CETIC Demo – Foren6, Supporting the Deployment of the Internet of Things
As an applied research centre in the field of ICT, CETIC’s mission is to support economic development by transferring the results of the most innovative research in ICT to companies, particularly SMEs. CETIC helps companies integrate these technological breakthroughs into their products, processes and services, enabling them to innovate faster, save time and money and develop new markets. CETIC develops its expertise in key technologies, including Big Data, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), software quality, and trust and security of IT systems. This expertise is continuously supplemented through CETIC’s active involvement in European and regional projects.
The demo CETIC is presenting you at its Net Futures 2015 exhibition space covers key technologies supporting the deployment of the IoT.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are playing an increasingly important role in the development of the IoT. But deploying real-world WSN has been a challenging issue for many years. Today, a number of tools are available at different phases of a system’s life cycle to reduce deployment risks. WSN simulators and emulators have had a significant impact on application development as well as low-level communication protocol improvements. Likewise, cabled testbeds offer the means to obtain rich debugging information in an environment closer to real-world conditions. Despite such advances, real-world WSNs are still prone to failure. And in a real deployment without the information offered by simulators and testbeds, it is very difficult to debug failures.
Some insight on the system conditions can be obtained actively by sending debugging information to a data collection point, but has the drawbacks of draining batteries and being intrusive in the observed systems. For example, actively monitoring a network with link metric estimation problems may remove the problem altogether, while monitoring a dense network may introduce undesirable radio contentions. Additionally, active monitoring will simply fail to report any information in case of network partitioning and other forms of disconnections. An improvement on this is to use a dedicated, high-performance back-channel for propagating network information, but it is also power consuming and requires sophisticated hardware to be interfaced with the deployed nodes.
Only passive monitoring consists in collecting in-network packet traces to reconstruct the system state without interfering with the network or individual nodes.
In this demo, we present Foren6, the only passive monitoring tool to our knowledge which is capable of analyzing RPL-based 6LoWPAN networks. Foren6 uses packet capture devices which we refer to as sniffers to reconstruct a topological view of the RPL network in a graphical manner and report potential network faults and protocol errors.
Foren6 is a non-intrusive 6LoWPAN network analysis tool. It leverages passive sniffer devices to reconstruct a visual and textual representation of network information to support real-world Internet of Things applications where other means of debug (cabled or network-based monitoring) are too costly or impractical.
In this work, we demonstrate benefits of passive 6LoWPAN networking monitoring in both research and industrial use-cases. From a research perspective, Foren6 has been useful to fix shortcomings in ContikiRPL, the RPL implementation of the Contiki operating system. In more practical situations, this technique helps to pinpoint network deployment problems such as bottlenecks, poorly-connected zones, sensor failures and routing loops.
With Foren6, CETIC proposes a novel passive network analyzer aimed specifically at sensor networks operating on emerging IoT standards, 6LoWPAN and RPL, which serves both the academic community and early adopters of 6LoWPAN and RPL.
Tomorrow’s IoT relies on key open standards to operate, such as IPv6, 6LoWPAN and RPL. The Contiki Operation System is a pioneer solution to develop IoT applications on WSN. CETIC actively participates in the development of Contiki-based solutions, and published a border router solution for 6LoWPAN networks, 6LBR. CETIC 6LBR is a deployment ready 6LoWPAN/RPL Border Router based on Contiki, it provides network configuration and monitoring and support out of the box redundant and distributed operating modes. CETIC 6LBR is used in academia as well as in industrial deployments and demos.
More information: www.cetic.be and cetic.github.io/foren6/