Accelerating IoT Solution Development with Device Virtualization

Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly transformed industries and consumers, accelerating digital transformations over the last few years, bringing the physical and digital worlds together. The essential element of IoT is to build intelligent, interconnected systems that sense and act to external stimuli and environmental conditions. Such devices generate large volumes of data that need to be analyzed for information, insights, and wisdom to trigger responsive or preemptive action. The IoT-led digital transformation is being embraced across the consumer and industry verticals (healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, etc.).

The ‘Things’ or IoT devices are at the heart of an IoT solution. There are billions of devices connected over the internet that serve multiple industry verticals – from manufacturing to retail, to smart cities, and many more. End-to-end solution validation is a challenge in IoT solution engineering, especially on the device side. There are multiple challenges such as device availability, accessibility, and excessive cost of testing using real devices impacting the launch timelines, inadequate testing, product recalls, and in extreme cases, irreversible damage to life and property. Device virtualization is a solution that addresses the challenges by providing an abstraction to the IoT devices. The virtual machines can simulate device initialization, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-device communication, and manipulation of device configuration settings. The solution can be used for application performance testing by simulating various load and network-related scenarios. Device virtualization can effectively simulate devices still in a prototype phase, and different generations of devices that co-exist in the system.

This whitepaper discusses the anatomy of an IoT solution, the challenges in engineering an IoT solution, the concept of device virtualization, and how it accelerates IoT platform development.