In a previous post, the different layers of FTS360 security were examined. Today, we explore the importance of having adopted the Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) communication protocol. MQTT, is an open source ISO standard method for fast, reliable data transmissions between end points.
“Facebook Messenger uses MQTT because it’s fast and lightweight,” explains Alan DeCiantis, FTS Director of Product. “MQTT is able to move small pieces of information very quickly with very low bandwidth, and it’s easily scalable. That’s precisely why we decided to use it in building FTS360.”
Using MQTT, FTS360 operates as a secure topic-based publish-and-subscribe network analogous to Twitter. FTS360 can support thousands of remote monitoring devices as they publish data on their own handle, and it allows any number of other devices and databases to subscribe to those handles and respond intelligently to the data being published. When devices are running MQTT, it doesn’t matter what make or model the devices are—they are speaking a universal language.
“With MQTT, the sensor in the field can also be a subscriber, and this is really important,” explains DeCiantis. “Suddenly the camera or other sensor is not just a mindless device taking measurements. MQTT means that all the elements in the monitoring system can be both publisher and subscriber on the network.”
With FTS360, it’s possible to have an unlimited number of cameras, sensors, and weather stations communicating with each other using MQTT. For example, a single camera can subscribe to several different topics and listen to the data stream coming from a dozen different weather stations, people, or databases that are publishing to those topics. Those stations, people, and databases can in turn be listening to the data stream coming from the camera. And if a camera or any other device needs replacement, it’s no problem.
“With older systems, if you went and changed something like a camera, you then had to teach the system that there was a new IP address and all the rest,” says DeCiantis. “In many cases, the data stream would drop simply because someone went out and changed the camera, and they didn’t have time to email 4,000 people to tell them the new IP address yet. But as long as the device is using MQTT, there’s virtually no loss of data.”
Once the data has been received by FTS360, it will be transferred to the appropriate application whether that is a database, a visualization program, or another device so that an action can be performed. This interoperable information exchange is fast, effortless, and scalable.
Watch for the third and final installment of this FTS360 blog post, which will detail how this secure and reliable software design delivers a trusted automated responsiveness 24/7.
Have questions about MQTT or FTS360? Contact us we would love to answer your questions.