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Managing and Monitoring Devices using Mission Control

Posted by user on Aug 19, 2016 2:51:00 PM

RoboMQ Mission Control provides all the features you need for monitoring, controlling and managing your Internet of Things(IoT) devices. Since it is Internet of Things, it includes all your things- devices, sensors, gateways and even systems and applications.
 
RoboMQ Mission Control is essentially a device manager which allows you to monitor and control the full life cycle of IoT devices - including bootstrapping, registration, security & Role Based Access Control(RBAC), health checks, scheduled and on-demand diagnostics, alerts & notifications, firmware upgrades and even remote wipe off - all from a single control panel with a few clicks. Once the device manager client is setup on the device, your work is done! Never worry about checking device health anymore as Mission Control will monitor all the things you care about, and you will get notified if and when anythings goes wrong. Controlling a group of devices is as simple as pressing the button.  The device manager will fire a command to the group, and execute the command on all its members.
 
Consider the following use case:
 
“You are running a retail store. Several motion sensors are installed covering the whole shop to collect information about the customer traffic flow. By analyzing the data collected,, you get a good idea about how many people are entering the store, which entrances they are using, and what items get the most attention. This information significantly helps to decide how to organize items and where to place the  promotions.”
 
Its all good ….But how can you make sure that all the sensors are working properly? What do you do when there’s a software update needed on the sensors? What if you want to change the settings on the sensors? How do you add new sensors to the existing infrastructure? Having a maintenance team manually complete these tasks on each device is one painfully slow and costly option, even if you only have a dozen devices. What if you have hundreds or thousands of devices…. its nearly impossible to manage them all. What about security, registration and device wipe off in case of security compromise?
 
Now let’s see how these problems are solved by RoboMQ Mission Control
 
RoboMQ devices are built in docker containers. This means your RoboMQ devices are shipped pre-installed with the Mission Control device manager clients; They are ready to work right out of the box.  As soon as they are turned on for the first time, devices will register themselves and become part of your trusted device network, after completing the Authentication, Authorization and Auditing (AAA) process. Think of it like turning on your cell phone, and how it registers with the carrier network. Once RoboMQ Device manager validates the identity and the ownership, the device will show up on Mission Control Dashboard. Optionally, a device registration email/SMS notification or a custom business process can be executed when the devices activates on your IoT device network for the first time.
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Fig 1: Active devices on your IoT network
 
 
Only authorized users are allowed to access the dashboard and view status of devices. On the control panel, you can configure a set of pre-defined or custom health checks and monitors to run on your devices, or a subset (or sub-network) of your IoT Devices. Scheduled checks and commands are automatically issued to a specific group of devices at a pre-defined interval to monitor devices’ health and operating state.
 
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Fig 2: Heartbeat and memory check running on set of devices 
 
Let’s say we want to keep the memory usage on device lower than 60% to ensure that the device always has enough resources to handle events of motion detection. A simple memory check command can be configured to check devices every 5 seconds.Due to our Microservices Architecture, data transformation and enrichment is made easy. upon the collection of data from the devices and sensors a Microservice can be deployed to perform a variety of well defined tasks, such as limit memory capacity.  If a device’s memory usage is higher than 60%, a ticket could be created, and an alert email/SMS could be sent to the maintenance team. You can optionally define your own handlers to react to such events. Once the memory usage settles back to less than 60%, Mission Control will mark the ticket as “resolved” and send a confirmation email/SMS to maintenance team.
 
Similarly a heartbeat check makes sure that the IoT devices is up and running, and can take action upon the device re-joining the network or exiting the network.
 
 
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Fig 3: Detailed diagnostics information of memory check
 
 
You are not limited to running pre-defined checks. You can actually interrogate the devices in your network. Lets assume one of the devices becomes faulty and you need to collect detailed information, not earlier thought of, to be collected. You could simply ask the device to download a check from a trusted location, execute it and the diagnostics will be available to you on the Mission Control console.
 
Special commands and actions can be issued with just a single click. For example, after business hours, staff can shutdown devices by pressing a shutdown button and issuing a “power off” command.
 
RoboMQ Mission Control allows software upgrade of the firmware, device operating system as well as the software code. When a software update is available, maintenance team can issue a “update” command for the devices to update their software automatically.
 
In addition, RoboMQ device manager, Mission Control has the capability to take corrective actions if the device goes rouge, gets compromised or is in physical possession of some untrusted party. From the device manager console, you could remove the device from the trusted network. Upon taking this action, the device is reset back to factory mode and it has to go back through initial registration process, which in this case will be denied. You may optionally execute a remote wipe-off on the device much like you could wipe off a iPhone if it is lost or stolen.
 
This one single platform, with a very simple dashboard, allows you full control of your devices. Monitoring health, collecting data, and executing commands could not be easier. Sound exciting? Want to give it a try? Reach out to us at sales@robomq.io or sign up for a free trial on our website.

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