Welcome!

@ThingsExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Robin Miller, Elizabeth White

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, 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. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
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...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
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 across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
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).
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up 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. Grape Up is a software company specializing 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 across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile 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. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
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.