Feb 17, 2017 -- Mender, the open source project to deploy over-the-air (OTA) software updates to embedded Linux devices, announces the general availability of their production-ready release, Mender 1.0. The team behind Mender have been working with customers across various industries including manufacturing, medical devices, smart energy, and home automation to ensure this release is production-ready and provides the security and reliability required in deploying OTA software updates to the Linux-based Internet of Things. As part of this process, Mender has been installed in many production deployments.
The Mender team draws on extensive experience in systems and security management. Their background allows them to apply their real-world knowledge in developing a secure and robust OTA solution for Linux-based devices, a critical requirement for the Internet of Things. “OTA software updates are a given. You need a reliable solution to deploy bug fixes, patch security vulnerabilities, and add new features for your customers,” says Eystein Stenberg, CTO of Mender. “We discovered that embedded developers were spending a lot of time on reinventing the wheel and implementing sub-par homegrown OTA tools or cobbling together an assortment of tools to do OTA -- and nobody liked it. We decided to contribute with an easy-to-use open source project so developers can rather spend their time on differentiating product features. Leave the OTA to us.”
“The growth of connected devices has been astounding, with the automotive industry perhaps the most visible example of both the promise and risk of IoT,” says Ralph Nguyen, Head of Community Development at Mender. “When a Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer demonstrates how to avoid costly recalls by deploying OTA software updates, while a more traditional car manufacturer gets remotely hacked due to their inability to design authenticity checks into their firmware updates, it highlights the critical nature of deploying OTA and its role in the competitive landscape.”
Mender provides an end-to-end solution, with the backend management server and the client both open source. In order to ease the apprehension of bricking in-field devices, Mender provides automated rollback support to ensure devices continue to work despite issues such as power failure on the device, corrupted updates, or poor network connectivity. Other capabilities include group-based deployments for controlled rollouts, secure communication protocols, authentication, a management user interface with device status at a glance, and easy integration into the Yocto Project (an embedded Linux collaboration project).
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