2020, Year of the Rat: Clever and Quick-Thinking; Exactly What IoT-Enabled Organisations Can be
As we enter not only a new year but also a new decade, the adage that the only constant in life is change has never been more evident. IoT is currently the single most prominent example of the constancy of change, and we see new and exciting use-cases appear, seemingly from nowhere, every day. Operating in such a dynamic environment places unique demands on development and, at Pelion Device Management, we are continually striving to not only meet but exceed both customer and market expectations in terms of feature innovation and delivery.
With all this as a background, our latest quarterly development roll-up has delivered an impressive set of new features and significant enhancements. I've chosen to highlight just a few, but please review the companion release notes for the full story.
Legacy Device Bridge: New
Early movers in IoT adoption can find themselves facing a difficult decision. With their IoT solution becoming ever-more business-critical, should they stick with a generic cloud service or take the opportunity to move to a purpose-built IoT device management service. Fortunately, Arm has specifically developed the Legacy Device Bridge capability to deliver a single-pane-of-glass solution. Designed as a modular two-part software-only solution, Legacy Devices Bridge comprises a Protocol Broker service interfacing with a Plug-In Framework. Being modular, Legacy Devices Bridge has the flexibility to offer customized solutions for any IP transport; it's merely a matter of writing the appropriate Broker and updating the Plug-In.
In adding the Legacy Device Bridge capability to Pelion Device Management Cloud, Arm has created a holistic solution for a complete fleet of devices, both legacy and new. This capability provides significant time and resources savings. Rather than needing to maintain, support, and operate a separate legacy management system – an operator, whether they are an enterprise customer, a service provider, or an OEM – can concentrate all their efforts and attention on Pelion's best-of-breed solution. Delivered as a custom-built solution, Legacy Device Bridge is implemented via professional services, while the standard devices-under-management licensing plan covers the legacy devices themselves.
Device Management On-Premises: New Deployment Options
New entry-level yet full-featured scaling options are now available for our Pelion Device Management On-Premises service, with license options now starting as low as 50k devices under management. The expanded scope lowers the barrier-to-entry for a variety of customers embarking on their IoT journey. With these new configurations, On-Premises is an effective solution for small-scale IoT deployments where the management entity needs to be local. Example applications include:
• Smart buildings, enabling the management of lighting, smoke detectors, smart locks, and more
• Smart factories, managing on-site inventory and production line machinery
• Smart energy, managing power production, grid services, and energy efficiency
The new “right-sized” configurations enable low-volume rollouts, including initial proofs-of-concept, ensuring that pivotal technical decision-points can be proactively managed and mitigated in real-time.
Continuous Campaigns: Expanded
A new extension to the campaign feature - known as Continuous Campaigns - allows newly added, installed, or connected devices to be automatically incorporated into an existing campaign. This capability ensures that all devices that match the campaign's initial criteria – even those devices that were registered after the campaign had been initiated – will be added to the schedule and receive the update package.
As devices are created, registered, or re-registered, the campaign service evaluates whether they are within the scope of an active campaign. As is typical with an IoT device rollout, there may be a delay between manufacturing and provisioning, so that devices may be installed and spun-up over an extended timeframe. The continuous campaign feature allows customers to ensure that all matching devices will be updated, as and when they appear online. The Pelion Device Management portal provides details statistics together with a clear graphical representation of a campaign's status, including the total of devices within scope, the number of successful updates, the number of failures, the number skipped, and the number still pending.
Given the dynamic nature of IoT and the threat landscape in which these devices operate, they must be proactively managed throughout their deployed lifecycle. Functionality updates and security patches need to be periodically applied; the Pelion Device Management campaign capabilities are an effective and efficient solution for keeping devices up to date.
Device Management Client: Updates
Pelion Device Management Client now supports the latest releases of Mbed OS, and we've integrated support for yet more hardware, with additional boards from leading partners: STM (the popular Discovery L475VG) and NXP (their PSA-certified LPC55S69). We’ve also enhanced the public example with features that assist with workflow integration and allowing a partner to submit pull requests.
Mbed OS: Flexible Installation
For some time, Mbed OS has been a popular learning tool with degree-level studies, and it plays a crucial role in many universities' embedded engineering and computer science courses. We've improved life for admins by now enabling Mbed to be installed for all system users, saving the time and effort required for per-user installations.
Mbed Studio: Updates
The evolution of Mbed Studio continues with 0.9.0 introducing support for the publishing of programs to the Mbed site (Repo Publishing), and we've further enhanced the GitHub integration. Additionally, it now features an automatic Serial viewer functionality, plus log point creation. Recent development boards from Embedded Planet and uBlox are supported, as is the most recent Arm Compiler, delivering a range of essential new functionality.