It’s easy to manage a handful of IoT sensors running on a static network as part of an initial proof-of-concept (POC) or pilot project. The real challenge, however, is getting beyond that POC and having the wherewithal to scale to hundreds or thousands of gateways and tens of thousands of sensors.
As Senior Product Manager at MachineQ, my goal is to make it easy for customers to manage and scale deployments with MQcentral, our flagship network management tool. How easy? What WordPress is to website development and QuickBooks is to business accounting, MQcentral is to enterprise IoT network management. MQcentral embodies our passion and commitment to making IoT easy: an intuitive, graphical interface that enables our customers to leverage the sophistication of the MachineQ platform, without having to become network or radio frequency experts themselves.
Here are three ways we’ve made MQcentral easy to manage and scale your IoT deployments:
LoRaWAN® is a powerful protocol with many factors that can be fine-tuned for a given application. This is great for advanced users, but for those just getting started with LoRa® and IoT, some of these nuanced factors can be overwhelming. MachineQ simplifies the process of connecting and configuring new sensors and gateways, while still providing advanced administrators the nitty-gritty access they need.
To provision hardware with MQcentral, simply click “Add a Device” or “Add a Gateway” in order to populate a few informational fields, then click “Submit.” Your hardware is automatically authenticated, provisioned, and ready to operate. What has historically been a complicated procedure for IT professionals and solution providers, now takes less than a minute.
When your application requires hundreds or thousands of sensors, MQcentral scales the onboarding of hardware with bulk uploads for gateways and devices. Simply populate the tables in your respective CSV files (one for gateways, another for sensors), and upload everything at once for immediate, full-scale onboarding on the MachineQ platform.
From a high-level summary down to the atomic details, MQcentral displays the most pertinent information about your network and devices.
The MQcentral dashboard is the first screen of your command center, graphically displaying summaries of device health, health trends, gateway health, and gateway locations. From the dashboard, you can drill down deeper into more granular details about the health and connectivity status of devices and gateways
- Devices: The device details page reveals the full range of pertinent information about device health, detailed logging, and visualized payload data. To make your data easy to understand and act upon, MQcentral uses contextual indicators to reveal the meaning of the data. For example, if a sensor’s RSSI and SNR value are below optimal levels but not critically bad, the sensor health is indicated simply as “Fair” and assigned a yellow mark. This saves you from having to perform your own sleuthing and calculations to determine what a given RSSI value means with respect to the device’s health.
- Gateways: Gateways are the foundation of any network and it’s crucial to have the ability to monitor them to avoid mass loss of data. You’ll see health at-a-glance, as well as a summary of devices connected within the past 24 hours, making it easy to identify and troubleshoot potential network problems before a situation becomes critical. You can also customize email or text alerts to ensure you’re notified if any of your gateways go offline.
MQcentral’s user-friendly integration interface makes it easy to route payload data to your end application, whether it’s pushing messages via MQTT or Webhook, or connecting to services like Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Central, or AWS IoT Core.
Through MQcentral, you can also access MachineQ’s robust portfolio of RESTful APIs, allowing you to integrate all elements of the MachineQ platform into your application. These APIs are clearly and thoroughly documented at https://swagger.machineq.net/ with example code and responses making integration easy and efficient.
To learn more about how MQcentral makes it easy to manage IoT deployments at scale, request a demo.