How do Remotely Managed IoT Devices Work
The Internet of things (IoT) is a clear ecosystem in which multiple devices are connected via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LoRa, Zigbee wireless network, etc. Common devices that are connected include temperature/humidity sensors, tracking sensors, 3-axis sensors, and others. Each device is identified by its exclusive IP address. once connected to device management, a large amount of data is collected and transmitted automatically without any human intervention.
This helps to both monitor the up-time as well as troubleshoot problems of these devices. In this blog post, we attempt to delve deeper into topics that relate to IoT device management.
Procedures Related to IoT Remote Device Management
Step 1: Provisioning
Provisioning is the step in IoT device management, wherein the smart device has to be connected to the Internet to work properly. Here, you create an account first and then set up a network connection. It consists of two components, as explained below:
Completing the first connection between the IoT solution and the device by registering the device. It is possible to register a single device or multiple devices all at once. Devices can be place in groups, and you can send commands to different devices simultaneously. As an example, for a sensor that tracks temperature over time, you need to register only one sensor. However, if it is about managing an entire autonomous fleet, then you may need to register multiple sensors all at once.Configuring the device according to the solution requirements
This step also involves customizing the equipment. Configuration changes the device’s origin to those that are require to integrate the device with your network. The configuration can be done at any time.
Step 2: Identification Authentication
Authentication is the name given to the process of identifying and registering new devices when they enter IoT systems. This will help to prevent any intrusion effectively and keep proprietary and other information confidential. To enable authentication, administrators should configure device and network security settings to either authorize/block access attempts. The authentication process for different devices is different, as each device has a different key/certificate to verify the authenticity of the device. The model number and serial number are sometimes use for identity verification.
Step 3: Configuration
Configuration management when making remote connections of IoT devices is a way to customize their functionality. When a new device is installed, the further configuration takes place after the initial configuration phase is over. This happens when you may add additional complexity and intelligence to the device, or you try to optimize its functionality with additional code or modify its settings to meet new requirements that have come in.
Step 4: Control
It should be possible to control the devices once they are provisioned, authenticated, configured, and connected to the network. The device behavior is establish during device distribution and authentication to automate the device. Say, after activating the sensors, gateway communications, frost fans, wake-up, and report behavior, it should be possible for administrators to control IoT devices so that they can be tracked and managed in the network.
Step 5: Monitoring
Remote IoT device Management also supports a set of Application Goals such as the following:
- System metrics: The dashboards check device uptime and other accumulated events and those triggered.
- Queue data reporting provides critical insight into user-defined data points that include positioning, speed, temperature and humidity, and other measurements.
- Autonomic alerts & notification help establish user-defined notifications for events in predictive maintenance and also to make key decisions.
- An integrated IoT device management platform functions to detect and remedy security vulnerabilities when there is changing device configuration, and also provides notifications of such events to system administrators.
Step 6: Diagnostics
The administrator can diagnose the health status of the entire device network. The administrators can then perform diagnostics from the management platform without physically visiting each device’s installation point and quickly troubleshoot and fix any problems.
Read our blog: “Remotely Access IoT Devices”
Step 7: Software Maintenance, Updates
IoT devices require complex software-defined attributes for security and functionality management. IoT devices last for a decade or more. Therefore, to keep them operating optimally, it should be possible for administrators to send firmware updates to enhance the functionality of any device across the network at any instant of time. Some examples of software updates include:
- Installing manufacturer’s firmware updates to fix bugs/enhance features
- Deliver security patches to up security protection
- Use Python code to improve device functionality according to changing business requirements
- Increase the frequency of status reports to monitor device progress
Advantages of remote IoT Device Management solutions
Remote IoT device management solutions improve the ability to deploy, manage, and optimize the device network. Some of the benefits are:
- Automatic Locate- You can quickly search a fleet of devices or find any IoT device you want and type to take action or troubleshoot.
- Remote Management- Remote IoT device management helps you to manage/update devices (100s or 1000s of them) remotely and also maintain your device cluster’s health. You can also remotely perform fleet-wide operations like restarts, security patches, and factory reboots in a single go.
- Security- Security updates are critical in protecting networks. Continuous monitoring helps to detect abnormal behavior in data traffic and an alarm device is triggered.
- Scalability- It is easy to scale up deployment and monitor and manage IoT devices remotely through a central management interface and on-site mobile devices.
- Network Optimization- Organizations require tools to deploy software changes to optimize data usage, battery life, and functionality for devices at the edge of the network.
- Faster time-to-market- The IoT device management platform minimizes the time required for development and testing efforts.
- Cost Reduction- IoT device management detects device failures for predictive maintenance and, therefore, lower operating costs.
Remote IoT Device Management – when do you need it
- When you have a large number of devices deployed and you need a quick snapshot of their health
- When your devices are deploying in places that are difficult to reach or physically dangerous for humans (e.g., trains, wells, mines, traffic lights, remote applications)
- Receiving alerts under certain circumstances, say, beyond set safety parameters.
- Routine inspections that take away a lot of time
- When your device is installed in a mission-critical application and you have to avoid
Commonly used IoT device types
Most used IoT devices include sensors, drivers, and various smart connected objects that output information and exchange data with other connected systems and send a report to the cloud.
Read our blog:“Next Generation IOT Networks”
Commonly used IoT Devices
- Temperature sensors for the industrial healthcare sector and cold-chain transport to keep goods at a specific temperature
- Humidity sensors to calculate the amount of water vapor/water level in the atmosphere (in heating systems, dams, kitchen sewers, etc.).
- Accelerometer to detect the rate of change in speed of objects relative to time (intelligent pedometers and fleet monitoring, anti-theft protection systems, etc.)
- Energy tracking sensors in smart water meters to improve accuracy
- Location sensors to apply to your cargo or the person you want to track
Features of Remote IoT Device Management
IoT remote monitoring systems require some basic features for better control over remote devices. They are:
- Instant alerting
- Effective data collection
- Charts for trend analysis
Wireless Technologies for IoT Device Remote Management
The following communication methods are use for IoT data transmission such as: WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRaWan, NFC, ZigBee, and RFID, among others. AWS IoT and Azure IoT are two popular remote IoT device management platforms.
The future looks promising for those companies offering IoT devices. Major investors are in the Asia-Pacific region Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America as more organizations adopt IoT systems suitable for their industry and remotely manage these devices.
Q1: What are the components of IoT device management?
IoT Device Management consists of six main components. They are:
- Bulk Registration: registration of device identity
- Fleet Indexing and Search: find devices according to attributes
- Fine-grained logging: log-in levels for device groups
- Device Jobs: monitors job runs and software updates
- Secure Tunneling: setting up a secure communications session to one device
- Fleet Hub: view and interact with device fleets
Q2: What kinds of devices does IoT management support?
A2: Some platforms can support a broad range of devices, like wireless sensors for temperature, pressure, and motion; complicated devices like BLE-enabled beacons, wearables; even robots and CT scanners.
Q3: Does secure tunneling help with troubleshooting devices in remote IoT management?
A3: Yes, it does. When there is secure connectivity to one single device. Therefore, it is possible to remotely validate that device’s operation and diagnose any problem by running on-device tests, reviewing the device logs and checking all the configuration settings.
Q4: How does IoT Device Management help in device organization?
A4: IoT device management simplifies device organization by allowing to group a fleet of devices into a specific hierarchical structure based on a category such as function or security requirements.