Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, PagerDuty Blog, Elizabeth White, David H Deans

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Mobile IoT, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

@ThingsExpo: Article

IoT Software Releases | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData #InternetOfThings

Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges

Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges.  Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues.  In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software updates for IoT more problematic.  How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when your IoT product is updated?

Getting IoT to Flow
Electric Cloud helps our customers solve software delivery problems at a very large scale. Our integrated, end-to-end, DevOps platform - ElectricFlow - has proven to be a natural fit for orchestrating the complex pipelines that are common with IoT.

Pipelines
ElectricFlow 6.0 introduces Pipelines to allow you to automate end-to-end software development and delivery processes, enabling Application Release Automation (ARA) and Continuous Delivery (CD).  You can easily manage the software delivery of one or more applications using pipelines.

electricflow pipeline1

A pipeline is a series of high-level re-usable steps that run automated processes. Pipelines consist of one or more stages. Each stage has a stage plan with one or moretasks, an entry gate, and an exit gate.

Tasks are used to run automated build, test, and deployment processes.  The tasks within a stage plan are run in sequential order.

An entry gate and an exit gate exist for each stage. A gate may consist of one or more automatic or manual approvals.  When the tasks for a stage are completed and an exit gate requires approval before going to the next stage, the approvers are notified by email.

Pipelines provide several benefits:

  • Orchestration - determine who (or what) is working on the release process, what part they are doing, what is the status of that part, and what is the next step.
  • Visibility - determine how the software is performing, whether it is ready for beta or production, where there are performance issues, and what versions are available within the release process.
  • Control - determine whether the software is ready for integration, beta, preproduction, or production and whether the software passes the quality criteria at stage gates and has been approved by the appropriate users or groups.

Pipelines in Action
Let's walk through a real use case to see how ElectricFlow is used to coordinate an IoT release.

The Pieces
In our example, there are three teams that work on the major components of a car-based IoT product:

  • The embedded team develops the software deployed to electric cars. This software collects vehicle-specific information (battery charge, MPGe, etc.) and uploads it to the data center.
  • The backend data team develops the software deployed to the data center. This software collects, analyzes, and provides visualization for the data uploaded by the vehicles.
  • The mobile team develops the app deployed to the app store. This mobile app shows car owners real-time information about their vehicle, such as battery utilization.

For the demo, we assembled the following pieces running "v1" of the product:

iot-dem-vehicle-sw

The vehicle - the embedded software in the vehicle is simulated by a Raspberry Pi with a Blink(1) light indicating the battery charge and pushing information to the DB

iot-demo-backend-sw

The data backend- simulated by a database running in AWS EC2, and a Dashing dashboard to visualize the data

iot-demo-mobile-app-sw-1

The mobile app - an iOS application running on an iPhone and showing real-time data from the DB in EC2

Working in Isolation
Each team uses the appropriate automation mechanism to build, test, and deploy their software in isolation from the other teams.

The vehicle and backend data teams:

These teams use ElectricFlow to:

  1. Model their applications' tiers and components
  2. Define their processes used to build, test, and deploy their applications
  3. Define and run pipelines to execute these processes across the various stages of development.

application-model-iot

The backend data application model

deployment-process-iot

The vehicle deployment process

backend-app-pipeline

The backend data pipeline

The mobile application team:
Using Ship.IO, the mobile team builds, tests, and deploys their solution to various test devices as well as to the App Stores.

mobile-app-builds-ship1

The mobile app jobs - build triggered automatically with each commit to Git.

mobile-app-ship2

The mobile app build/test/deploy process

Bringing it all together
While lower environment development and testing is done using isolated pipelines, all three applications must converge, and be tested, before the final push to production. ElectricFlow manages this Release Pipeline.

release-pipeline

The Release Pipeline stages and gates in ElectricFlow

For the purpose of the demonstration, we update each one of the three components comprising the IoT service to form a "v2" of our product. Once all three updates have passed their pipelines, we are ready to stage our coordinated release.  To do that, we run the Release Pipeline.

run-pipeline

A run-time instance of the Release Pipeline

The applications use snapshots to deploy the exact same bits and processes in each stage of both the individual team pipelines and the coordinated Release Pipeline.  The exact same applications are deployed and tested from Development through to Production.  This ensures repeatability and consistency, and greatly reduces the risk of failures when deploying to Production.  When the applications converge, a successful deployment to the Staging environment is followed by a successful deployment to Production.

pipeline-success

A successful Release pipeline

The ElectricFlow environment inventory shows the version of each component that is currently deployed.  This visibility is powerful both when debugging failures and providing data for audit reports.

release-inventory

The inventory for a Staging environment

Automate everything
This example represents the moving parts that are typical of an IoT service.  Coordinating the software delivery for these moving parts poses a challenge, particularly when cross-teams integration is required, and especially at scale.  While manual coordination is typically used to address this, manual tasks are slow and extremely error-prone.  Automation is the key to high-quality software being delivered at a rapid pace.

automate-the-internet-of-things

In the above demonstration, we see how ElectricFlow models an entire end-to-end IoT delivery lifecycle.  Pipelines orchestrate the development and subsequent convergence of multiple applications - from commit through test and deployment to production.  The simple and intuitive UI, along with the scalable automation of CI and deployment processes, makes ElectricFlow a natural solution for IoT software delivery challenges.

More Stories By Anders Wallgren

Anders Wallgren is Chief Technology Officer of Electric Cloud. Anders brings with him over 25 years of in-depth experience designing and building commercial software. Prior to joining Electric Cloud, Anders held executive positions at Aceva, Archistra, and Impresse. Anders also held management positions at Macromedia (MACR), Common Ground Software and Verity (VRTY), where he played critical technical leadership roles in delivering award winning technologies such as Macromedia’s Director 7 and various Shockwave products.

@ThingsExpo Stories
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Ca...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of 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. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT 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. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).