Mbarx Secure IoT

Endpoints, Tools and Gateways

Mbarx IoT

Mbarx simplifies the development of secure connected systems.

Mbarx is an ecosystem of endpoints, tools and gateways that work together to form a chain-of-trust architecture. Mbarx does this by providing security, connectivity, configuration and firmware management services, without defining the core IoT application itself. Mbarx elements communicate using a simple protocol, making integration easy. The Mbarx architecture is built on top of PKI/TLS security, with extensions that encompass data integrity, authenticity and compatibility.

The Mbarx ecosystem can scale as IoT deployments evolve and Arcturus offers simple engagement packages to help get development moving quickly. Services are available to brand, customize or support any Mbarx component.

The Mbarx ecosystem consists of:

  • Mbarx Endpoints – Secure IoT endpoint stack
  • Mbarx Tools – System Manager site-wide configuration tool, Virtual Control Panel development tool
  • Mbarx Gateway Stacks – Site Controller for access and services, Operations Controller for interactive workflow systems

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Mbarx – Endpoints

The Mbarx endpoint stack is for devices in public or private IoT clouds that require secure configuration, firmware management and operational control.

Mbarx endpoints broadcast information about their identity, allowing them to be discovered on a network. A TCP socket service inside the Mbarx stack handles in-bound or out-bound connection requests using PKI certificate-based authentication and TLS encryption. A host protocol called Mbarx-ASD runs over this secure point-to-point connection allowing simple (command-based) configuration and operation of the device. Mbarx-ASD supports device settings, firmware management and a range of operational controls, including I/O, peripheral devices, UART command and UART data payload pass-through. The Mbarx stack is integrated into the services architecture of the embedded device to allow supervision of services, notification of alarm conditions and standard logging.

The Mbarx endpoint stack is available for Linux systems or microcontrollers with under 256Kbyte flash and 128Kbyte SRAM.

Mbarx Secure IoT Endpoint Diagram

Mbarx – System Manager

Mbarx System Manager is a tool to simplify the management of many IoT devices and sites.

System Manager detects endpoints and presents them for administrator-level workflow such as bulk firmware upgrades, configuration, template deployment or monitoring. System Manager includes a store interface to securely acquire IoT endpoint firmware directly from a trusted source and a built-in firmware update service, to automatically keep devices current. When deployed in conjunction with Mbarx Site Controllers the same System Manager tooling can be used to manage remote site locations by simply selecting the location from a drop down menu. Mbarx System Manager is available for Windows™ and Mac™.

Mbarx System Manager Screen Capture

Mbarx – Virtual Control Panel

Mbarx Virtual Control Panel is a QT-based GUI tool for controlling Mbarx endpoints and learning the Mbarx ASD protocol.

The tool is primarily designed to assist developers in learning the Mbarx ASD protocol, developing custom ASD workflow and helping to debug host applications. It features connection and configuration settings, input and output status indicators, call control (for VoIP devices) and a protocol message console. Mbarx Virtual Control Panel is available for Windows and Mac.

Mbarx Virtual Control Panel

Mbarx – Site Controller

The Mbarx Site Controller is a gateway-class product that provides secure connectivity and IoT site services.

The Site Controller resides at the edge, or inside a remote IoT network and provides secure access to the site and its endpoints. Site Controllers are fully compatible with the System Manager tool allowing simple, centralized management of many remote IoT sites from one location. Site Controllers can be deployed in networks where multiple subnets or NATs make reliable remote connectivity difficult and they can be can be added easily, as deployments change or grow.

In addition to connectivity, Site Controllers can provide various services to the IoT site including DHCP, NTP, rsyslog, firewall, network bonding/bridging, failover or redundancy.

Mbarx Site Controller Diagram

Mbarx – Operations Controller

The Mbarx Operations Controller is a gateway-class product for the creation of workflow systems that require human interaction. It is suitable for supervised workflow applications, including building security and access control, nurse call, patient care or mass transit management systems.

The Operations Controller supports a mobile responsive front-end, using an html5 presentation layer with various panel views. Subscriber-based events and notifications are provided to the presentation layer from an underpinning device management system. This system associates the capabilities of IoT endpoints to physical locations, ultimately allowing users to be notified of trigger events occurring at the locations they are supervising. Users are then presented with monitoring, communication and control of the location, allowing immediate service of the event by the supervising personnel. The html5 presentation supports fixed and mobile platforms and allows panel views to be spit across multiple displays to provide concurrent system views. The user interface can be extended to tie in external html, data, live video or other third-party objects, providing the user with all relevant data in one unified experience.

Notifications are transmitted to subscribed users by various methods including an internal messaging schema, VoIP, SMS, Twitter or push. Users can quickly task between receiving notifications and operational control of the system.

The screen capture below illustrates how the hierarchical group management system can be used to represent locations such as floors and rooms in a building. This implementation visually represents an IoT site, overlays events (such as alarm conditions) and provide click-through workflow directly from the mobile touch screen interface.

Mbarx-Operations Controller iPad Screen Capture