OTA solution for a Linux-based IoT edge device and a smart safe
Gunnebo Business Solutions AB (GBS), is the central software-as-a-service and IoT hub of the Gunnebo Security Group, a global leading provider of security products, services and software. Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden with 4,200 employees GBS develops solutions supporting the Gunnebo group’s Business Units offering aimed to better control the flow of valuables, cash and people. Mender is used to deploy software updates to different products addressing different market needs. One product is a Linux-based IoT edge device based on a Raspberry Pi compute module targeted for businesses (B2B). Another product which is a smart safe targeted for the consumer market (B2C).
GBS performed manual software updates at the device , often multiple times per week, with their legacy applications. This process was time consuming, labor intensive and cost ineffective. To solve these issues, it has become important for the company to implement a secure and automated over-theair (OTA) software updating mechanism to reliably and consistently update device firmware as often as needed, remotely. GBS realized that trying to build an infrastructure that will achieve efficient and risk tolerant OTA updates can be cumbersome. The amount of time and work spent on developing a solution in-house could add more complexity in the development process of the actual product and could jeopardize launch. GBS has these priorities for an OTA solution: a) security and robustness, b) customization of the update process, c) competitive pricing at high volumes.
GBS investigated several solutions and Mender stood out as the most efficient and cost effective OTA solution option. Bjorn Nostdahl, CIPO at GBS said, The advantage with Mender is we can do our own plug-ins. We can write our own software container Update Modules in Golang and the Mender client on the device runs our own binary compiled software. Mender client can run a number of scripts to update docker container images. Mender’s capability to customize software releases and installations gives us flexibility and control at large scale deployments. Additionally, pricing at high volumes is important for us.
Mender OTA software and firmware updates enable the management of consumer and business security products continuously, reliably and easily, at large scale. GBS benefits from having the capability to customize software releases and installations with flexibility and control on how to deploy special software version to solve a specific problem. For example, if an operator has an issue with a microswitch that is broken, GBS is able to push a software update to unlock the device. This provides considerable cost and time savings due to reduced manual labor. Fully driven device and server side APIs enable orchestration and integration with CI/CD pipeline for automation and easy deployments of updates . It increases deployment consistency, reduces update cycle times and human errors which in turn can translate to increases reliability and quality with significant cost and time savings.