A thin server architecture for the internet of things - Embedded.com

A thin server architecture for the internet of things


The recent years of research in the field of wireless sensor networks (WSNs) have led to the standardization of Internet technology for constrained embedded devices with 6LoWPAN as central standard.

While consensus was found up to the transport layer to interconnect these devices in an Internet of Things (IoT), an open application layer is yet to emerge.

Unlike traditional networked embedded systems, the Internet of Things interconnects heterogeneous devices from various manufacturers with diverse functionalities. To foster the emergence of novel applications, this vast infrastructure requires a common application layer.

As a single global standard for all device types and application domains is impracticable, we propose an architecture where the infrastructure is agnostic of applications and application development is fully decoupled from the embedded domain.

In our design, the application logic of devices is running on application servers, while thin servers embedded into devices export only their elementary functionality using REST resources.

In this paper, we present our design goals and preliminary results of this approach, featuring the CoAP framework. We are working on an architecture that fully complies with the de facto application layer of the Internet, and the World Wide Web.

To foster interoperability at the application layer, we propose the thin server architecture that – analogous to the thin client architecture —relieves embedded servers from the burden of application logic, but rather utilizes them as a wrapper for the device’s sensors and actuators. Application servers then provide the logic, leveraging not only the RESTful API provided by the device in question, but potentially also other resources of the Web.

To read this external content in full, download the paper from the author archives .


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