Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides cloud computing services to manage & store data from IoT Nodes over the Internet, but in some cases latency may be an issue, and Internet connectivity may not be reliable in all locations. AWS Greengrass provides a solution to those issues by running some of the IoT tasks within the local network in ARM or x86 edge gateways running Linux.
You can still manage your devices from AWS cloud, but a Linux gateway running Greengrass Core runtime will be able to run AWS Lambda functions to perform tasks locally, keep device data in sync, and communicate with devices running AWS IoT Device SDK.
Greengrass benefits include:
- Response to Local Events in Near Real-time
- Offline operation – Connected devices can operate with intermittent connectivity to the cloud, and synchronizes with AWS IoT once it is restored
- Secure Communication – AWS Greengrass authenticates and encrypts device data at all points of connection.
- Simplified Device Programming with AWS Lambda – Greengrass execute Lambda functions locally, reducing the complexity of developing embedded software.
- Reduce the Cost of Running IoT Applications – You can program filter device data locally, and only transmit the data you need to the cloud. This reduces the amount of raw data transmitted to the cloud and lowers cost
Greengrass Core’s minimum requirements are a 1GHz Processor with at least 128 MB, so it will run on most x86 products, as well as some ARM boards and devices, with Amazon recommending the following to get started quickly:
- Digi CC-WMX6UL-START – ConnectCore 6UL Starter Kit
- Digi CC-WMX6UL-KIT – ConnectCore 6UL Development Kit
- Digi CC-WMX6-KIT – ConnectCore 6 Jumpstart Development Kit
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
- Qualcomm DragonBoard 410C
- Samsung ARTIK 530 or ARTIK 710
Greengrass Core works with Linux distributions with Linux 4.4.11+ or greater including Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Debian Jessie, etc.. Canonical will also provide snap to easily install it on Ubuntu operating systems. Dependencies include SQLite 3 or greater, Python 2.7 or greater, Glibc 2.14, boto3 (latest), botocore (latest), OpenSSL 1.0.2 or greater, libseccomp and bash. You’ll find more detailed requirements in the FAQ.
Amazon’s announcement today was about AWG GreeenGrass availability to all customers, but it has already been used successfully in the industry by customers such as Enel, the largest utility in Europe, Konecranes now having 15,000 connected cranes, Pentair plc for their aquaculture customers, and Rio Tinto mining group to improve management and safety of their truck fleet.
Greengrass is free to try for one year with up to 3 devices, and costs $0.16 per month or $1.49 per year per device for up to 10,000 devices. If you are going to manage more than 10,000 devices you’d have to contact Amazon for pricing options. You can find more info and get started on Amazon Greengrass page.