Remote Monitor Raspberry Pi

The IoT environment is different from the traditional IT environment. Particularly in server IT, data stored in large server infrastructures are in close proximity and can be reached at relatively low cost. In IoT, teams managing large fleets of distributed connected devices must cope with a surge of real time data from individual devices, which are globally scattered and built on various hardware and operating system platforms. In these most often isolated and far reaching environments, interruptions in service and in the stream of data may indicate a device failure, an area network problem or an application performance issue.

To consistently and securely operate their IoT devices, enterprises need a complete view of the health of their devices, as well as the ability to troubleshoot a particular device type, software version, region or an individual device. A secure and robust OTA update solution with remote monitoring is imperative in the management of IoT devices.

What to Monitor?

Detecting and analyzing health issues of devices, services and applications are imperative in IoT device management. There are various use cases to address a remote monitoring solution.

Monitoring system resources

Health of your devices comes with insights about the state of your deployments. As you scale deploying more embedded connected devices around the globe, it is important to have tools to give visibility into the overall operation of your IoT devices. These are tools to allow enterprises to be proactive in solving any disruptions in the operations of the fleet rather than being reactive. They help avoid major interruptions which can cause millions of dollars of damage within a short period of time thereby saving enterprises money within a short period of time. Network connectivity, memory, CPU, network signal strength and device voltage are some of the use cases that are important in the functional behaviour of the device fleet.

Alerting

Alert on ‘bad’ metrics across your IoT device fleet. The amount of data from IoT devices, together with the recurrent connectivity issues of a distributed fleet, provide a challenge for traditional alerting tools. IoT fleet operators can build alerts that trigger only on continued or prevalent device failures, so that responders are not amazed by meaningless alerts for temporary issues. Machine learning algorithms can be employed such as anomaly detection and outlier detection to automatically determine normal ranges and alert, such as latency slowdowns affecting a particular software version.

Reach out to contact@mender.io to learn more about Mender’s upcoming features supporting IoT monitoring use cases.

Custom distribution or Raspberry Pi

In embedded Linux device development, there are two approaches when it comes to building an operating system to run your device. You either build your own distribution such as Yocto, Buildroot, or you use a binary distribution such as Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian. Many teams in the early development phase of a project largely base their devices on Linux of one form or another due to their prevalence of low-cost boards with ready-made Linux distributions. Raspberry Pi is one such alternative. If you choose to go that route there are some ways to remotely monitor your fleet of Raspberry Pis or any other Linux device.

Remote access a Raspberry Pi with Mender

Sometimes you need to access a Raspberry Pi remotely without actually being able to connect to a display. You may want to just inspect and view some data from it from a remote desktop somewhere in the world. The starting point in troubleshooting a device is usually to log in to the device terminal. From there you can check if applications and processes are running properly and restart them if needed. You can also change configuration settings directly or test connectivity.

Unlike the common approach of VPN and SSH, Mender's remote terminal saves you time setting up the infrastructure, is more secure and customizable. You can launch Mender’s remote terminal through the easy to use and intuitive web interface (see image below).

remote%20terminal

Security is a prime directive at everything Mender does and there is no difference when enabling a remote terminal feature, so all communication is encrypted with TLS and there are no open ports on the device. You can also use a restricted user at the device to limit what can be done. Read more about how the Remote terminal ensures security from all angles in its documentation section about Security. With the mender-cli, you can also access your device terminal from your local workstation terminal as well, by first obtaining the Device ID of the desired device as shown in the UI under Devices.

Learn how to quickly and easily deploy an OTA update with Mender using a secure server hosted for you. Follow this step-by-step guide to use the Terminal access feature and learn how to do application, system and container updates with a Raspberry Pi.

Also consider these useful articles on Raspberry Pi:

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