The use of Docker containers in IoT devices is becoming more and more widespread, but being able to use this technology in the world of the Internet of Things requires tools that allow the entire process to be managed in a simple, centralised and secure way.
But let’s start from the beginning: what is docker?
Docker in software development
Docker is a software platform that allows you to develop and test applications quickly as well as programming in any language. Docker delivers software in standardised units known as containers, that includes everything an application needs to be able to run, such as libraries, configuration tools, code and runtime.
This technology gives application developers, an enormous flexibility as it gives them the freedom to develop applications in the programming language of their choice and deploy them easily without the need to worry about the hardware. And moreover, it facilitates the maintenance and version control of the applications themselves, very useful if you need to deploy in distributed environments.
This is precisely the main feature of IoT, an enabler for distributed environments in which multiple devices, with different hardwares, run applications.
Using Docker in IoT
The use of docker has been growing across multiple sectors as result of their digitisation process. This is one of the reasons why the use of Docker in IoT is more and more present. Sectors such as the electricity distribution or the water industry are using IoT technology for their digitization process. In industrial environments in particular, digitalisation is directed to improve operational efficiencies. One way to do so is by extracting value from data they can obtain from their operations; and this is precisely what IoT is best suited for.
The use of IoT nodes in industrial environments not only are designed to capture data but also to execute more complex algorithms withing the IoT nodes, what is knowns as Edge Computing. In these environments in which data processing is being executed on the IoT device itself, that Docker technology becomes truly valuable.
However, working with Docker in Industrial IoT, means by definition to work in a distributed and remote environment that requires tools to control the lifecycle of IoT devices / IoT Nodes.
How to work with Docker in distributed and remote environments such as IoT
It is therefore paramount to have a tool that allows you to work remotely and securely in order to:
1. Deploy Docker containers on one or multiple IoT devices at the same time
2. Update the applications running on those devices
3. Visualize what is happening with your IoT Nodes via log visualisation screens
Barbara IoT has developed a tool for the management of the lifecycle of IoT devices, including the entire process of deploying and monitoring applications on Docker containers.
The IoT lifecycle management dashboard, is part of our secure industrial IoT technology suite, Barbara OS, that enables to:
- Monitor the «health» of all your IoT nodes. You can get real-time information about the status of all your IoT nodes in order to ensure their correct operation.
- Deploy and manage your Docker individually or in batches across your entire deployed IoT nodes
- Change, by modifying «live» parameters, the configuration of what the applications can do within the IoT Nodes. You can reset the configuration of your IoT nodes or their applications remotely, you can adapt the behavior of your devices without the need to update the applications.
- Stop and start applications
- Update both applications and the OS of your IoT nodes. You can keep your IoT nodes up to date at all times with OTA (Over the Air) updates in the device firmware, software, and applications.
If you were interested in this article and want to know more about how can IoT help you in your digitalisation process, do contact us