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Linux-based IoT gateway certified for Azure

Jan 20, 2017 — by Eric Brown 1,586 views

IonSign’s “Gluon GMU491 Cloud Gateway” runs Debian on a TI Sitara SoC and aggregates multiple sensor and Modbus inputs for Azure and AWS.

Finland-based IonSign has begun shipping an IoT gateway billed as a “complete industrial grade production unit for data collection and edge computing.” The Debian Linux based Gluon GMU491 Cloud Gateway is designed for collecting sensor, meter, fieldbus, or automation system data and packaging it for direct delivery to commercial cloud platforms.

Gluon GMU491 Cloud Gateway (left) and full kit version
(click images to enlarge)

The Gluon GMU491 Cloud Gateway ships with a year of free access to the IonSign Cloud service, and it also works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, where it is certified. Other “similar devices” listed on Microsoft’s Azure Gluon page include Atmark’s Armadillo-IoT Gateway G2, SinTau’s SinTau-SrL-Gropius, Sinapsi’s Equobox RTUEVO1T, and Eurotech’s ReliaGate 10-05, ReliaGate 10-20, and ReliaGate 20-25 gateways.

The Gluon GMU491 is touted for its wide range of inputs, as well as its data transfer redundancy — it offers both 3G cellular and Ethernet connections along with a function for automatic switchover. Another promoted benefit is a flat hardware architecture enabling direct connections to cloud services. “A raw industrial 4…20 mA signal flies directly to the IoT Hub of cloud services,” explained IonSign’s Mikko Sainio in an email.


The Gluon GMU491 sells for 740 Euros ($790) on its own, and is also available in a 795-Euro ($849) Starter Kit version with a power supply, cables, GSM antenna, and Pt1000 temperature sensor. The device runs Debian 8.5 Linux on a Texas Instruments Sitara AM335x, a 1GHz Cortex-A8 SoC that is commonly used on IoT gateways, such as the ReliaGate 10-11. The system ships with 512MB DDR3 RAM with 4GB flash, 600MB of which is available to the user.

Gluon GMU491 sample wiring diagram (left) and ModBus configuration screen
(click images to enlarge)

In addition to the 3G cellular modem and Ethernet (presumably 10/100) port, you get 2x RS-485 ports (Modbus master and slave), 10x analog inputs (4-20 mA), and 6x open collector or relay inputs for digital inputs or collecting pulse data. A hardware buffer supports 13,000 measurements. The device is further equipped with a PT1000 temperature measurement input, an RTC with battery backup, and LEDs.

The 156 x 90 x 52mm, 9-module wide DIN enclosure is protected per IP20, and appears to be available rated for either 0 to 50°C or -25 to 50°C operation. There’s a 12-24VDC power input with 500mA max output, with consumption listed as 230mA (w/o Vout).

On the software side, IonSign provides pre-installed communication modules for ionSign, AWS, and Azure, as well as a PostgreSQL database and a lighttpd web server. An SSH client and server and SSH command line interface are also available.

The device’s Linux firmware enables development of custom applications, says IonSign. Linux supported encryption and authentication are also said to be available.

Further information

The Gluon GMU491 Cloud Gateway sells for 740 Euros ($790), or 795 Euros ($849) for the Starter Kit version. More information may be found at IonSign’s Gluon GMU491 product page.

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