Strategies for IoT Device Management

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There are different paths in the choice of strategy for IoT device management. We’re entering an era where managing devices remotely isn’t just for fun—it is needed for business continuance and for security reasons. I want to highlight two ways to solve this, using open standards or a proprietary solution.

Managing devices remotely presents unique challenges—and we use device management for firmware updates, changing a device’s settings and, with more and more AI-related solutions entering the IoT world, devices can and will be adjusted remotely after installation.

Device performance: An essential aspect

To monitor device performance is another aspect that we need to solve within the same platform to form viable ecosystems.

The evolution of mobile networks, especially with 5G, opens new doors for IoT applications. This advancement means more than speed; it’s about creating reliable, ultra-responsive IoT ecosystems. It also ups the bar of what our device management and device monitoring solutions need to be capable of.

The 5G standard was designed to meet three extreme use-cases within one wireless standard.

5G Broadband unleashes the power of mobile internet usage, and at the same time 5G should nurture diverse IoT applications. Whether it’s sensors for agriculture or trackers for logistics, the potential is unlimited and the use-cases vary.

Challenges with remote management

Now let’s first look at the challenges with remote management and data gathering from sensors that use the mobile networks. The AKKR8 sensors that we have developed, a sensor that uses open standards and the cellular networks.

In our device, we use MQTT. MQTT has been around for some time; the protocol was invented in 1999 for use in the oil and gas industry. It uses TCP/IP but there are variants for UDP as well. Even though MQTT is a standard protocol, the messages, or payloads, do not follow any standard formatting. This means that a device that sends a message with MQTT has to be decoded to be interpreted. This is a factor that keeps us as device manufacturers busy, as we have to build different formats of the payloads to fit different platforms that use MQTT. MQTT is a TCP protocol and easy to integrate with LTE-M but with NB-IoT COAP may be a better choice.

Customizing IoT solutions

The idea behind the sensor was to have a tool that adapts to every IoT challenge. Our AKKR8 sensor has a design with many built-in sensors, and a large set of functions to match. But how to adopt the multi-tool to various customers’ needs? Let’s use one example, a property owner monitors CO2 once an hour but is interested in gathering info every 10 minutes instead.

Open standards versus proprietary platforms

Once the device publishes its data, using MQTT, in this case, the CO2 value, it also subscribes to a topic. The topic could be how often to send data, and in this case, we publish a sensor reading using MQTT and we subscribe to updates from the server on a topic that let us change how often we should gather new sensor readings.

In our devices, using standard MQTT, that works with almost any IoT platform we can monitor device health, reconfigure the device, and adopt the device to new use-cases.

The debate between open standards and proprietary platforms is crucial. Each offers different benefits from flexibility to ease of implementation. Your choice impacts the future scalability of your IoT solutions.

The future of IoT

Let us explore proprietary monitoring systems. Now, we see a spectrum of implementation ease and flexibility. These systems, like the one for this popular 5G router, lock the door for other hardware vendors, but at the same time presents a high level of functionality at a pre-defined cost.

Using a manufacturer-specific device management platform offers several benefits, particularly in terms of streamlined operations, enhanced support, and tailored functionalities. These platforms are designed with a deep understanding of the manufacturer’s own devices, which can lead to a more seamless integration and operation experience.

Conclusion

While manufacturer-specific device management platforms provide benefits, it’s also important to weigh potential drawbacks, such as vendor lock-in. SNMP, TR069, and MQTT are other options for your networking devices. The choice of an open standard opens the door for other device manufacturers, but it may not fit your need or budget.

The future of IoT is not just about connecting devices but creating meaningful interactions that drive progress. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to innovate, ensuring our solutions not only meet today’s demands but also anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. Thank you for joining this journey into the future of IoT device management.

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