Before we get started talking about which IoT firmware management tools let’s first outline what it is and why you might need it.
What is an IoT firmware management tool?
When you have an IoT device or product in the market, you’ll need to be able to remotely manage, monitor, and update your firmware to avoid security issues, optimization issues and bricking.
Firmware management tools have been designed to make IoT device providing as streamlined as possible, often through an all-in-one solution.
Firmware management tools offer:
- Remote firmware updates, otherwise known as OTA (over the air). This ensures firmware updates are possible remotely, without the need for manual intervention.
- Device monitoring: Real-time status and performance updates.
- Security management: Device authentication, encryption, and secure communication to protect against hacking and unauthorized access.
- Device management: Manage and access device configurations and settings wherever you are from one dedicated place.
- Scalability: Add or remove large numbers of IoT devices based on your needs.
The best firmware management software
Only you know the functionality you are using and the requirements you must have in a firmware tool.
If you find a few that tick all the boxes, try them out!
You’ll soon learn which platform you prefer and what features you really need.
There are, however, a few more well-known and trusted tools available on the market, which include:
- AWS IoT Device Management: register, organize, monitor, and remotely manage IoT devices at scale.
- Azure IoT Hub Device Management: the features and an extensibility model that enable device and back-end developers to build robust device management solutions.
- Google Cloud IoT Device Manager: The device manager lets you create and configure device registries and the devices within them. Closing August 16, 2023.
- Mender.io is an open-source, over-the-air (OTA) update manager for IoT and embedded Linux devices.
- Resin.io: Manage massive fleets of small IoT Linux devices with balena’s IoT management cloud platform.
- Eclipse hawkBit: Over-the-Air-Updater for constrained edge devices as well as more powerful controllers and gateways connected to IP-based networking infrastructure.
- Kamea by Witekio: A centralized IoT Connected Service Platform Builder that includes all the features, flexibility, quality, and maintainability connected device-makers need.
What do you need in an IoT firmware management solution?
Now you’ve got the lay of the land for your device, you need to think about the main pillars of risk analysis and how an attacker can target these on your device.
As above, only you know the functionality that you can and can’t live without. However, there are some base features that we would consider you research or ask about when selecting your provider.
Scalability: This is the most important for us, as if you can’t scale, your product will die. Can the tool handle the number of devices and connections you have now AND the estimated number you want to have in five years?
Platform compatibility: Does the platform integrate with the hardware and software? Is it compatible? Will it integrate with other systems such as cloud services, analytics platforms, and enterprise systems?
Security: When working with connected devices, no matter your industry, you need to know the tool you are using is secure. Does it have device authentication, encryption, secure communication and much more?
Remote management: Will your device need to be updated over the air? Can the platform do this, and can you monitor each device status via a centralized platform?
Support/documentation: A platform with clear documentation is a must if your team is new to IoT firmware management and if you plan to upskill or hire new team members. Similarly, ensure support is available (or even included) so that you can get answers on any IoT issues – fast.
Mender.io Vs Eclipse hawkBit
Clients looking for an affordable IoT firmware update tool often ask us about Mender.io and Eclipse hawkBit. Which one do we prefer? Which one do we use most? Read on to see….
Mender is a commercial open-source software that is designed to provide over-the-air (OTA) updates for embedded Linux devices.
It provides a comprehensive solution for securing, managing and updating devices in the field. It offers features such as device provisioning, secure communication, and rollback capabilities. It also has a user-friendly web interface and offers commercial support, which can be beneficial for businesses with large fleets of connected devices in the field.
Eclipse hawkBit, on the other hand, is a lightweight, open-source firmware update tool for embedded Linux devices. It is based on the Yocto Project and provides a simple and flexible way to handle firmware updates.
It does not have a web interface and is best suited for developers who are comfortable working on the command line.
In our opinion, Eclipse hawkBitis best for small projects or teams who do not have the budget for a more comprehensive OTA tool.
Mender is not only more user-friendly but offers the functionality needed for teams with larger projects.
Which Over the air (OTA) update solutions for your embedded system ? The Ultimate GuideRead more