Digi Remote Manager® (DRM) is a secure platform for monitoring and controlling distributed IoT devices. Once you have more than a few devices in your Internet of Things deployment, the challenge of configuring and managing those devices grows. You may be asking these questions:
DRM is designed to solve these issues, give you visibility into your your entire device network, provide alerts for proactive management of network connectivity and performance problems, improve your networks security, and put you in control of your devices and edge compute application logic.
Our VP of Product, Scott Nelson, came up with the analogy recently that DRM is the "Quarterback of the Stack." By this he means DRM is like the most important player on the field, driving and coordinating all of the other players in the stack to create a cohesive performance of all players. Without DRM playing this vital function in the IoT stack, the various components and ecosystem partners of the stack dont get the data or instruction they need to know which actions to take.
Lets explore what we mean by the "IoT stack" and some of the core functionality of DRM.
For discussion purposes, lets look at the collection of applications, services, tools and hardware that make up the IoT stack.
We will be talking about the IoT stack in this and future posts, and it helps to see all the different pieces involved. Digi Remote Manager touches or coordinates nearly all of these layers.
IoT security is a complex undertaking, but Digi Remote Manager offers some critical functionality that provides visibility into your network and simplifies management of your network security.
Here are some highlights:
You can enhance the functionality of your devices using files that you distribute to them using Digi Remote Manager. For example, if you want to update program logic, you can use DRM to automate that process.
The method is similar to the process described earlier for managing your IoT device security. First, you create a profile containing the application logic you want to distribute. DRM will detect that the deployed version is outdated and will update your devices to run the new version that you specified.
Digi Remote Manager facilitates integration with a range of third-party platforms that you may connect with for additional functionality such as analytics, data visualization, and other business application integration. This feature of DRM allows you to connect to the cloud provider of your choice. DRM is cloud agnostic, so it is not tied to any particular provider.
For example, you can integrate with third party applications by configuring DRM to forward data to one of those applications using the push monitor feature.
Alternatively, you can use DRM to load application logic, combined with provided libraries, to connect devices directly to third-party IoT platforms.
A key feature of Digi Remote Manager is the ability to update firmware on a mass scale. Once you tell DRM what you want it to do, it automates the updates to all specified devices or device groups.
You have several choices for how to roll out a firmware update. Here are a few examples:
DRM offers the flexibility to set up firmware updates however it suits your short-term and long-term needs. For example, you might want to deploy updates to a test group prior to mass deployment. Or you may want to update firmware on all devices in a specified geographic region.
The DRM dashboard lets you see at a glance whether any of your devices are showing signs of connectivity or performance problems, to aid in troubleshooting.
You can also set up alerts for certain conditions, and then quickly drill down to troubleshoot the cause. Here are a few scenarios:
You can gain visibility into the status of your devices regardless of the number of devices in your network, or where they are installed.
Depending on your cellular carrier and your administrative policies, you may be able to perform out-of-band management of remote devices that are having trouble connecting. For example, DRM supports SMS access to devices, if supported by your carrier. This would allow you to send a message to a device to determine whether or not it is in a normal connected state.
DRM has the ability to connect to many cellular carriers, including AT&T, Verizon and others through partnerships. Since data plans usually have a limit (for example, 10 MB month), it is important to manage your cellular data usage.
You can configure DRM to connect to your cellular carrier to monitor data usage on your devices. As each device is connected to DRM, the SIM ID is matched to the DRM device ID. This provides visibility and management of every device in your network, allowing you to determine your exact usage, by device. You can then set alerts based on actual data usage, according to the carrier.
Digi is continually enhancing the Digi Remote Manager dashboard, features and user experience to make it as easy as possible to perform these complex tasks across an IoT device deployment, regardless of its size or how geographically dispersed it may be. Contact Digi if you would like more information on how DRM can support your IoT device security and network management goals or to start a free trial.
In our next post in this series, we will be talking about the integration with third party IoT services in the analytics and application middleware layer of the IoT stack.