Manage your IIoT Network with MYTHINGS Central
Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) are changing the wireless game with signature features such as broad range, ultra-low power consumption, and low device and operating costs that cater to large-scale IoT deployments. One single LPWA network can support hundreds, if not thousands of sensor nodes – depending on the specific radio technology.
With such a huge network size, a key element to consider when looking to adopt any LPWAN solution is effective IIoT network and device management. A highly scalable, future proof architecture requires a tool that makes it easy to provision large number of end nodes, view all messages from a single interface and seamlessly transfer your IoT data to high-level enterprise management systems.
In this blog, we examine MYTHINGS Central, a dedicated software service from BehrTech for streamlined deployment and management of LPWAN architecture using the MIOTY (TS-UNB) technology. Included in all MYTHINGS offerings, MYTHINGS Central provides a one-stop-shop solution for device on and off-boarding, cloud/backend integration, and network troubleshooting.
You can access MYTHINGS Central using our out-of-the-box web-based user interface (UI) or via a RESTFUL API. Here, we focus on network management using the web interface. For more information on how to use the API, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MYTHINGS Status Page
After logging into MYTHINGS Central, you are presented with the Status page, which provides an overall view of your MYTHINGS network including managed base stations, the number of connected sensor nodes, and existing Microsoft Azure Functions or MQTT Brokers. Managed base stations send updates to MYTHINGS Central regularly, so you’ll always stay up-to-date with your MYTHINGS network.
Simple Device Onboarding
Adding nodes is easy in MYTHINGS Central. You can either add them one at a time or upload them in bulk via JSON files. A network session key submitted as part of the onboarding process ensures that messages from MYTHINGS sensor nodes are encrypted during transmission.
Being able to view messages from all connected MYTHINGS nodes is great for troubleshooting. You can view messages from all nodes as they come into the base station or filter messages by node. You can also export message data to a csv file for further analysis. Node messages include telemetry data as well as useful information such as the strength of the radio signal.
Flexible Node Type Configuration
The number and types of sensors in the IoT world are almost endless, reporting everything from temperature and humidity to sound and movement. Even within each group of similar sensors, data requirements can vary widely. Take temperature sensors as an example. One use case might require regular updates of the room temperature with 1 to 2-degree deviation tolerance, whereas another might require greater preciseness, requiring values to the fifth decimal. Also, you need to consider whether the temperature needs to be reported in Fahrenheit, Celsius, or Kelvin.
To keep up with the vast assortment of IoT sensors, MYTHINGS Central includes a Node Type feature that enables you to flexibly define your own sensors. Simply specify some meta data including model, ID, and telemetry data of the respective node in a JSON file and upload to the MYTHINGS Central. Once defined, the base station will be able to recognize the node’s type, interpret its payload and in turn, display the data in a user-friendly manner in the user interface.
Easy Integration with External Systems
As node data is received by the MYTHINGS base station, you may want to send it
to an external analytics platform whether in the cloud or on-premises. MYTHINGS Central integration with cloud-based applications is fast and straightforward using our built-in cloud connectors and supported IoT messaging protocols like MQTT.
Microsoft Azure cloud integration is also natively embedded in our software architecture. A native Azure function automates the creation of the IoT device in the Azure IoT hub, so you don’t have to create it yourself. Azure mappings, representing a virtual connection between a MYTHINGS sensor and a corresponding IoT device in Azure – is easy to set up MYTHINGS Central.
Multi Base Station Support for Improved Network Range
Although by default, each base station communicates with its local instance of MYTHINGS Central, you can manage the entire network with multiple base stations from a single MYTHINGS Central. When you add or delete a node, the changes are made to all connected base stations. This feature allows for better coverage of your MYTHINGS network.
For example, consider a single MYTHINGS Central instance managing two base stations: Base Station 1 and Base Station 2. The two base stations are 5 kilometers apart from each other. Because a single MYTHINGS Central manages both base stations, both will have the same registered nodes. As a result, if a node is moved beyond the range of Base Station 1, messages will still be received by Base Station 2 as long as it is within range. For more information about configuring Multi base station support, contact email@example.com.
To sum up, network and device management is a crucial part of any IIoT deployment. MYTHINGS Central includes flexible and powerful features to help you quickly set up and administer your end-to-end IoT architecture – accelerating time-to-market of your IoT project. As it comes included in all MYTHINGS offerings, you can avoid the hassle and costs of procuring a third-party network management service. If you’re interested in learning more about the MYTHINGS architecture, check out some of our other blogs including MQTT and why you should use it in your IoT Architecture.