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IoT Gateway Solutions for Industrial IoT (Internet of Things)

 

IoT Gateway and IoT Platform Development Projects: the Best Practices

 
IoT gateway devices are the lifelines of many successful IoT applications, especially in the industrial automation domain.

In typical internet of things applications, IoT Gateway Devices are responsible for managing:

  • IoT network device compatibility,
  • IoT security,
  • Configuration management of IoT devices
  • Device to IoT cloud connectivity & more

Following are some of the best practices to keep in mind before kick-starting an IoT Gateway software and hardware development project:

 


Support for IoT Gateway Development, Hardware Consulting & Testing

Gateway and Sensor Nodes

IoT Gateway Device and Sensor Nodes Communication

  • IoT Gateway and interface development to enable communication with network(s) of multiple IoT sensors
  • Expertise in integration with popularly deployed sensor nodes based on Zigbee, Bluetooth, LoRA, Zwave, 6lowpan and WiFi protocols
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    Secure Device Registration

    Secure Device Registration


    Ensuring secured communication between the cloud and the IoT gateway through

  • Device Authentication using SSL certificate
  • Authentication using device MAC ID and key generation
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    Hardware Design Consulting

    IoT Hardware Design Consulting

  • Requirement gathering and analysis workshops with our IoT Consultants
  • IoT Architecture design and BOM cost optimization
  • Schematic and Layout designing
  • Signal Integrity Testing, Prototyping and Production support
  • IoT PoC development for IoT gateway design evaluation
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    IoT Gateway Software

    IoT Gateway Software Development & Testing

  • Device configuration management to facilitate communication between IoT Gateway, sensor nodes and the IoT cloud server
  • Support for firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) updates for IoT Gateway and Sensor Nodes network
  • Message storing to manage lost connection – the fetched data is stored and sent again when the connection is retrieved
  • Expertise in designing portable IoT software: Compatibility with various hardware platforms and OS
  • Ensure IoT gateway device compatibility with major IoT communication protocols – Zigbee, BLE, EnOcean, LoRA, Modbus, Z-wave, 6lowpan.
  • Support for testing your industrial IoT gateway devices
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    IoT Gateway Maintenance

    Maintenance and Support Services for IoT Gateway Device

  • Support for field testing and deployment
  • Data collection, analysis, and performance tuning
  • Bug fixing and support in making the production software more stable
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    Snow

    Handbook: Functional Safety (FuSa) Consulting Services

    Get more details about our service offerings for the implementation of ISO 26262 based FuSa framework for Automotive Projects


     

    Meet Our IoT Leaders

     

    [IoT Gateway Video] ‘Off-the-Shelf’ v/s ‘Custom Built’ Solution: Our IoT Consultants Help You to Resolve this Dilemma


     

    Customer FAQs’: IoT Gateway, Data Security, Load Balancing, Industrial Automation

     

      A. We have supported the design and development of scalable IoT Gateway devices with low-power foot prints. Following are the some salient feature of our IoT Gateway devices:

      1. Support for standard industrial network protocols such as ZigBee, IR, EnOcean, Modbus, Profinet
      2. Compatibility with faster and data-efficient communication protocols such Wi-Fi, Ethernet etc.
      3. Includes portable and adaptable IoT software code that is compatible with a wide range of hardware platforms and OS
      4. Support for Over the Air (OTA) firmware and security updates.
      5. Can be connected to either a public cloud server or a hosted cloud server.
      6. Supports both horizontal and vertical scalability to meet the changing business needs
      7. Is integrated with TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) for hardware security (details about our IoT gateway security practice has been covered under a different question)

      Additionally, we have developed custom made IoT gateway solutions for a range of industrial automation projects including solar energy plants, enterprise battery management systems, office automation – to name a few.

      A. At Embitel, we ensure that security features are integrated right at design stage itself. While designing such a foolproof IoT gateway solution, we take care of the system security at multiple levels.
      Following are some of our IoT security best practices:

      • Secure booting of the IoT system: For any device to run in a smooth and secure manner, its booting process must be reliable. This forms the foundation of the security of the IoT gateway system throughout its lifecycle.

        A secured process is necessary to ensure that the booting of the IoT gateway device is initiated only by trusted and authenticated software. Secure boot is very crucial to protect your IoT device against any Malware and Man in The Middle attack.

        The robustness of the system boot is ensured by:

        • Checking the source of the boot: Each time the device is booted, the boot source is verified and authenticated using Secure Boot keys, which is unique for each boot module.
        • Checking the content of the boot: This is to verify that device is being updated by the correct version of the boot and to ensure that only verified ad authenticated software is being booted in the IoT gateway device.

        In addition to the secure booting, we also take care of IoT gateway security at various levels : Data communication ( from sensors to gateway as well as from gateway to cloud) , network security, hardware security & more.

      A. While we talk about data communication security, we categorize it: as security of data exchanged between the sensor to the gateway ; that of the data transmitted from gateway to cloud. Here is a snapshot of the two components in detail:

      1. Secure Data Communication between Sensor Nodes and Gateway: Usually, sensor communication protocols such as ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, Z-Wave, WiFi, LoRaWan and others have in-built strong security features to ensure reliable and secure data exchange between the sensor network and the IoT gateway.

        Additionally, we also encrypt the data from sensor nodes to IoT gateway, depending on your project requirements.

      2. Secure Data Communication with Cloud: All the data packets that are being exchanged from IoT sensors to IoT gateway and then IoT gateway to cloud servers are sufficiently encrypted. The security of the IoT gateway and cloud server communication is ensured through key management mechanisms and security certifications such as TLS or SSL.

        The IoT gateway devices (that are part of the network) are registered with the server and are given a unique MAC ID.

        When the server receives a connection request, it verifies this MAC ID by mapping it with the list of authenticated IoT gateway devices available in the server. Once the mapping is done, it checks for the security certifications of the IoT gateway devices to validate that the connection request is coming from an authenticated source.

      A. In our IoT gateway development solutions, hardware security is ensured through Trusted Platform Module / TPM. A TPM offers an additional layer of security, over and above to the security modules discussed above.

      TPM helps in ensuring hardware security through integrated cryptographic keys against data phishing attacks. We leverage the following benefits of the TPM for hardware security:

      • Device authentication through TPM’s unique RSA key that is burned into it.
      • Generate, store, and manage the use of cryptographic keys.
      A. In order to efficiently manage Load Balancing, we create ‘mesh network topology’ of IoT Gateway devices and Sensor nodes.

      Such a cluster of IoT gateway devices consists of multiple IoT Gateway systems interconnected with each other. This cluster of IoT Gateway devices is installed between a source node (IoT sensor) and destination node (cloud server).

      When a device/system failure occurs, an IoT gateway transfers applications and device connections to the geographic neighbor Gateway, which is compatible with the desired connectivity protocol.

      A. In order to ensure a continuous & reliable availability of system devices within an IoT network, we implement temporary data back-up technique.

      If due to some reason, IoT gateway connectivity is lost, we store the data temporarily either in a memory or a disk. As and when the connection is restored, this stored data is pushed to the server. This helps in preventing any data loss during a connection failure.

      Additionally, IoT gateway clustering also helps in preventing data loss during connectivity failure.

      A. At Embitel, we provide support for the testing of the IoT gateway solution, before deploying it in the production environment.

      Our IoT testing framework includes Unit testing, Integration testing, Functional testing, and System testing. Functional testing, and System testing. In addition to these, we also perform: Stress tests, Vibration tests, Heat Chamber testing, – depending on the deployment field and the customer’s use case requirement.

      Our IoT Consultants will partner with your teams to create a comprehensive test plan for your IoT gateway project.

      A. We have successfully helped many of our customers, from varied industry segments, in developing scalable and intelligent IoT applications. We have helped them in revamping their legacy industrial automation systems, enabling them to save operational costs in the process.

      We will first understand and analyze your industrial automation set up and create an IoT solution roadmap that is most compatible with your existing systems. We will design communication interface cards (between sensor device to gateway & gateway to cloud) that can communicate with your industrial assets and collect crucial information.

      This information, via IoT gateway device, will be sent securely to an authenticated IoT cloud server for data processing and analysis.

      At all levels, stringent security measures are implemented to ensure safety of data . Thus your critical enterprise data can be remotely accessed and managed with the help of a secure IoT network.

    Customer Success Stories in IoT Gateway Platform, SCADA and Battery Management System

    IoT Gateway Development Blogs: Hardware Design Guide, How IoT Gateway works and more

    • Off-the-Shelf v/s Custom Developed IoT Gateway Solution: Factors That Will Help You to Resolve This Dilemma
    • A Comprehensive Checklist for Evaluating an Off-the-Shelf IoT Gateway Solution
    • Have the Investments in IoT Really Paid Off? : An Analysis of the IoT Business Index Report
    • What is an IoT Gateway Device and Why is it so Important for the Success of IoT Projects?
    • How an IoT Gateway Device Works: Understanding the Architecture
    • 6 IoT Gateway Development Best Practices for Your Industrial Automation Project
    • Hardware Design Guide for IoT Projects (Part I): IoT Sensor Nodes and Gateway Devices
    • 8 IoT Design Mistakes You Should Avoid for a Successful IoT Solution Development Project
    • Hardware Design Guide for IoT Projects (Part I): IoT Sensor Nodes and Gateway Devices
    • [Video] The Curious Case of ‘Off-the-Shelf’ v/s ‘Custom Built’ IoT Gateway
    • Cloud, Edge or Hybrid IoT Solutions: Which Computing Model is Best Suited for your IoT Application?

     

    Knowledge Bytes
      What are Zigbee Gateway devices?
      Zigbee is a popular open communication protocol for wireless devices. A Zigbee gateway device enables data connection between IoT Sensors and devices within a Zigbee network and devices that are part of the network.

      A Zigbee gateway basically offers a universal channel to connect Zigbee based IoT Sensors, devices and systems to IP-based networks.

      Some popular use-cases of Zigbee Gateway include home automation, automated energy management solutions, healthcare monitoring systems and more.

      What are some of the most commonly deployed IoT wireless communication protocols?
      The modern Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem is powered by several protocols (recognised across the Industrial Automation industry), for establishing a seamless communication.

      Some of the most widely used wireless IoT protocols include

    • ZigBEE,
    • Modbus Protocol,
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE),
    • EnOcean,
    • Z-wave and more
      • Zigbee: It is based on IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Zigbee is a is a low-power, low data rate wireless communication protocol used for applications that requires low-bandwidth data transfer.
      • Modbus: The Modbus protocol is one of the most commonly used communication protocol for industrial automation applications such as SCADA. Modbus is an open-source, flexible protocol that is based on serial communication.
      • BLE: Bluetooth Low Energy ( BLE) is a wireless personal area network technology designed especially for applications that required low power consumption.

        Like its classic predecessor ( Bluetooth) , BLE uses 2.4 GHz radio frequencies and also permits dual mode systems to use a common radio antenna.

      • Enocean: Developed and maintained by Enocean Alliance, this is the only wireless standard based on energy harvesting technology. Enocean standard is mainly used for energy-efficient building automation solutions.
      • Z-wave: Z-wave is a wireless standard that uses low-energy radio waves to establish connection with the devices. One of the striking features of the Z-wave protocol is its interoperability at the application layer. This helps various Z-wave based hardware and software to smoothly operate together.
      What is an IoT platform?
      In simplest terms, an IoT platform is a multi-layer solution offering a seamless connection between remote hardware (IoT Gateway devices and IoT sensors) and a web-based cloud.

      An IoT Platform also facilitates host of other functions such as multi-level security, data aggregation , processing and analysis.

      An IoT platform is often perceived as a set of built-in tools that enables all these functions to develop a scalable and cost-efficient internet of things (IoT) system.