OMA LWM2M: Breaking down the silos that limit IoT at scale

by OMA | Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Peter Aldworth, mbed News, 28 February 2017 – Thanks to everyone for the huge interest in the LwM2M webinar we hosted on February 13th. The timing was excellent as version 1.0 of the LwM2M specification was just finalized and published so we were able to share the most recent developments with our attendees.

We often hear concerns from our partners as they grapple with scaling out their IoT deployments, as they find that silos within IoT have created vendor lock-in issues, stunting their potential growth.

IoT is still at an early stage and, as often happens in other industries, there are a lot of proprietary developments. With the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) LightWeight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) and our ARM mbed Cloud IoT device management solution, we want to open today’s narrow IoT silos.  A device management standard offers a number of possibilities: first, you can take a LwM2M compliant IoT device from vendor A and connect it to a cloud provider B. Second, you can switch from cloud provider B to cloud provider C, if you are unhappy with the offered service. Third, you can see all the details of the technical specification and even participate in the development of the standard. Finally, with more companies participating in the design, testing and implementation, the quality tends to be better, which cannot be underestimated in context of security.

Within the mbed partner ecosystem, we share a strong vision for the future: To securely deploy commercial IoT devices at scale, to be harnessed by the broadest possible range of enterprises. To deliver the true potential of IoT, we need any device, connected over any communication network, to interact securely with any cloud application platform and be targeted by any developer.

The LwM2M protocol provides a common standard for controlling constrained and low power devices in a network agnostic way, securely facilitating the remote management and enablement of devices. When implemented, it hides device and network diversity from cloud developers, presenting a consistent RESTful interface. Built on proven IETF standards, such as CoAP and DTLS, the LwM2M protocol defines an extensible resource and data model for devices. All of these features make LwM2M an ideal basis for the mbed Cloud services.

The OMA standard provides a foundation for the following aspects of mbed Cloud:

  • Securely managing the lifecycle of each device in large scale IoT deployments: From manufacture, to bootstrapping into an active deployment, managing IoT device/service trust relationships and removing devices from service when necessary.
  • Collecting data from devices to enable their behaviors to be analyzed and quantified.
  • Sending data and control commands to devices.
  • Triggering and managing remote Firmware over-The-Air (FoTA) updates.

With the completion of version 1.0 of the LwM2M specification, our work is not finished. We are working with the OMA towards the upcoming testfest (see http://openmobilealliance.org/event/oma-testfest-event-hosted-by-smith-micro/), and will continue to help drive this standard forward, addressing the future needs of secure IoT deployment management and prioritizing interoperability, efficiency and increased developer productivity.

Want to know more? Here are some resources for further information: