SMIP Agent (Edge Gateway)
What is SMIP Agent and what it is used for
SMIP Agent is gateway for securely connecting IoT devices with SMIP Cloud or other private cloud.
Key Benefits of SMIP Agent are:
- Connectivity – connects to (local) devices trough various interfaces and protocols.
- Security – Administration, authentication and security of users, data flows and devices.
- Device Management – Configuration, monitoring and management of edge devices.
- Data Management – Ingestion, translation, storage and management of edge device data,
- Orchestration – managing event-driven workflows between internal and external services.
- Integration – Simple API-based integration to local applications and external cloud services.
Areas of Application:
Wherever we want to safely connect IoT devices with a cloud for data exchange (family house, multi-dwelling building, industry, production plants…)
The main functionalities of our SMIP Agent are:
- Device connectivity: connects to (local) devices (sensors, communication modules i.e. Bluetooth, WiFi, …) trough various interfaces (Ethernet, USB, CAN, RS-485, …) and implements various protocols (Modbus RTU, Modbus TCP/IP, W-MBUS, …). Support for new protocols, devices, etc. is continuously expanding.
- Service connectivity: may connect to various (RESTful) WEB services like weather services, smart grid energy optimization services, etc.
- Cloud connectivity: primarily connects to SMIP cloud, but may connect to other big player’s clouds, if required.
- SMIP Agent’s cloud authorization and authentication: each SMIP Agent is given its own secure access credentials in the cloud. All SMIP Agents are configured and monitored from the cloud. The main protocol used for SMIP Agent-to-cloud communication is MQTT over TLS or MQTT over secure Web Socket.
- Communication encryption: all communication with the cloud uses TLS 1.2 encryption.
- Local SMIP Agent configuration: each SMIP Agent has its own admin password for local access (no default admin passwords).
- Area Of Responsibility (AOR) and administrators: SMIP Agents can be administered by different groups of administrators according to their AOR. Administrators may access only SMIP Agents (and metadata/documentation) in their AOR (supported from SMIP cloud).
- Certificate trust store updates: a local SMIP Agent’s trust store can be updated when needed (future-proof TLS connections to clouds with newer certificates) from SMIP cloud.
Data and Event Handling
- Data access: enables real-time data access from cloud to connected devices. Cloud can send data requests and receive responses in real time.
- Data forwarding: SMIP Agent can collect data from various data sources (devices, services) and forward them to various targets, like SMIP cloud or other clouds, gateways, etc.
- Data normalization and naming: normalizes raw data from data sources (devices, services) into a common form which enables easy integration and is suitable to be processed and visualized by the cloud in a user friendly way.
- Virtual variables: defines variables as expressions using data from different data sources. Virtual variables may for example be used for calculating cumulative values (total power as sum of partial powers, number of all raised alarms,…).
- Alarm generation: SMIP Agent can generate configurable alarms and send them to the cloud or other gateways. For example: SMIP Agent may monitor some devices and trigger configurable alarms when something goes wrong (i.e.“failed to communicate with device/sensor”, “device temperature exceeded critical value”, “battery state of charge too low”, etc.).
- Script-able logic and scheduler: SMIP Agent runs custom scripts that use normalized data from various sources:
- Device interoperability: events triggered by one device(s) affect another device(s). For example: by gathering data from different devices some new values can be calculated which then fire various events targeted to other devices or scripts (on SMIP Agent or in the cloud).
- Data interoperability: normalized data from devices and WEB services may be used as an input to scripting to produce an output targeted to other devices and WEB services. Since SMIP Agent uses normalized data it may interconnect various data sources in a simple enough way.
- Cloud interoperability: custom scripts can listen to cloud events and vice-versa. Custom scripts on SMIP Agent may interact with custom cloud scripts.
- IoT scheduling: CRON-like scheduler runs different scripts as defined by custom programmed scheduler entries.
SMIP Cloud support
- End user activation support: end users may access their devices in the cloud by firstly gaining access to owned SMIP Agents (or devices that integrate SMIP Agents) employing necessary security precautions, hence there is less per-user administration in the cloud.
- Content in the cloud: SMIP data visualization, data storage, scripting engine and other modules are fully compatible with SMIP Agents.
- SMIP Agent Remote Maintenance (supported only from SMIP cloud):
- Software upgrades: SMIP Agent’s main functionalities described above may be upgraded from SMIP cloud to any connected IoT Agent at any time.
- (In place) Configuration (content) upgrades: variable, alarm, script and other definitions may be upgraded from SMIP cloud to any connected SMIP Agent at any time, hence it is always possible to change SMIP Agents’ behavior as needed.
- System and performance statistics: SMIP cloud has access to various performance, system statistics on SMIP Agents, i.e. CPU load, memory consumption, I/O byte transfers and timings, possible errors in form of error log files, error descriptions, various error metrics.
- IoT product database: contains all SMIP Agents with important parameters and metadata. Product database is the central module that enables IoT security and IoT maintenance. It contains SMIP Agent access keys but also metadata and documentation about real-world IoT products and possible maintenance history (HW versions, SW versions, serial numbers, etc.). Parts of this database are accessible to administrators and other technical staff.
- Console and maintenance/development tools: administrators and IoT developers may use SMIP cloud tools to develop new IoT content (i.e. scripts…), test it for example on one SMIP Agent and commission production code to multiple SMIP Agents. Upgrading SMIP Agent software functionalities on already installed (on site) SMIP Agents is an important part of IoT life-cycle (support trough SMIP Cloud). Changes in SMIP Agent behavior (i.e. add new Web Service communication with smart grid, add new TCP device protocol support…) can be quickly tested and then commissioned to a larger number of SMIP Agents.
SMIP Agent is one of the services that we are developing under the common brand SMIP Connect, connected with SMIP Cloud Smart Information Platform.
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