Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Karthick Viswanathan

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
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, discussed how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees learned how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He also looked at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers can be the ...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...