|By Mark Gentile||
|December 1, 2010 10:12 AM EST||
To get through a long day at the office you grab a snack from the vending machine, which never seems to be out of your favorite item thanks to a network connection that sends inventory information and replenishment requests to the vending management company. After work, you call home and ask what to pick up for dinner, making the call using a Bluetooth connection between your cell phone and the communications system in your car. On the way home you stop at the grocery store to grab dinner and rent a DVD from a rental machine.
Transactions like these occur every day by people around the world thanks to embedded systems that run inside vending machines, gas pumps, kiosks, price checkers, retail point-of-sale stations and other devices within the retail, hospitality and financial sectors of the market. Embedded Systems can also be found in many household items including utility meters, appliances, security systems, set-top boxes like DVRs, and home electronics. There are even embedded systems in medical devices in hospitals and doctors' offices and in factories or industrial sectors as part of machine-to-machine (M2M) interfaces such as processing equipment, controllers, sensors and robotics/automation equipment.
Although embedded and remote devices are not always obvious, due to their behind-the-scenes role, they are becoming pervasive. There will be upwards of 400 million embedded devices and M2M connections by 2014. Last year, there were approximately 75 million embedded devices with cellular communication capability, but that's expected to triple to more than 2.2 billion by 2014. Along with this exponential growth, the number of M2M devices capable of 4G wireless communications is expected to grow from just 40,000 this year to 12.6 million in 2015.
Embedded Management Challenges
As the importance of embedded devices grows, so will the market, and along with it the need for effective remote device management solutions. Embedded devices need to be managed just like other IT assets, however, traditional enterprise IT management solutions are frequently not equipped to handle the challenges posed by embedded devices. This is because software residing on embedded devices must not only protect data, safeguard customer information and meet enterprise standards for network, device and data security, but it must also work to reduce, or eliminate, the occurrence of downtime.
Uptime is essential for embedded devices; this makes shutting them down for routine maintenance out of the question. Embedded systems are designed to run unattended, and are installed in equipment or locations that are far from the physical reach of those responsible for support and service.
Because of these challenges and characteristics, whenever and wherever embedded devices are used, remote management systems should be used along with them.
Implementation and Features
Since uptime is so important for embedded devices, and the devices may be hundreds of miles apart, monitoring and management features that help maintain uptime are extremely valuable. Below are the essential features and capabilities on how to remotely manage embedded devices.
Ability to Access the Device Remotely
Since it is not enough to just see what's happening within an embedded device, support staff also needs the ability to fix a problem. With remote access, administrators can perform troubleshooting without having to actually touch the device. Remote access minimizes downtime because it provides the centralized tools for faster problem resolution.
Two-Way Communication That Is Secure and Automated
Remote device management solutions with two-way communication are able to receive status reports, allowing them to utilize data and diagnostic information from embedded systems and then administer security updates, software patches and other changes. Two-way communication is a quintessential feature for proactive management because it alerts administrators to performance issues before actual problems occur.
Remote device management solutions are not only substitutes for building security safeguards into embedded devices, but should also augment and strengthen security. Embedded devices should have native protection to prevent hacking, secure data, and provide authentication for communication and data transfer. Device management solutions can enhance these protections by giving administrators the ability to remotely lock down devices, selectively or completely wipe data, block communications and data transfer, and otherwise disable the device.
Health Information from the Device
With device health updates, organizations can lengthen uptime by reducing the lag time between when a problem occurs and when it is discovered. Remote device management solutions automatically alert administrators when error messages are detected or when devices go offline, enabling issues to be identified and resolved quickly. The management system should also be able to collect, store, and report information about utilization and uptime, unauthorized access attempts and other historical data that can be used to help configure, manage, and secure the device.
Support for Multiple Platforms
Remote management solutions can add even more value by supporting various types of devices and being able to integrate with and complement existing enterprise management solutions. The management solution needn't be device specific; the same solution used to support embedded devices could also be used to manage other assets, such as smart phones, PDAs and handheld computers, kiosks, POS terminals, industrial controls. Device management solutions that support network standards; leading operating systems such Microsoft Windows Mobile, Microsoft Windows and Embedded CE; and multiple smart phone and device platforms provide value by enabling the organization to leverage its investment in management capabilities across multiple assets. The value of leveraging will increase, as organizations have to manage increasingly large and diverse populations of embedded, mobile and wireless devices. To further leverage legacy investments, the management solution for embedded devices should support and integrate with enterprise management solutions that may already be in place, such as Microsoft Configuration Manager 2007. Administrators do not want a separate management solution for each different type of device they need to support, so they should plan for the future by specifying management solutions that can support a heterogeneous environment.
Embedded devices are all around us, their capabilities are growing exponentially, and the installed base is projected to grow into tens of billions. The possibilities are exciting, but organizations need to be careful to ensure that as their population of embedded devices grows, they have the ability to manage them. Vending machines, kiosks, industrial controllers, and other embedded systems don't look like laptops or PDAs, but the principles and best practices for managing IT assets need to be applied to them. Wherever devices are embedded, remote management capabilities should be embedded with them so systems can be maintained reliably, efficiently, and securely.
Microservices (μServices) are a fascinating evolution of the Distributed Object Computing (DOC) paradigm. Initial design of DOC attempted to solve the problem of simplifying developing complex distributed applications by applying object-oriented design principles to disparate components operating across networked infrastructure. In this model, DOC “hid” the complexity of making this work from the developer regardless of the deployment architecture through the use of complex frameworks, such as C...
Mar. 23, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,890
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 23, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,100
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Mar. 22, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,182
As Enterprise business moves from Monoliths to Microservices, adoption and successful implementations of Microservices become more evident. The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Documenting hurdles and problems for the use of Microservices will help consultants, architects and specialists to avoid repeating the same mistakes and learn how and when to use (or not use) Microservices at the enterprise level. The circumstance w...
Mar. 22, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,952
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 22, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,162
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 22, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 843
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Mar. 22, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 8,119
The IT industry is undergoing a significant evolution to keep up with cloud application demand. We see this happening as a mindset shift, from traditional IT teams to more well-rounded, cloud-focused job roles. The IT industry has become so cloud-minded that Gartner predicts that by 2020, this cloud shift will impact more than $1 trillion of global IT spending. This shift, however, has left some IT professionals feeling a little anxious about what lies ahead. The good news is that cloud computin...
Mar. 22, 2017 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 489
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Mar. 22, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,635
Everyone wants to use containers, but monitoring containers is hard. New ephemeral architecture introduces new challenges in how monitoring tools need to monitor and visualize containers, so your team can make sense of everything. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, David Gildeh, co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, will go through the challenges and show there is light at the end of the tunnel if you use the right tools and understand what you need to be monitoring to successfully use containers in your...
Mar. 22, 2017 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 799
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Mar. 22, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 7,180
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service.
Mar. 22, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,716
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Mar. 22, 2017 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,630
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 22, 2017 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,218
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Mar. 21, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 7,029
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
Mar. 21, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,029
In recent years, containers have taken the world by storm. Companies of all sizes and industries have realized the massive benefits of containers, such as unprecedented mobility, higher hardware utilization, and increased flexibility and agility; however, many containers today are non-persistent. Containers without persistence miss out on many benefits, and in many cases simply pass the responsibility of persistence onto other infrastructure, adding additional complexity.
Mar. 21, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,898
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud enviro...
Mar. 21, 2017 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 7,677
Building custom add-ons does not need to be limited to the ideas you see on a marketplace. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sukhbir Dhillon, CEO and founder of Addteq, will go over some adventures they faced in developing integrations using Atlassian SDK and other technologies/platforms and how it has enabled development teams to experiment with newer paradigms like Serverless and newer features of Atlassian SDKs. In this presentation, you will be taken on a journey of Add-On and Integration ...
Mar. 21, 2017 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,881
True Story. Over the past few years, Fannie Mae transformed the way in which they delivered software. Deploys increased from 1,200/month to 15,000/month. At the same time, productivity increased by 28% while reducing costs by 30%. But, how did they do it? During the All Day DevOps conference, over 13,500 practitioners from around the world to learn from their peers in the industry. Barry Snyder, Senior Manager of DevOps at Fannie Mae, was one of 57 practitioners who shared his real world journe...
Mar. 21, 2017 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,447