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iDigi Becomes Device Cloud by Etherios

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As you may have noticed, we’ve made some changes. While change can be tough, it can also be exciting– and this is one change that we’re thrilled to share. iDigi is now Device Cloud. This new branding emphasizes that Device Cloud works with any manufacturers’ hardware. And, we’re adding the cloud experience and expertise of Etherios.

Etherios, which is a new division of Digi International, is a Salesforce.com Cloud Alliance Platinum Partner and a widely recognized cloud computing services provider. The [self proclaimed] “Etherians” help organizations realize and implement their cloud strategy.

With the new brand, we’re working to emphasize that Device Cloud is the easiest, smartest and sleekest way for organizations to connect devices to applications with any hardware– ours or any other manufacturers’.

We know what you’re wondering– what’s going to change?
In addition to the new name, you’ll notice a new logo and color scheme. The platform will continue to offer device-agnostic management, data streaming, open application programming interfaces (APIs) and state-of-the-art security features. It’s our mission: any app, anything, any where, accelerated.

Rebranded Platform

Check it out now:

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The iDigi Connector is now Etherios Cloud Connector. If you don’t already know, Cloud Connector is a free software download that enables connection of any device, regardless of manufacturer or operating system, to Device Cloud. This enables access to the device from any application. Cloud Connector even runs on low-cost microprocessors without an operating system.

Questions? Let us know in the comments section below, or reach us on Facebook or Twitter.

Read the press release here.

Digi Mass Transit Control System at Embedded World 2013

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Control systems for a bus are simulated in this Digi mass transit demo using Intelligent System Framework-ready hardware from Portwell and Kontron based on the Intel® Atom™ processor and running the Android* OS.

One system displays the driver operator panel, and the second system provides passenger information such as bus stop locations, as well as static and video advertising sponsored by nearby businesses. A camera connected to the driver operator panel also provides a simulated view of the passenger area with recording options for additional passenger and personnel security purposes. The systems share data, such as current bus location, route and arrival information over the iDigi Device Cloud and show the delivery of mass transit passenger-oriented services via Intel mobile phones and tablets.

iDigi Named As One of 100 Top Resources for Electrical Engineers

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The iDigi Device Cloud and the iDigi blog have been named as one of the top 100 resources for electrical engineers by ElectricalEngineeringSchools.org. Other top resources include Electronics Weekly, Engineering.com, the EE Times and others.

Electrical engineering is a highly technical pursuit that sits at the nexus of software and hardware development. Electrical engineers can design components and electronic systems for industrial machinery and consumer gadgets, and will often work in collaboration with manufacturers and designers to bring new electronic devices to market. There is also a huge hobbyist community of amateurs and professionals who advocate do-it-yourself electronics projects as a great way to learn about the inner workings of many of the household machines that people use every day. Electrical engineering can be quite technically challenging and requires a great deal of mathematics and physics knowledge, but the financial and personal rewards for succeeding in this field are great.

Read the full post and see the other resources here

Connected Devices Offer Lower Security Risks

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“Five 9s, NERC/CIP, HIPAA Compliant, CISSP…” When it comes to device or “thing” security you’ve had numbers and a variety of security certification acronyms thrown your way. While this information really does mean something, we want to dive in and tell the whole story. “If you read between the lines, these up-time commitments and certifications imply that device security and reliability are a reason to avoid connecting your machines to the Internet. But, nothing could be farther from the truth. Once you start streaming GPS location, device health, messages and so forth, the security and reliability of the device itself skyrockets.” Digi’s Collaborative Strategy Leader, Rob Faludi pointed out. So, in this post, we’ll cover the downsides of leaving devices unconnected.

Device Cloud’s leader of information security, Don Schleede, breaks down how attaching devices will lower security risks. Below he explains why and how.

Let’s start with an analogy. Imagine you have a nice house, close to the city, but still a little rural. You install the best security system that money can buy. But it is not hooked up to any phone line, and never reports back to a centralized and managed center. What happens when a burglar breaks in? Chances are that your system will be going off for a long time. Are you really protected? The same concept applies to a device.

security

Centralized data collection and management provides the following 6 benefits:

1) Centralized Identity and Authorization
When a device is connected you are able to track-ability of logins and use of the device. You also have the ability to do a much simpler password restore operation and to federate your userid and password to your central ID repository, where password expiry, authentication, is monitored.

2) Firmware Updates for Security
Device connectivity to a system like Device Cloud allows for automatic notifications of firmware updates for your devices. Firmware updates can easily be rolled out  in a batch methodology, instead of visiting each device, and having the chance of missing a few devices.

3) Configuration settings
Connectivity offers the ability to store off-site the configuration of your device. You also have the ability to create a “gold configuration” for all of your devices. Also, if you need to meet a security standard, all devices can be validated against a standard, and suggestions for improved security can be recommended. For example, you may have 120 devices, but one of them is mis-configured, and is insecure (not running SSL for example). This can be alerted within a console.

4) Centralized Logging
Centralized logging for devices makes for easier manageability. Connectivity enables you to do advanced analysis and correlations on devices. For example, can you do brute force detection on your current devices? If a device starts to malfunction, the visibility of that malfunction can be centralized and someone can be easily alerted.

5) Asset Management
Having one location where all of your devices are located, and the ability to tell the status of the devices, gives you a nice clean way to manage your inventory and identify missing devices. If a device is stolen, they may be able to be recovered. This is similar to someone stealing an iPhone, and trying to enable the stolen phone on a new account.

6) Disaster Recovery/Replacement of Bad Units
Devices that are connected have minimal downtime due to broken devices. The last known configuration can be replaced on a new unit. And, there’s the option of spinning up a new device is trivial if a disaster were to occur.

Overall, devices are small, and typically are limited in CPU, memory and power. To include many of the security features needed today in each device is just impossible because of the limits. The better approach is to “off-load” or shift those functions into the cloud. When a device works together with a device cloud service, it has the ability to cooperatively work together to increase the overall security of the device, and all devices in general. Better device security through security information sharing.

Are you interested in learning more about Device Cloud’s security? Here’s a page on the website. We also offer a white paper on iDigi security here. Have a question about device security? Ask in the comments section below or on Twitter.

We’re Hiring!

If you love security, we are looking for a motivated individual who would like to make Information Security their full time job. We are looking for someone who has 3 years experience in the computer industry (Highly motivated without 3 years? Still apply!). The role is about 60% technical, and requires someone to be familiar with common security setting in windows AD domains and Unix systems. The ideal candidate has had some scripting or minor programming background.

Security tasks for this role would include the following:

  • Security technical investigations
  • Running vulnerability analysis software
  • Writing scripts to test vulnerable web sites or systems
  • Giving recommendations on how to “harden” a server
  • Working with developers to fix and identify security vulnerabilities in code
  • Working with common security technology, such as Network Intrusion Detection sensors, Security Information and Event management systems (SIEM – aka. Log collection and correlation engines), Certificate management, and Identity management

Interested? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter, we’ll connect you with Don Schleede who is hiring for this position.

This Week in the Internet of Things: Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

Interview with Adam Wolf, Co-Author of Make: Lego and Arduino Projects

Reserve your spot for a 3-hr hands-on training experience with Freescale & Digi International

Building Internet Enabled Things with Arduino XBee and Nodejs by Bryan Paluch

iDigi at the M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Named Best Horizontal Platform

Connecting a Capacitive Touch Keypad to the Programmable XBee on Digi Examples & Guides

Do you have a link to share? Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @XBeeWireless — we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

iDigi at the M2M Evolution Conference & Expo; Named Best Horizontal Platform

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Update 1/30/2013

Yesterday, at Battle of the Platforms, iDigi brought home the award for Best Horizontal Platform for “ease of integration, acceptability across multiple vertical markets, reduced complexity, cost reduction and speed of deployment.” We enjoyed seeing and hearing about the innovative ideas and solutions our peers are creating, and we were excited share the latest features of the iDigi Platform. Here are two articles that provide details on the competition, participants and winners.

The Winner of the Battle of the Platforms at M2M Evolution Is…

Innovation in M2M Solutions on Display at Battle of the Platforms

“Digi, the victor of last year’s competition, updated the crowd on its iDigi solution. It is newly integrated with Saleforce, and this integration provides an impressive use case. If, for example, your hot tub malfunctions, it can send information through the Social Machine to Salesforce, and the dealer can dispatch a tech to your house. Everyone in this chain will have up-to-date information, and your spa may be fixed before you even know it is broken!”

Want to check out the platform for yourself? Sign up for iDigi, it’s free!

We’re excited to be attending the M2M Evolution Conference and Expo this week in Miami. The conference highlights how M2M technologies and the Internet of Things can be utilized to significantly improve business processes, minimize risk, spur innovation and drive revenue.

On Tuesday, January 29, we’ll be competing in Battle of The Platforms. Last year, we were thrilled to take first place as ”Best Overall Platform” in Battle of the Platforms, and we hope to do the same here in Miami.

Three judgesMike Sapien of Ovum, James Brehm of Compass Intelligence and Carl Ford of Crossfire Media will select six winners, one winner in each of the categories below in addition to naming the Overall Best Platform.

Platform Categories represented at Battle of the Platforms:

  • Enabling Independent Applications Developer to work with M2M devices – “Here we are looking at how third parties use APIs to manage information flow and connect to the users existing systems.”
  • Platform for best BI Controls Solutions - “Here we are looking at the ability to deliver thresholding and performance criteria in a manner that makes business decisions logical, simple and self evident as possible.”
  • Platform for Service Providers to support wholesale services – “Here we are looking at how the provisioning of M2M is streamlined and available for rapid deployment.”
  • Platform for Enterprise Deployment - “Here we are looking at the ability to partition and deliver specific solutions where the enterprise manages independent of the location of their equipment.”
  • Best Horizontal Platform- “Ease of integration, acceptability across multiple vertical markets, reduced complexity, cost reduction and speed of deployment.”

Will you be at the M2M Evolution Conference this week? We’d love to meet you in person. If you’re looking for real-time updates, we’ll be sharing photos, video and more here on the iDigi blog, Facebook and  Twitter. You can also follow M2MEvolution for updates and information.

Big Data Tip: Don’t Save Everything via InformationWeek

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Big data is all about gaining insights from very large and diverse volumes of information. But often organizations make the mistake of trying to collect every bit of data that’s available to them, no matter how inconsequential.

This record-it-all approach is a waste of resources and money. A smarter solution is to decide beforehand what data is essential to your operation, and then take the necessary steps to collect, process, filter, and analyze it, says Joel Young, senior VP of research and development and CTO of Digi International, a machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions provider.

Founded in 1985, Digi International has evolved from a supplier of multi-port serial adapter cards for servers to a cloud platform for connecting devices. The company’s cloud-based iDigi product, for instance, allows organizations to connect and manage device networks.

In a phone interview with InformationWeek, Young said that companies are often overwhelmed by big data, particularly if they lack a clear definition of how they want to use it. Machine-to-machine communications, which may involve hundreds, if not thousands, of devices spread across a wide geographic area, can exacerbate this problem. “When you have a device that’s sending information every second or minute, and you have a hundred thousand of these, you get a lot of data very quickly,” said Young.

Some companies aren’t confused by big data because they have a clear idea of what they want to do, and how they want to do it. “Others are lost,” Young said.

To avoid the problem of having too much data — much of which an organization may never analyze — some big data soul searching is in order. “What problem are you trying to solve? You’ve got all this data, what do you want to do?” asked Young rhetorically. “A lot of times there’s a whole lot of data you may not even need.”

Once a company identifies the business problem it wants to solve, it can decide which data it needs, and establish rules for gathering that information. “One of the biggest problems I’ve found with big data is that people record way, way more than they need to,” said Young.

A vending company that Digi International worked with recently had a big data problem with its old coin-operated vending machines. The firm had two major issues with its vending hardware, which totaled about 50,000 machines, many deployed in remote locations.

Read the full article by Jeff Bertolucci on InformationWeek

Friday Favorites

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The Internet of Things is developing and buzzing all around us. Throughout the week we come across innovative projects, brilliant articles and posts that support and feature the innovators and companies that make our business possible. Here’s our list of favorites from this week’s journey on the Web.

A social Internet of Things. How should our buildings and belongings communicate? by Jamillah Knowles on The Next Web

Digi Empowers Companies to Take Control of their Business Assets with Enhanced iDigi Device Cloud on DailyFinance

The Coolest Cube Around, the Skube: an XBee Enabled Listening Device
Interviewing the crew behind the Skube was an amazing highlight of the week!

The Internet Of Things Will Drive Social Marketing By Steve Hershberger on Business 2 Community

Join Us at World Maker Faire, an event so exciting that Mayor Bloomberg has made it officially “Maker Week.” You can also see Rob Faludi and Jordan Husney present Upgrade Your World: XBee to Internet on Sunday at 3pm! Follow our live Maker Faire updates throughout the weekend on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you have a link to share? Please tell us in the comments below or Tweet us, @XBeeWireless — we would love to share your findings too. You can also follow all of the commentary and discussion with the hashtag #FridayFavorites.

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