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June 23, 2020

Bypass All of Your Critical IoT Gateway Issues

Bypass All of Your Critical IoT Gateway Issues

I. Problem: IoT gateways are easily affected by service interruptions

An IoT gateway device is crucial in linking together other IoT equipment and devices, sensors, systems, and the cloud. By systematically connecting the field and the cloud, IoT gateway devices offer a localized processing and storage solution, as well as the ability to autonomously control field devices based on sensors’ data input.

 

Generally, IoT gateway devices don’t have failover capabilities, so when a gateway is out of service due to reboot, system upgrade, or malfunction, all data to the device is dropped and retransmitted through other network paths. This increases transmission costs and the entire network’s latency.

Bypass All of Your 
Critical IoT Gateway Issues

II. Solution: IoT gateway with bypass mechanism

We’ve solved these issues by introducing the bypass mechanism into IoT gateway devices. During normal system operation, the gateway inspects traffic and the bypass state is normal mode. When the gateway malfunctions or the system is reboot or powered down, the bypass can be set to bypass mode or disconnect mode.

 

Figure 1. An IoT gateway with bypass mechanism

Figure 1. An IoT gateway with bypass mechanism

 

 

The bypass mechanism is based on a software watchdog. When the system is up and running, it triggers the watchdog, which has been holding the bypass in normal mode. When the system malfunctions, it stops sending triggers and the watchdog switches the bypass relays to bypass mode or disconnect mode.


Figure 2. NEXCOM bypass’ four modes

Figure 2. NEXCOM bypass’ four modes

 

Figure 3. NEXCOM bypass use cases

Figure 3. NEXCOM bypass use cases

 

III. Benefit: the driver provides a rich variety of functions

Because bypass control is closely related to system status, we’ve developed a Linux driver that’s supported from kernel 2.6 to the latest version (kernel 5.x) as well as providing a sysfs control interface. The bypass driver provides information about any installed NEXCOM bypass devices, including the model name, current state, and component NICs. It also supports switching current bypass states and configuring watchdog settings. Moreover, the driver provides power state protection for setting the bypass state while the system powers up or down.

 

Figure 4. NEXCOM bypass’ features

Figure 4. NEXCOM bypass’ features

 

 

NEXCOM’s bypass system is specially devised to ensure that all components are effectively and efficiently integrated. The NEXCOM bypass driver issues commands to the bypass controller, which then controls the applicable relays in switching among various bypass modes. Through extensive research and development, NEXCOM has additionally developed a unique circuit design that allows the bypass controller to protects the power state in critical cases of sudden power loss.

 

Figure 5. NEXCOM bypass block diagram

Figure 5. NEXCOM bypass block diagram

 

 

The NEXCOM bypass driver provides user spaces a set of unified control methods. The administrator can use nodes to control the bypass state, while the system code can enable the watchdog and then trigger it regularly to ensure the system is alive. Furthermore, the application is able to control bypass via RESTful API, based on NEXCOM’s Atlas OS™ (VNF).

 

Figure 7. Software stack

Figure 6. Software stack

 

IV. Conclusion

IoT gateway devices typically connect the field and cloud but don’t deliver failover capabilities. Utilizing NEXCOM’s integrated solution with bypass mechanism reduces network transmission costs and latency.

 

The adaptive configurations for four different modes fulfills various use case requirements, while the bypass driver provides user spaces easy-to-use interfaces. Both system codes and applications can also easily manage our bypass devices. Moreover, the driver is extendable to a diversity of Ethernet controllers. It’s evident that no matter what needs you have, NEXCOM’s IoT gateway with bypass mechanism is your best bet.

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