On-Premises IoT Platform

How To Design an Enterprise IoT Solution On Your Private Network

When starting an IoT project, one important consideration is whether to use an on-premises or cloud environment to run IoT applications and manage devices and data. While many private networks may not have Internet connectivity or be able to transmit data through a public cloud, there are several advantages to running on-premises IoT solutions. For instance, a private network that is not connected to the Internet is generally more secure, as transmitting and storing data in a cloud environment can introduce additional security risks for mission-critical IoT solutions. Additionally, on-premises solutions can offer more control over data and infrastructure and potentially lower costs for some organizations. It's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of both options and choose the one that best meets the needs and goals of your specific IoT project.

An on-premises IoT platform is installed and run on a local computer/device in a private network rather than on a remote server in the cloud. This type of platform can offer greater security and control, as well as potentially lower costs for some organizations. If you're interested in creating a cost-effective on-premises IoT platform, our hardware-agnostic IoT foundation may be a good option for you. It allows you to build an IoT platform that is tailored to your specific needs and can be run on-premises, giving you more control over your data and infrastructure. Whether you're a large enterprise or a small business, an on-premises IoT platform can be a powerful tool for realizing the benefits of IoT in your organization.

On-Premises IoT

Figure 1: Wind turbines are typically interconnected within a private (nonpublic) network.

Your On-Premises IoT Platform

The Barracuda App Server is a powerful tool for building and deploying on-premises IoT, edge, or private utility solutions in private networks. This is especially useful for enterprises that need to maintain security and control but still want to take advantage of the benefits of a cloud-based IoT platform, such as the ability to develop integrated IoT applications quickly and securely. If you cannot deploy to the open Internet or transmit data through a public cloud, the Barracuda App Server can help you get the most out of your IoT projects without sacrificing security or control. With its user-friendly programming environment and extensive capabilities, the Barracuda App Server is a versatile and reliable choice for organizations looking to realize the full potential of IoT in their operations.

When building on-premises IoT solutions and products, it's important to have a strong foundation that includes industry-standard protocols such as OPC-UA, Modbus, MQTT, HTTP, and REST. These protocols are essential for enabling communication and interoperability between different devices and systems and help ensure that your IoT solutions are reliable and scalable. By choosing a platform that supports these protocols, you can be confident that your on-premises IoT projects will have the foundation they need to succeed.

Platform Agnostic IoT Platform

One of the key benefits of the Barracuda App Server is its hardware and operating system agnosticism, which allows it to run on various systems. This includes (Embedded) Linux, , QNX, VxWorks, Windows, macOS, Zephyr, FreeRTOS, INTEGRITY, Azure RTOS, Nucleus RTOS, embOS, RTXC, SMX, MQX, and RTOS-32, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of projects. Whether you're working with a specific hardware platform or operating system, the Barracuda App Server can help you bring your IoT vision to life.

The On-Premises Advantage

In an era where data breaches are a constant threat, an on-premises IoT platform offers unparalleled security. By keeping critical data within the confines of your own infrastructure, you eliminate many vulnerabilities associated with cloud-based systems. This approach fortifies your defenses against external threats and ensures compliance with stringent data protection regulations.

  • Cost Control and Predictability:
    Transitioning to an on-premises IoT setup can significantly reduce long-term operational costs. Unlike cloud services that come with variable expenses and sometimes hidden fees, on-premises solutions offer a transparent cost structure. Investing upfront in your infrastructure means you can avoid the financial unpredictability of cloud service subscriptions, making budgeting more straightforward.
  • Uncompromised Data Control:
    An on-premises approach puts you in the driver's seat, offering complete control over your IoT data. This autonomy is crucial for businesses that operate in sectors where data sensitivity is paramount. You decide how data is collected, stored, and utilized, ensuring it aligns with your business objectives and compliance requirements.
  • The Risks of Cloud-Dependent IoT Solutions: A Lesson from Azure's Shift:
    In February 2024, Microsoft announced the retirement of Azure IoT Central, effective March 31, 2027. This development underscores the risks of dependency on cloud providers for critical IoT operations. Companies utilizing Azure IoT Central must now re-evaluate their IoT strategies, seeking alternatives or accelerating the shift towards on-premises or hybrid solutions. This situation highlights the importance of adaptability and the value of maintaining control over one's IoT infrastructure to mitigate the impact of such unforeseen changes.

Adopting an on-premises IoT platform is not just a strategic move for enhancing security and reducing costs; it's about taking charge of your technological destiny. By leveraging this model, businesses can achieve a higher level of operational efficiency, data sovereignty, and peace of mind.

SMQ On-Premises IoT Protocols

In addition to supporting standard protocols like OPC-UA, Modbus, MQTT, and HTTP, Barracuda App Server also includes an IoT protocol called SMQ. This protocol is similar to MQTT but includes additional features that are particularly useful for device management and supervision. With SMQ, your product can act as an IoT broker, similar to an MQTT broker, but with the added benefit of integrating industry protocols, HTTP, and business logic technology in one easy-to-use integral package. This makes the Barracuda App Server an ideal choice for organizations that need a powerful and flexible platform for their IoT projects.

The following picture depicts how one SMQ broker can manage and supervise many devices, such as actuators and sensors. These devices do not run the Barracuda App Server but use the SMQ C Client Library when connecting to the broker.

SMQ IoT Broker

Figure 2: One HMI managing and supervising many MCUs via SMQ.

Hands-on Example & Tutorial

The example to the right is from the article Modern Approach to Embedding a Web Server in a Device, which provides an innovative design pattern for controlling on-premises actuators and sensors using SMQ. You will see multiple light switches to the right if other users view this page.

See also our hands-on On-Premises IoT tutorial with code you can download and run, where we guide you through creating an On-Premises IoT solution. By the end of this guide, you'll have a functional IoT server set up locally.

Large Scale Operations

One of the benefits of the SMQ protocol is that one can control and supervise any number of devices using the same client. The server hosting the SMQ broker also becomes an SMQ client when a custom Lua application is installed on the server side. The SMQ broker includes a cluster plugin enabling any number of Barracuda App Server-powered products to communicate using the cluster bus.

On-Premises IoT for Wind Turbines

Figure 3: Barracuda App Server powered products interconnected using the SMQ cluster bus.

The SMQ cluster technology includes a ready-to-use auto-discover plugin, enabling Barracuda App Server-powered products to connect automatically to the SMQ cluster bus. See the IoT Cluster Demo for a hands-on cluster bus tutorial.

See the online SMQ documentation for additional on-premises IoT use cases.

Easy On-Premises IoT Deployment

The embeddable Barracuda App Server C source code library is a powerful and flexible platform for building on-premises IoT solutions and can be easily embedded in a larger program or firmware as a C source code library. When working with a high-level operating system like (embedded) Linux, QNX, VxWorks, or Windows, you can also use the ready-to-run Barracuda App Server bundle called the Mako Server to make deployment even easier. This bundle includes everything you need to get started and can help you get your IoT projects up and running quickly and efficiently.

Mako Server

Figure 4: Mako Server, a ready-to-run Barracuda App Server executable.

One of the key benefits of using the Mako Server for your IoT projects is its ease of deployment. With all features, including the database, integrated into one executable, it's quick and easy to get your projects up and running. Plus, deploying your custom Lua applications is as simple as uploading a standard ZIP file. This makes the Mako Server a convenient and user-friendly choice for organizations looking to build on-premises IoT solutions with the Barracuda App Server. Whether you're working on a small pilot project or a large-scale deployment, the Mako Server has the tools and features you need to succeed.

Platform Agnostic Edge Controller Software

The Barracuda App Server also provides a solid edge controller foundation. See the Industrial Edge-Controller Software page for details.

Edge Controller

We welcome your thoughts and discussions on this article. While our site does not host a comment section, please feel free to comment on LinkedIn: On-Premises vs. Cloud IoT

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OPC-UA Client & Server

An easy to use OPC UA stack that enables bridging of OPC-UA enabled industrial products with cloud services, IT, and HTML5 user interfaces.

Edge Controller

Edge Controller

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On-Premises IoT

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