Disruptive Technologies has designed a full, Internet of Things (IoT) based sensor solution for its customers. Organizations can monitor temperature, touch, proximity, water, humidity, CO2, and motion in their environments. The collected data is available in the cloud and can be analyzed as input for business decisions.
But how does the data get from the sensors to the cloud?
This is where the Cloud Connector comes in.
The Cloud Connector is the component that relays data from each sensor to the DT cloud service.
Radio is used for communication between sensors and the Cloud Connector and a 4G/LTE cellular connection is used between the Cloud Connector and the cloud.
The Cloud Connector uses a proprietary sub 1GHz wireless communication protocol, SecureDataShot™, to ensure that communication is secure end to end.
SecureDataShot pairs together sensors directly with users (in the cloud) rather than with a gateway. This design removes typical security weak points found in some IoT architectures and simplifies implementation and maintenance.
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The protocol has been designed for creating large, scalable networks of sensors. Deploying multiple Cloud Connectors allows for roaming, eliminating traffic bottlenecks, and providing resilience.
The Cloud Connector uses a cellular network to connect to the cloud. It comes in two variants depending on territories, one for Europe and one for the US. It also supports Ethernet connectivity for environments where cellular connectivity is unavailable, e.g. basements.
The Cloud Connector can be powered via industry-standard IEEE802.3at Type 1 Power Over Ethernet (PoE). PoE is provided either from a PoE-enabled network switch or through an external power injector, another feature simplifying installation.
The Cloud Connector is plug-and-play. Unpack it, power it up and it will automatically:
All without the need for any user configuration.
The entire DT sensor solution, including the Cloud Connector, has been designed with data security at its heart. The data is owned by the customer and therefore should only be accessible to them.
Both the sensor identity data and the actual measurement information are encrypted within the sensors. The data remains end to end encrypted on its journey from the sensor through the Cloud Connector and on to the cloud. The information is finally passed to customers’ applications via encrypted protocols.
Using SecureDataShot to pair sensors directly with users minimizes the possibility of man-in-the-middle cyber-attacks which typically exploit gaps in security architecture linked to gateways.
A single Cloud Connector can simultaneously support tens of thousands of sensors, offering the potential for true scalability.
The SecureDataShot protocol has been designed to use minimum bandwidth. This eliminates bandwidth bottlenecks and enables the support of such a large number of sensors.
Multiple Cloud Connectors allow for roaming, enabling sensors to automatically communicate with the DT Cloud as they move or are relocated.
The Cloud Connector is supplied with a special type of SIM card for connection to a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). An MVNO is a wireless communications services provider that does not own the wireless network infrastructure over which it provides services to its customers. It enters into a business agreement with a mobile network operator to obtain bulk access to the network.
Because of service provider independence, the Cloud Connector can be unpacked and powered up, and will automatically connect to the mobile network. The user does not need to configure the mobile supplier, the type of service to be provided, or any other parameters.
Communication to the cloud can be difficult for some technologies and in some places. However, the Cloud Connectors' use of MVNO means that once powered up it will connect to the mobile network, and then to the cloud, in almost any location. Using MVNO, the Cloud Connector will always connect and roam freely between the best networks in the area.
The dependence and reliability of collected data are critical to customers. Therefore two important resilience features have been included within the design of the Cloud Connector:
The IoT infrastructure world is quite fragmented, with different types of sensors using different communications techniques and protocols to relay monitored information. Therefore, for a typical use case installation, companies tend to source sensors from different companies, which have different communication protocols and added costs.
All DT sensors use SecureDataShot for end-to-end encrypted communication. As such, a single Cloud Connector can support all DT sensor types simultaneously.
Customers can therefore easily build on top of their initial installation. New sensors, of whatever type, can be deployed knowing that they will automatically communicate with the existing Cloud Connector and that the data will be available in the cloud.
The focus of an IoT-based sensor solution is usually the sensors themselves. Data from the real world can be the benchmark for saving energy, improving health, complying with safety regulations, and optimizing space occupancy.
The Cloud Connector is the device that provides the connection between the physical sensors and the cloud and empowers data gathering.
Offering a secure pairing between each sensor and user, plug and play setup, scalability, and end-to-end security, the Cloud Connector is the key component between data monitoring and cloud storage.
The use of MVNO ensures that the Cloud Connector 4G/LTE is not tied to a specific mobile provider, offering customers ease of use, flexibility, and location independence.
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