Our client was on the brink of limited field trials of a Smart Grid solution for managing and collecting data from hundreds of thousands of residential electricity meters across cities in the US. But they had not been able to simulate large scale deployments, for lack of suitable simulator equipment.
Vatt Systems Private Limited was commissioned to build two simulators: One to test the aggregated traffic of up to 50,000 routers communicating with a centralized network management server; The other to simulate the same 50,000 routers communicating with up to two million electricity meters. The client did not want to invest in masses of proprietary test equipment, nor devote the Lab space to it. Each simulator needed to be simple enough to run on a standard Intel-based server. For this reason, we chose Linux as the operating system and ported an IPV6 stack to Linux user space, so we could easily simulate two million IP devices on a single machine. Programming was in Java/C/C++ for code efficiency and speed. In all, the two simulators took just over three man years to complete.
Thanks to the simulators, our client was able to uncover and fix several scalability issues with the architecture of the network management system, before the solution was exposed to large-scale real-world deployments.
Our client wanted to develop a collaborative multimedia application for mobile devices using the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) delivery framework for next generation convergent multimedia services. Today, cross-network/cross-platform multimedia delivery is proprietary and expensive to deploy. IMS promises to give Service Providers a standards-based approach to deliver and monetize highly flexible multimedia services on any device, and over any network, with any-which-way roaming.
The client's goal was to demonstrate an IMS proof of concept for new revenue-generating multimedia applications to its Service Provider customers. Specifically they wanted us to develop a 3GPP compliant Service Centralization and Continuity Application Server (SCC-AS) and the end user controller applications to transfer or add/delete media in an active IMS session. However, many of the standards and protocols required for IMS were far from ready for prime time. IEEE and 3GPP specifications and call flows were in draft stages, and no client software existed in the market to support this application on an Android device. We needed to scrutinize standards proposals from a large number of contributing bodies and read between the lines. Part of this project included extending the SIP protocol stack to enable the specialized control messages and exchanges now possible within an IMS framework.
The project involved developing a SCC-AS (essentially an IMS Call Manager server) which would be hosted in the Service Provider network, and an IMS User Agent application for Android devices (Froyo, Gingerbread). We had to develop all the session transfer logic, the controller-controlee functionality, and an intuitive drag and drop interface for call management, which was integrated seamlessly with the address book for easy call management. The client application was also designed to run on Android tablets and supported front facing cameras using H.263. It allowed a user to initiate media transfer to one party, while already in a session with another party. As of Jan 2013, the solution was under evaluation by several US service providers.
Our client was an early-stage startup with a cloud storage service. They had just launched the first version of their product comprising the cloud storage components, subscriber billing and the client agent for the Android OS. They now needed to flesh out the solution with support for iOS, a richer set of features and more flexible service sign-up options, but they did not have sufficient in-house experience with iOS development, or sufficient resources to manage the potentially arduous Apple® certification for a communications product with in-app billing.
They asked Vatt Systems Private Limited to take over the whole project of feature enhancement, building an iOS client, and getting it through the certification process and published in the Apple Store. The project was staffed with two software engineers and one project manager for 12 months. During this time we resolved over 50 bugs in the original product, and added a variety of features including: bulk file uploading, improved synchronization, enhanced client registration, improved security, client billing within the Amazon cloud framework, in-app purchases and a new user interface. We also took the product to Apple certification multiple times, resolving one design constraint after another, as Apple continued to tighten its criteria on how mechanisms such as in-app purchases are permitted to work. The solution is now commercially available for Android and iOS devices.
To succeed in the IoT services market, Service Providers demand much more flexibility than typical off-the-shelf IoT platforms can provide. Consequently, many are building custom platforms by picking the best components from different IoT solution providers, and integrating them.
Vatt Systems Private Limited has developed IoT platform enablers to help Service Providers accelerate deployment of their IoT services and address several connectivity, scaling and deployment obstacles including: Onboarding new client devices; managing the data exchange; maximizing data flexiblity and ensuring scalability and resiliency.