The advances in the last two decades have made the Internet of Things (IoT) more accessible and easy to work with. Businesses don’t have to make significant investments or research to launch an IoT solution or deploy one within their organizations. There are many solutions with which enterprises can build, test, deploy and monitor IoT platforms for a wide range of use cases. This in turn drove and is driving the rapid proliferation of both consumer and industrial Internet of Things devices.
ThingsBoard is one of the popular solutions among these. In this article, we explore ThingsBoard and how you can choose an IoT gateway for your ThingsBoard project.
What Is ThingsBoard? How Does It Work?
ThingsBoard is an open-source IoT development platform. The platform is designed to simplify the server-side infrastructure for IoT solutions and enable businesses to bring their product quickly to market.
The ThingsBoard IoT platform lets developers provision and configure Internet of Things devices. It lets users collect and visualize data from their assets with minimal effort. With ThingsBoard, users can configure their IoT solution to determine how it will respond to certain messages from the network devices.
ThingsBoard uses a set of entities to manage and control IoT devices and the entire environment. These entities include tenants, customers, users, assets, devices, entity views, alarms, dashboards, rule nodes and rule chains.
ThingsBoard handles its workflow using its Rule Engine which executes a function when it receives a message. The messages, in this context, can be the data from any of the devices or any preprogrammed event. The executed function is called a rule node, which in turn forms a part of the rule chain.
What Is an IoT Gateway?
An IoT network uses a lot of different protocols. The devices may use BLE, Wi-Fi, LoRaWAN and others to communicate. The rest of the IoT network such as the cloud infrastructure, the edge processors and other elements may use protocols like the internet protocol, MQTT, AMQP and others.
The IoT gateways enable devices and entities using different communication protocols to talk seamlessly with each other.
For example, in a smart home system, there may be smart lighting systems, digital assistants, access control and other devices. These devices may communicate using BLE, Zigbee, Wi-Fi and other protocols. They will send their messages to an IoT gateway which in turn will send them to the cloud. Users can then control these devices by sending messages to the cloud, which will send the messages to the devices through the IoT gateway.
How To Choose an OpenHAB ThingsBoard IoT Gateway
The first step to choosing a ThingsBoard gateway is to define your requirements clearly:
- What protocols does your solution need?
- How much RAM and flash memory will you need to host your applications?
- What are the certifications you need?
- What are the operating conditions? What is the temperature range? Does it have to be waterproof?
You can further expand your requirements by specifying the IoT ports, expandable memory, operating system, power supply, dust and water resistance, and others. These questions and requirements will help you zero down on the right IoT gateway for your applications.
Top ThingsBoard IoT Gateways To Choose From
Here are three of the best ThingsBoard IoT gateways you can choose from for your next IoT project:
1. Industry Edge Computer Gateway
The Industry Edge Computer Gateway is a powerful IoT gateway designed for fleet tracking, smart energy and smart office solutions. As the name suggests, the gateway comes with powerful edge computing capabilities and is built on Debian OS.
It offers robust connectivity to IoT devices through its built-in redundancies. It has dual-SIM trays for 3G/4G connectivity and supports Zigbee 3.0, Bluetooth 5.2, Z-Wave, Wi-Fi and LTE connectivity. It comes with four digital input and two analog input channels as well as two digital output channels. It supports both RS-232 and RS-485.
The Industry Edge Computer Gateway supports Python for application development. Developers can use the gateway with Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. It comes with 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of eMMC flash memory.
The gateway is IP 30 rated for dust and water resistance and can be stored and used in temperatures ranging from minus 40 C to around 85 C. The Industry Edge Gateway comes with an aluminum alloy housing and can withstand 5% to 95% humidity.
Besides the ThingsBoard certification, the Industry Edge Computer Gateway also has FCC, CE, Bluetooth, Zigbee and PTCRB certifications. The gateway is designed for mounting on walls or DIN rails.
The gateway is available in six variants, each with different connectivity options.
2. Dusun Pi3 Model C
Dusun Pi3 Model C Gateway is a tough and rugged IoT gateway designed for rough outdoor climatic conditions. It caters mainly to the smart farming and environment monitoring segment.
The gateway comes with an IP 66-rated housing and can be operated in temperatures from zero C to 65 C. The gateway is designed with high-quality materials and to the highest standards and can be deployed in a variety of environments.
The gateway works on Linux operating system and comes with 32 GB of flash memory and 2 GB RAM for running applications. If needed, users can add additional memory up to 128 GB through a TF card. It is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU and has an ATECC608 security module.
Dusun Pi3 Model C comes with ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. It also supports BLE 5.0 as well as LoRaWAN. For location-sensitive applications, the gateway supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and QZSS.
The gateway comes with FCC, IC and CE certifications on top of the ThingsBoard certification. The device can be set up either through ethernet or Wi-Fi.
3. CDGW-006 IoT Gateway
The CDGW-006 IoT Gateway is designed for smart retail and smart metering solutions. The gateway is powered by MediaTek MT7628 at its core and has 128 MB DDR2 RAM and 32 MB eMMC storage. The system works on OpenWrt operating system.
The gateway has one WAN and two LAN ports and supports both R-232 and R-485. It has a USB 2.0 interface and supports both Wi-Fi and LTE. For LTE connectivity, it uses a micro SIM card. The model comes in four different variants, each with slightly different connectivity options. It also supports GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo and QZSS.
The gateway can be stored in temperatures ranging from 40 C to 70 C and can be operated in temperatures from minus 10 C to 55 C and 10% to 90% humidity. It has an IP 22 rating for dust and moisture protection. It is designed to be flat or ceiling-mounted or attached to a DIN rail.
IoT Gateways Play a Huge Role in Your Internet of Things Solution — Choose It Well
The right IoT gateway can mean the difference between a responsive and secure gateway and a high-latency, vulnerable Internet of Things ecosystem. Depending on the architecture, a broken gateway can bring down an entire section of IoT devices in an area.
Dusun IoT has been creating industry-leading IoT gateways for OEMs all over the world. Reach out to us, and we’ll help you find the right solution that can help you take your product to market in the shortest time.
ThingsBoard.io — ThingsBoard Documentation
ThingsBoard.io — What is ThingsBoard IoT Gateway?
ThingsBoard.io — What is ThingsBoard?
SenseGrow.com — IoT Gateways: The Importance of Selecting the right IoT Gateway for your application