Controller Layer in Red Hat’s Vision of the IoT

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James Kirkland, Chief Architect, Embedded and Intelligent Systems, for Red Hat, the Enterprise Linux company, delves into all the functionality that will be expected of a controller in a system architected for the Internet of Things era in a recent whitepaper.

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He explains,

The controller tier is, simply put, the tier between the other two [the data center and the endpoint] and it does what they don’t… the controller tier is the tier that makes the interconnections; it literally holds an IoT solution together, protects it and ensures its smooth operation. The controller tier typically:

  • Manages connectivity—protocol consolidation, packet routing
  • Handles data transport—message queuing, delivery assurance
  • Performs security measures—authentication, encryption
  • Provides disaster recovery—system redundancy

Depending on a project’s requirements, the middle tier can also be responsible for more sophisticated computing such as:

  1. controlling processes
  2. executing business rules
  3. pre-processing data

Kirkland spoke about his experience selecting protocols for Industrial Internet of Things applications in a recent audio podcast from Gigaom.

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