SmartServer 101

SmartServer IoT is the industry’s first truly open, end-to-end, and extensible, multi-protocol IoT edge server that accelerates your system integration projects for industrial IoT applications.  It is ideal for monitor and control, energy management and data analytics applications in smart buildings, cities, and factories and allows you to interface to those devices with local workstations and remote cloud services. The SmartServer IoT hardware is shown in the figure below.

The SmartServer has built-in support for BACnet, Modbus, LonWorks (LON), EnOcean, and LoRaWAN devices and can be customized for new protocols. It has a built-in web server, which can be used to access devices and to read/write to device datapoints.  You can use the built-in web pages or create custom web pages. The SmartServer can be used as a router and supports multi-port routing. With the built-in Node-RED editor, you can create web and data flows. You can also create internal devices or apps (e.g., using node.js), which allow you to customize the SmartServer to your needs. Furthermore, you can make connections between datapoints on devices of the same protocol, or between devices on different protocols. The SmartServer has a built-in data logger, alarm generator, and scheduling capability. The SmartServer can be accessed through REST, WebSocket, and MQTT APIs. Device data can be pushed to the cloud by using one of the APIs, or by using an existing or creating a new Node-RED cloud connector flow. Many cloud providers (e.g., AWS and Google) provide Node-RED cloud connector flows that you can import into the SmartServer to access their cloud services. See SmartServer IoT for a list of features and to download the product datasheet.

The SmartServer can also be used with an IzoT CT network or an IzoT Net Server database to allow you to monitor and control external LON devices and internal LON devices. Device datapoints for other protocols can be access using internal LON devices. LON is not supported with SmartServer Pi.

The SmartServer software (Linux-based) is made up of the CMS (built in Central Management System web pages, and REST and WebSocket APIs) and the SmartServer platform (all drivers but the CMS and includes the MQTT API). See the System Architecture diagram for more details.

The SmartServer software supports the following hardware platforms:

  • SmartServer IoT – the SmartServer software (Local CMS and SmartServer platform) resides in the SmartServer hardware (shown in the figure above). Two SmartServer IoT models are available: SmartServer IoT Pro (IoT platform with USB expansion) and SmartServer IoT Pro EX (IoT platform with USB and RS-485 expansion). See the SmartServer IoT datasheet for more information.
  • SmartServer Pi – the containerized SmartServer software (CMS and SmartServer platform) resides on custom hardware. With SmartServer 4.2 and higher, SmartServer Pi can only be installed on the Raspberry Pi 4 or CM4. See SmartServer Pi Getting Started for more information.

  • Remote CMS – the SmartServer CMS resides on one server (a local or cloud server) that can be used to control up to 10 SmartServers. SmartServer platform software resides on the SmartServer hardware. Communications between the CMS and SmartSmartServer platform is performed using MQTT. See Remote CMS Getting Started.

To support LonWorks channels (FT-10, TP-1250 or power line), in addition to the SmartServer IoT you will need to purchase a U60 or U70 network interface for each LonWorks channel that you want to support (U60/U70 limits). See the U60 datasheet and U70 datasheet for more information.

Device capacity and maintenance licenses may be required for SmartServer 3.3 and higher depending on the application. Not all applications require licenses. See Manage Licenses and Frequently Asked Questions - Licensing for more information. 

To add devices to the SmartServer you can manually add them or use the SmartServer device discovery to discover devices. It is important to understand when and when not to use device discovery.

This section introduces the key concepts and architecture of SmartServer as well as the organization of this documentation. It includes the following topics: