NetObjex Aligns with IoT Reference Model
by Raghu B on November 3, 2015
The Internet of Things technology is generating major traction and rapidly growing. Although IoT is discussed in many realms, there is a significant lack of understanding, confusion, and misconceptions, regarding the technology.
The IoT World Forum tried clarifying some things by highlighting an IoT Reference Model. The Reference Model illustrates 7 important layers which enables readers to segment certain activities within the IoT Ecosystem. It provides for more comprehensive dialogs regarding these activities and how competing platforms compare to this model.
The NetObjex IoT platform incorporates a Cloud Platform Mobile Platform, and Device Platform. In the diagram above, one will see a correlation between the IoT World Forum 7 layer Reference Model and the NetObjex platform.
Let's consider the following:
- Layer 1: Physical layer of controllers, sensors, & beacons. The NetObjex Device platform connects to this particular layer. The hardware is ready-made using common components. In some cases, NetObjex has collaborated with clients in developing custom IoT hardware that helps solve their problem(s).
- Layer 2: Connectivity. This involves transitioning data from the physical devices to the cloud or another device. This may take the form of ZWave, SigFox Zigbee, or Bluetooth. When connecting to the cloud, it may be wired or wireless using 4G or 3G. The NetObjex platform incorporates such connectivity options into the controllers.
- Layer 3: Edge Computing. A compelling solution where companies are promoting the concept of Fog Computing. Conceptually, devices at the periphery of the network become more intelligent versus being over-reliant on the cloud. Millions of smart devices are projected to be deployed, so there must be some balance in computing power between the edge and the cloud. The NetObjex fog computing devices include significant smarts and computing power in order to localize decision making. These devices also possess storage capacity to circumvent the need of constantly accessing data from the cloud.
- Layer 4: Data Accumulation. After accumulating data, it must be stored. Where the information is stored is important. Although some data can be stored at the edge, most of the data must be delivered to the Cloud. This will allow Big Data machines to capitalize on their computing power and analyze the data. Thus, the NetObjex cloud platform with its S3 storage and Glacier backups at Amazon AWS become front and center.
- Layer 5: Data Abstraction. This layer can be considered questionable by some. IoT systems contain two types of data. Live data and Configuration data. Configuration data incorporates information about the system, devices setup, access control and other related areas. It is considered static. IoT, in general, is deemed a Real Time system. Live data is the information collected or emitted via the different devices in Layer 1. Live data must be stored (Layer 4) and aggregated for real time decision making. The NetObjex Cloud API consists of various web services that manage the multiple activities in Layer 5.
- Layer 6: Application. This layer in the Reference model can be considered subjective. It doesn't specifically outline the audience for the Application. The audience of an application might be the end-consumers or administrators. NetObjex, has an Admin Panel for administrators that highlights the Live Data and Configuration data in the System. It leverages the Cloud API in Layer 5 so it can access the Data stored in Layer 4. The Mobile App platform – the Browsa Smartbrowser is an application that ties into Layer 5 and Layer 4 as well as being the NetObjex reference implementation of a consumer application.
- Layer 7: Collaboration and Processes – IoT based Industrial and Commercial applications that collect data need some type of action to occur. For example, when a company requires a Workflow and Rules to deliver messages from devices to the correct audiences under certain conditions. E.g. "if fire sensor is ON, make automated call to Fire Department". This process is managed within the NetObjex Workflow Engine, Enterprise Gateway, Messaging services, and Rules Engine.
Internet of Things is complex and its Reference Model aids in creating some structure around technology that is transforming the world. The NetObjex platform is a state-of-the-art IoT platform that will help companies, organizations, and institutions better understand and position themselves for this disruptive, technological transformation.