The just released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 improves support for IoT by providing enhanced connectivity to IoT devices – better connection of “things” to the Intenet. To give a little context for this, IoT is based on machine to machine communication. IoT devices – sensors and actuators – talk to backend systems, usually in the cloud, using Internet protocols.
IoT devices are typically low-power, and use local communications. They connect to backend systems in the Cloud through an IoT Gateway. This IoT Gateway has to support both local communications to IoT devices as well as wide area networking connections to the backend systems.
RHEL 7.3 improves gateway to IoT device communications by adding support for Bluetooth LE (Low Energy), which is the most popular wireless interface used by IoT devices. RHEL 7.3 also adds kernel support for CANbus, enabling the use of high end scientific instruments and industrial controllers that use this interface. And, of course, support continues for the other widely used interfaces such as ethernet, WiFi, and RS-485 serial connections.
Connections to backend systems is typically done through ethernet, WiFi, or cellular networks. RHEL 7.3 upgrades to the latest version of Modem Manager, which provides enhanced support for cellular networks and cellular modems.
These improvements in communications provide a platform for building IoT systems. JBoss builds on top of this platform by providing middleware and message bus capabilities – a framework for building IoT applications and for using asynchronous enterprise message buses for connecting to backend systems. Red Hat is working on complete frameworks for IoT device connectivity, communication and management through the upstream Kura and Kapua projects in the Eclipse Foundation.
The result of all this work is a platform and open source ecosystem for building complex multi-tier IoT applications.