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InfoQ Homepage News AWS IoT Greengrass Reaches 2.0, Edge Runtime Goes Open Source

AWS IoT Greengrass Reaches 2.0, Edge Runtime Goes Open Source

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Announced in 2017, AWS Greengrass aims to ease the task of setting up and managing IoT systems. Version 2.0 adds new developer capabilities, including revamped command-line interface and support for adding and removing pre-built components. Additionally, its edge runtime has been open sourced and is now available on GitHub.

AWS Greengrass has two main parts: an IoT edge runtime and a cloud service. Together they aim to provide IoT device fleets with local compute, messaging, and data management capabilities. For example, you can use Greengrass to run lambda functions locally on IoT devices; enable ML inference; send messages between devices; deploy, run, and manage Docker containers, and more.

Open-sourcing the IoT edge runtime, Amazon aims to make it easy for developers to integrate their applications and troubleshoot problems. It is not clear, though, if Amazon also plans to drive its further development in the open or just have the repo as a reference for developers.

With Greengrass 2.0, you can choose which pre-built components you are going to use, thus optimizing your IoT device memory and CPU usage. Such components allow developers to easily connect to other AWS services and third-party application. For example, you can include a stream manager or an ML component only if you are going to require their functionality.

After you develop your IoT applications, AWS IoT Greengrass enables you to remotely deploy, configure, and manage those applications on your fleet of devices in the field.

Greengrass 2.0 also integrates with AWS IoT thing groups, which enable carrying through tasks on multiple IoT devices at once based on a static or dynamic grouping. Static groups can be hierarchical and specify inheritable policies. Dynamic groups enable tasks such as upgrading a device's firmware only if battery life is, e.g., greater than 80%.

The new command-line interface included in Greengrass 2.0 enables you to locally develop and debug applications on your device as well as use a local debug console. Using these new capabilities, Amazon says, you can develop and debug your app on a test device before using the cloud to deploy to the rest of your fleet.

IoT Greengrass 2.0 was not the only IoT-related announcement at re:Invent 2020. Other related products Amazon launched are AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN, extending IoT Core with support for low-power, long-range wide area networking which is suitable for devices transmitting data from 1 mile to 10 miles; AWS Fleet Manager, an operational hub that enables managing, and IoT device fleet without resorting to SSH or RDP. Amazon also announced long-term support for its AWS FreeRTOS microcontroller operating systems, which can be downloaded here.

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