Monitoring the Internet of Things

In this blog series, I’ll cover why monitoring the Internet of Things (IoT) is important, along with how to go about doing it in a practical manner.

What is the Internet of Things?

The IoT is an ecosystem where sensors, devices and equipment are connected to a network and can transmit and receive data for tracking, analysis and action.

It is the integration and extension of IT and OT technologies that have been around for decades.

 

The Dell Approach to IoT

Dell’s OEM Solutions Group takes a practical approach to the IoT

Start Small

  • Build on what you have
  • Leverage your existing investments
  • Accelerate time to market

Build Fast

  • Design-in future growth capacity
  • Realize the value of information provided by the IoT

Connect What Matters

  • Design a standards-based IoT solution that maximizes profitable growth

 

Dell’s Distributed IoT Architecture

A key component of Dell’s IoT reference architecture is the Dell Edge Gateway.

  • Intelligent gateway = IoT “Spam Filter” for Cloud, to send only meaningful info
  • I/O that connects traditional devices/sensors and new – like mesh networks
  • Ruggedized for challenging environments and 24x7 use for 5 years
  • Provides hardware-level security at the network edge
  • Performs analytics at the edge of the network

 

For those with a systems management background, the Dell Edge Gateway is “just another host” that either runs Linux or Windows 10 (IoT Edition). It also has snmp enabled for additional instrumentation.

Why Monitoring an IoT Environment is Important

 Here are some reasons from a recent poll I took:

  • If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
  • Empowers admins to be proactive vs. reactive to outages.
    • Get alerted to problems before significant business impact occurs.
  • Provides an invaluable tool for use when troubleshooting.
    • Minimizes finger pointing between technology owners.
    • Reduces the mean time to resolution (MTTR).
  • Gives visibility to IoT Owners.
    • Single view of the IoT infrastructure performance and availability.
    • Drilldowns for admins to investigate further.
  • Bridges Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT).
    • Single pane of glass for monitoring and investigating problems.
    • Common language when discussing outages.

How can Foglight Help Monitor the IoT?

There are many components that Foglight can monitor in an IoT environment. These include monitoring the performance, availability and latencies of the Dell Edge Gateways (or other hosts), the networks linking them back to your datacenter or cloud provider, and the URL’s that are used to send data to the cloud for analysis. Of course, Foglight can also monitor your other applications, databases and infrastructure.

Foglight for the IoT

In the next post, I’ll dive into each of the components shown above. In the meantime, here is the end result – a dashboard showing important metrics and data from our Dell Edge Gateway, networks and URL's that were used for a customer trial in our Santa Clara IoT lab.

 

About the Author
Darren Mallette
I am a senior systems consultant specializing in performance monitoring for virtualization, databases, applications and end user experience. I've been in the IT world for over 20 years, with experience...