Red Hat, Eurotech Team Up On IoT Platform

Red Hat and Eurotech have announced a jointly sponsored Eclipse Foundation project: a multi-device IoT platform based on donated Eurotech code.
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Red Hat is teaming up with Italy-based Eurotech Group, a supplier of machine-to-machine communications and data collection gateways, to offer an internet of things (IoT) platform that will manage data close to the point it's collected -- at the network's edge.

The platform will become the Kapua Project inside the Eclipse Foundation. The platform will be built atop Eurotech's Everyware Cloud IoT code base, which will be contributed to the project. Everyware Cloud is integration software for tying multiple devices on the IoT together, or to backend IT systems and applications.

The Kapua Project will work with code from the existing Eclipse Kura project, which provides a device-data-collection and communications gateway. Kura is based on Eurotech's previous contribution of its Everyware Software Framework. The framework provides a standard way for developers producing IoT systems to handle software events, package code, and supply services, such as firewall rules, WiFi connection, or Domain Name Service for gaining an address on the internet.

Red Hat and Eurotech are establishing an Eclipse Foundation project in hopes that many companies and individual contributors will be attracted to the project. With enough support, an open source Kapua platform would have a chance of becoming one of the standard ways of building IoT systems.

"The combination of our open sourced IoT technology and Red Hat's expertise in community building will help drive a more open, more innovative software landscape when it comes to building IoT implementations," Marco Carrer, CTO of the Eurotech Group, wrote in the June 30 announcement.

On June 27, Eurotech announced what is expected to become a standard component of the platform, the ReliaGate 20-26 intelligent gateway, a commercial product. The gateway runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It can collect, sort, and route data being generated by IoT devices. It can scale to hundreds of thousands of devices, Eurotech officials claimed.

The gateway has built in intelligence for addressing data flow problems related to scalability, performance latency, reliability, and security. In effect, it moves computing tasks to the network's edge that earlier systems tended to address at some central data center collection point, the announcement said.

[Why would Red Hat focus on IoT? Read Internet of Things Attracts 6.2 Million Developers Worldwide.]

The gateway is equipped with business rules that allow it to collect, transform, and integrate data, and then route it the correct destination. It provides the service to thousands of devices at a time. It's based on a piece of hardware running an Intel E3800 Atom processor.

Mike Enzweiler, Red Hat senior vice president of alliances, noted in the announcement that the Kapua Project will provide "the first end-to-end open source IoT platform." By avoiding a proprietary approach, implementers are likely to find more devices and technologies working with the platform in the long run than with some of the alternatives.

Eurotech is based in Amaro, Italy, and has its US headquarters in Columbia, Md. It also has research and development facilities in France, the UK, and Japan.