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Adlink gear to showcase VMWare’s Liota based IoT framework

Aug 24, 2017 — by Eric Brown 499 views

Adlink will offer the new VMware Pulse IoT Center service and Linux-friendly Liota (Little IoT Agent) to Adlink customers as pre-integrated solutions.

VMware, which is primarily known as a virtualization software vendor, stepped into the IoT market last year by announcing a vendor-neutral, open source Liota (Little IoT Agent) SDK for building secure IoT gateway data and control orchestration applications. Recently, VMWare followed up with a “VMware Pulse IoT Center” IoT framework built around Liota, and it has now announced its first major hardware partner for the technology. Adlink will support the VMware Pulse IoT Center via pre-integrated solutions bundled with unnamed Adlink hardware.

VMware Pulse IoT Center architecture
(click image to enlarge)

The cross-platform VMware Pulse IoT Center, which will be operational by the end of the year, is defined as a “secure, enterprise grade, end-to-end IoT infrastructure management solution.” It appears to compete with other IoT aggregation frameworks such as Amazon’s AWS IoT and Intel/Wind River’s Helix Cloud. Members of the VMware Pulse IoT Center ecosystem include Atos, Bayshore, Dell, Deloitte, Eurotech, Fujitsu, IBM, Pivotal, Samsung, VizExplorer, and VS Systems.

The VMware Pulse IoT Center provides edge device management, including onboarding, configuration, and software lifecycle management. It also offers a single-point monitoring console that integrates with VMware Identity Manager for SSO.


Other features include smart data orchestration, security, OTA updates, and REST API based alerts and notifications. You also get real-time infrastructure analytics and topology visualizations. Unlike AWS IoT, it’s currently offered only as an on-premises deployment, although future versions will support cloud hosting.

The VMware Pulse IoT Center is designed to communicate with IoT gateways and endpoints running the Python-based Liota agent and SDK. Communications between the two are implemented with Websocket and MQTT protocols.

The Liota SDK is designed to orchestrate telemetry from any IoT gateway or connected device. It provides an agent that delivers data samples from devices to the server, and receives packages such as configuration changes and software updates.

Early Liota customers have included Samsung, which is supporting the Liota agent on its Artik 053 module. Although Linux is never mentioned in VMWare’s Liota marketing materials — and indeed the Cortex-R4-based Artik 053 runs only Tizen 4.0’s new Tizen RT RTOS variant — the Liota GitHub page lists only Debian/Ubuntu or RHEL/CentOS support. Technically, Liota can work with any OS that supports Python.


Adlink did not say which products will support the VMware Pulse IoT Center. On its MXE-branded IoT gateways, including its Atom-based MXE-200, the company already supports Amazon’s AWS IoT Greengrass technology for local processing, as well as Wind River’s IoT stack. Most, of its other, mostly Linux-ready SBCs and modules can also be used for IoT duty, as well as many of its embedded computers.

“The world of IoT is exciting and daunting at the same time,” stated Rob Risany, Adlink’s EVP for IoT Strategy, Solutions & Technology. “OT and IT organizations approach very aligned goals from different points of view, and a common denominator is hard to find. Adlink and VMware’s collaboration shows what happens when we bridge the divide.”

Further information

The VMware Pulse IoT Center will be available later this fall, around which time we can expect some Adlink announcements of products that support the technology. More information may be found on VMWare’s VMware Pulse IoT Center site, as well as on the Liota GitHub page.

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