With many IoT solutions connecting thousands of hardware endpoints, fixing security issues or upgrading functionality becomes a challenging and expensive task. The ability to update devices is critical for any IoT solution since it ensures that your organization can respond rapidly to security vulnerabilities by deploying fixes. Azure IoT Hub provides many capabilities to enable developers to build device management processes into their solutions, such as device twins for synchronizing device configuration, and automatic device management to deploy configuration changes across large device fleet. We have previously blogged about how these features have been used to implement IoT device firmware updates.
Some customers have told us they need a turn-key IoT device update manager, so we are pleased to share a collaboration with Mender to showcase how IoT devices connected to Azure can be remotely updated and monitored using Mender open source update manager. Mender provides robust over-the-air (OTA) update management via full image updates and dual A/B partitioning with roll-back, managed and monitored through a web-based management UI. Customers can use Mender for updating Linux images that are built with Yocto. By integrating with Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service, IoT device identity credentials can be shared between Mender and IoT Hub which is accomplished using a custom allocation policy and an Azure Function. As a result, operators can monitor IoT device states and analytics through their solution built with Azure IoT Hub, and then assign and deploy updates to those devices in Mender because they share device identities.
Recently, Mender’s CTO Eystein Stenberg came on the IoT Show to show how it works:
Keeping devices updated and secure is important for any IoT solution, and Mender now provides a great new option for Azure customers to implement OTA updates.