As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues its rapid expansion, the number of devices connected worldwide is projected to reach nearly 30.9 billion by 2025, making IoT application development more crucial than ever. This guide will explore the best practices for IoT developers in 2023, from device management to efficient software updates, real-time monitoring, and more.
IoT in 2023: Setting the Stage
The IoT landscape has been growing at an unparalleled pace. By 2023, it’s projected that more than 41.76 billion IoT-connected devices will be active worldwide. This growth is driven by several key trends, such as the rise of automation processes, ongoing digital transformation initiatives, the recovery of value chains post-COVID-19, and the rollout of 5G networks.
Importance of Effective Device Management
Effective device management is the cornerstone of efficient IoT development. Each IoT device is a unique runtime and needs to be uniquely identified at scale. Once device identity is established, devices can be annotated with the right metadata for management and grouping.
Overcoming Network Topologies
Working across network topologies, including intermittently disconnected scenarios, is a challenge. Many IoT devices are behind double Network Address Translation (NAT) topologies and cannot accept remote connections. Therefore, a secure tunneling agent that runs on the device or a gateway is often required. It’s crucial to ensure that this agent is lightweight and can self-update securely.
Harnessing Real-Time Device Monitoring
Real-time monitoring of IoT devices helps in quickly identifying issues and taking appropriate actions. It’s critical to have a system that can handle large, fast, and constant time-series data workloads. The primary approaches include using a built-in option in your database, real-time monitoring tools, or a combination of both.
The Challenge of Limited Connectivity
Many IoT devices have limited connectivity, which can pose a challenge for real-time monitoring. A common solution is to aggregate data on the device and stream it to a monitoring server when the device regains connectivity. However, many monitoring services don’t handle historical events well. A gateway service deployed in proximity to devices, acting as a monitoring proxy, can help solve this problem.
Efficient Software Updates: The Key to Secure IoT
Performing efficient software updates is crucial for secure IoT. Given the sensitivity and potential risks in an update, the time of the update should reflect minimal disruption to device service. Also, the ability to roll back bad or failed updates is critical, especially for devices at a mass scale that cannot be manually rolled back, or devices that cannot be physically reached to “reset” a bad state.
Remote Access and Control: Troubleshooting Made Easy
Remote access provides invaluable troubleshooting and debugging capabilities. When issues arise across more than a single device as a result of either external changes or a version update, a developer needs access to a troubled device to check the problem on the device itself. However, secure and easy remote access is crucial.
IoT Data: Start Your Storage Right
Virtually all IoT data is time-series data, which means storing it in a time-series database is the most efficient option. A time-series database is designed to store and query data based on time, making it perfect for IoT data that contains a measurement, tags, fields, and a timestamp.
The Art of Downsampling
Downsampling is a powerful tool that can save storage costs and make the data easier and faster to work with. It’s the process of aggregating high-granularity data and making it less granular by applying means, averages, and other operations.
The Power of Real-Time Monitoring
Real-time monitoring of IoT data allows quick decision-making and action-taking. Whether you’re comparing data to historical data to find anomalies or setting parameters, real-time monitoring is crucial.
Historical Aggregation and Cold Storage
When your real-time data is no longer relevant, you can use it for historical data analysis or store it in more efficient cold storage or a data lake. As great as a time-series database is for ingesting and working with real-time data, it also needs to be a great place to store your data long term.
In conclusion, the IoT landscape in 2023 will be characterized by a rapid growth of connected devices and the increasing importance of effective device management, real-time monitoring, efficient software updates, and secure remote access. By following these best practices, IoT developers can ensure they are well-positioned to harness the full potential of IoT technology.