted the Intel IoT Gateway for BoxPwr because of the design’s broad utility in a wide range of sectors. Providing pre-integrated, pre-validated hardware and software building blocks, gateways based on the Intel IoT Gateway design speed the connection of legacy and new systems and enable seamless and secure data flow between edge devices and the cloud. In addition, the Intel IoT Gateway design delivers the performance necessary for critical analysis and intelligence at the edge, ensuring that only useful data is sent to the cloud and enabling better management of both data transmission and storage costs.
Intel IoT Gateway designs using Intel Quark SoCs are particularly advantageous for power and thermally constrained environments. These SoCs feature a maximum thermal design power (TDP) of just 2.2 watts.
Altiux is working on a number of use cases for employing its BoxPwr Converged Device Management Framework on Intel IoT Gateway designs. Here are a few:
- Smart City solutions such as smart street lighting that can reduce energy costs while providing illumination when and where it is needed with the ability to be remotely monitored. The Converged Device Management Framework addresses interoperability issues with existing cloud-based device management servers, enabling gateways to securely manage IP-based (smart) lighting sensors supporting LWM2M. Operators configure and provision sensors using BoxPwr’s Converged Device Management Framework running on the gateway. Operators can then remotely manage the sensors from the cloud using any of three device management standards: OMA DM, BBF TR-069, or OMA LWM2M.
- Smart Home solutions that can improve safety and security, and reduce energy consumption. Using Intel IoT gateways powered by Converged Device Management Framework enables remote management of constrained devices in the home environment.
- Smart Building solutions that improve operational efficiency and reduce energy consumption. Gateways with BoxPwr can employ LWM2M to securely connect, provision and manage room controls for heating, cooling and lighting.
- Smart manufacturing solutions such as plant monitoring and analytics that can bring in operational efficiencies and cost savings. Gateways with BoxPwr (supporting Converged Device Management Framework) enable centralized monitoring of assets with the ability to remotely manage them.
Make the Converged Management Connection
Through LWM2M and the Converged Device Management Framework, Altiux’s BoxPwr IoT Connectivity Middleware makes Intel IoT Gateway designs even more effective for securing and managing resource-constrained devices. You can find the latest gateway products based on this design from Alliance members in our Solutions Directory.
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Solutions in this blog:
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance
Editor-in-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine