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Arm acquires data management firm and unveils IoT platform

Aug 3, 2018 — by Eric Brown 1,999 views

Arm has acquired Treasure Data and is integrating its DBMS technology in a new “Pelion IoT Platform” SaaS service built around Arm Mbed Cloud plus wireless gateway technology from its acquisition of Stream Technologies.

Arm announced an end-to-end Pelion IoT Platform for cloud-connected IoT device management and confirmed the rumors that it had acquired Treasure Data. The Mountain View, Calif. firm will contribute its data management services to Pelion but will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary. The connectivity portion will come from Arm’s June acquisition of Stream Technologies, which offers managed gateway services for wireless technologies including cellular, LoRa, and satellite.

Pelion IoT Platform architecture
(click image to enlarge)

Pelion IoT Platform’s device management builds on its earlier ARM Mbed Cloud and related Arm Mbed IoT Device Management Platform. Both services will be subsumed into Pelion, which will also feature the Cortex-M oriented Arm Mbed OS. An Arm rep confirmed to LinuxGizmos, however, that Pelion will be cross-platform, suggesting support for Linux and other operating systems.

The Pelion IoT Platform consists of three major components:


  • Device Management — Secure and consistent IoT device provisioning, identity and access management and updates
  • Connectivity Management — Support for a wireless connectivity standards for any device, region or use case, including enablement of eSIM secure identification
  • Data Management — Analysis of trusted data, from individual devices to enterprise-wide big data deployments, including third-party data

Pelion device management

The Pelion IoT Platoform’s device management service builds on and replaces Arm’s earlier Arm Mbed IoT Device Management Platform and Arm Mbed Cloud, which is not a cloud service on its own but a hub between Mbed-based devices and major cloud services. Pelion includes provisioning and configuration of devices using cryptographic identities and offers automatic device onboarding and secure storage. An SDK will support “multiple factory floor configurations and trust levels,” says Arm.

Pelion device management conceptual diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Device management also integrates Rest API based connection services including cloud connectors and the ability for gateways to continual to collect and store data if the cloud connection is severed. The service will support OMA LwM2M, CoAP and TLS DTLS protocols “optimized for constrained devices,” says Arm. There are also update services with manifest-based authentication, image verification, and assurances that the right data goes to the right device.

Pelion connectivity service

The connectivity-as-a-service component is based on Stream Technologies’ connectivity management technology. Stream maintains more than 770,000 managed subscribers and two terabytes of average traffic per day, says Arm.

The Pelion service will provide access to 600+ networks globally, as well as partnerships with cellular, satellite, and LoRa network providers. Features includes network resilience, VPNs, private APN, and IPsec protocols with encryption and authentication. A Direct Inbound Network Access (DINA) service allows customers to securely create a private association between any of their SIM’s with a public IP address to enable access to devices remotely via a web page.

The connectivity service also includes an IoT-X connectivity management component for mobile operators and large organizations. IoT-X comprises an eSIM and connectivity orchestration service enabled via Restful APIs. The service helps manage customer portfolios of eSIM connections on a multi-country basis. A bootstrap profile guarantees an eSIM its connectivity and enables a designated MNO profile to be downloaded onto the SIM.

Pelion data management

Pelion’s data management component incorporates much of the technology behind Treasure Data’s cloud-based Enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDP). Treasure Data’s platform handles two million events a second and processes hundreds of thousands of queries and 50 trillion records a day. The data is blended into other existing enterprise analytics tools.

Pelion data management workflow
(click image to enlarge)

Treasure Data’s CDP platform provides Pelion with the ability “to aggregate and translate massive volumes of scattered and siloed data” including data from “CRM, ecommerce systems, edge, IoT devices, and any third-party data,” says Arm.

The Pelion IoT Platform offers unified billing and can work on public and private clouds, as well as on-premises and in hybrid environments. The service will be supported by a partner ecosystem of 140+ partners spanning silicon, mobile, network operators (MNOs), channel, and technology providers.

In a swipe against vertically integrated IoT device management platforms such as those provided by Amazon and Google, Arm touts Pelion for being the only platform to provide “a truly horizontal platform capable of managing any number or type of devices and connectivity, dealing with any type of data (internal and external) and linking to any cloud.” This claim will depend upon the extent to which non-Mbed based clients will receive the same level as service as Mbed devices.

Cloud IoT platforms crowd the marketplace

The Pelion announcement comes a few days after Google unveiled a somewhat similar Cloud IoT Edge end-to-end IoT platform and Edge TPU machine learning accelerator chip, which will both run Linux or Android Things in conjunction with Google Cloud. The Edge TPU is available in an NXP i.MX8M based starter kit, as well as an Edge TPU Accelerator USB stick for Linux computers.

The Arm and Google platforms aren’t precisely comparable since Pelion lacks the built-in AI analytics component, and Cloud IoT Edge lacks Pelion’s data management and cellular gateways. The leader here is AWS IoT and its Linux-based AWS Greengrass stack for bringing cloud analytics to the edge. Another emerging contender is Microsoft’s upcoming, Linux-based Azure Sphere platform for IoT.

All these services join a confusing mélange of other IoT cloud-to-device platforms, most of which claim to be “end-to-end,” but almost always lacks some key component. The contenders include Mozilla’s Project Things IoT framework and the Linux Foundation’s Iotivity framework and EdgeX Foundry edge computing middleware.

Other IoT management platforms include Advantech’s Embedded Linux & Android Alliance (ELAA) consortium and industrial IoT and BTI MIOTY platform, NXP’s EdgeScale and the Mentor Embedded IoT Framework. Also in the hunt is Samsung’s Artik IoT Platform and many more.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided about the Pelion IoT Platform service. More information may be found in Arm’s Pelion announcement and Pelion product page.


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