Mender Over-The-Air (OTA) Software Update Manager to Expand Use Cases in Remote Management of IoT Devices

April 26, 2021

Press Release

Mender Over-The-Air (OTA) Software Update Manager to Expand Use Cases in Remote Management of IoT Devices introduced optional add-on packages to existing Mender OTA plans, containing a set of features, for solving device management use cases.

These add-on packages can be enabled on your commercial Mender subscription plan (both hosted and on-premise) for an additional subscription fee. Some of the add-on features are also available as open source.

Over-the-air (OTA) software update is the most important use case in the entire IoT device management lifecycle amongst other use cases such as device provisioning, configuration, troubleshooting and monitoring. There are various OTA software update solutions that exist in the market but they come with their own set of challenges.

Homegrown solutions lack the necessary infrastructure, come at an inherently high cost and suffer requirements needed to ensure security and robustness of software updates. Various open source solutions exist, but none provide an end-to-end solution and lack the overall functionality to make them enterprise-grade. Generic public cloud IoT stacks wish to cater to the entire IoT value chain but fail to deliver a purpose-built solution for software updates. Proprietary and platform solutions cause lock-in to specific cloud infrastructure, operating system or development tools

The common thread among all of these solutions is the lack of a fully optimized end-to-end remote software management infrastructure that can minimize risk, increase efficiency and enhance security and uptime. This is where Mender OTA comes in.

Mender is open source software meaning there are many contributors to make it better and support a variety of customer hardware and software such as NVIDIA Jetson and NXP's family of iMX processors. It provides flexibility in choosing your infrastructure, software and hardware from prototyping to production which means there is no vendor lock-in. Mender supports all device software updates from a full disk image to application updates with the freedom to customize the update and installation process to fit your workflow. It is also integrated with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure IoT for easy device authentication.

Remote terminal access feature enables direct visibility to your device to quickly diagnose and fix customer issues. Unlike the most common approach of VPN and SSH for enabling remote terminal, Mender's remote terminal saves you time setting up the infrastructure, is more secure and customizable. With Mender Enterprise you get access to the Audit log with the complete terminal session logged to ensure compliance and help identify root causes of any issues discovered. Role based access control (RBAC) allows you to limit which users of the Mender server can log in to given groups of devices.

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