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The Power of a Purpose-built Industrial IoT Tooling Stack

by Stefan Vallin
8 min read

HiveMQ is excited to feature a guest post from Avassa, highlighting our collaborative efforts in advancing Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions with purpose-built tooling stacks tailored for the IIoT Edge. This partnership emphasizes the critical importance of streamlined integration and optimized management for IIoT deployments.


Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions, such as autonomous vehicles, industrial equipment, or machines on factory floors, can be challenging to scale in real-life production environments. Two of the common obstacles are:

  • The plethora of protocols at the edge that are not interoperable and

  • The complexity of scaling, deploying, and managing the solution to heterogeneous edge locations

Collecting data from sensors, PLCs, and other Operational Technology (OT) devices is at the heart of any IIoT solution. Meanwhile, the IIoT market is fragmented, including which protocols are commonly used. Different vendors and products support different protocols including Modbus, OPC-UA, MQTT, or even proprietary protocols. Collecting and acting on those different protocols and data formats can block your way towards fast development and rollout of an IIoT solution.

Any ambitious IIoT solution is also deployed in highly distributed environments, such as in thousands of vehicles, machines, applications or systems. These environments rarely look and behave the same between one location and another, which adds another layer of complexity. It’s important to consider day two scenarios, for instance, once you have installed the solution at all places and are in production. Then, you need to think about lifecycle management, upgrades, monitoring, and troubleshooting, time and time again.

So how can you address these two challenges optimally?

  1. Use a containerized, lightweight IIoT protocol mediator specifically designed for edge constraints

  2. Use a proven edge orchestrator platform to fully manage all lifecycle aspects at scale

HiveMQ Edge for #1 and Avassa for #2 are stellar examples of solutions that will be enablers for a successful IIoT edge project.

Mediating IIoT Protocols at the Edge

Amongst the various available options for protocols at the edge, MQTT is beginning to become the leading option. It’s well-proven, lightweight, and can work in constrained network environments. It uses a pub/sub architecture which makes it suitable for mediating between edge sensors and edge applications, including forwarding to the central enterprise or cloud. It’s also feature-rich enough to carry the payload from other data at the edge, like Modbus and OPC UA devices.

HiveMQ Edge lets you consolidate the various data protocols at the edge into MQTT. It will act as a broker/gateway on your edge system and enable sensor, application, and system data from various sources to be available for local edge use cases. It will also enable forwarding to the central enterprise or cloud MQTT broker like HiveMQ, which can then share that data with other IT systems on-premise or in the cloud in a scalable, reliable, and secure manner.

The developers of your IoT Edge and Edge AI applications can use a unified MQTT mechanism for both subscribing to data and publishing new aggregated, enriched data and AI inference results. The new data will be available for other applications at the edge as well as in the central cloud.

But, how do I get HiveMQ Edge installed at all sites, and of course all my Edge (AI) applications? Read on!

Manage the Lifecycle of our Industrial IoT Applications

An important enabler for agile and large-scale industrial IoT applications is the software container standard. Containers offer a lightweight and controlled way of managing modular software at the edge. You can mix your own developed containers as well as partner with open source containers and manage the lifecycle across all your edge systems.

HiveMQ Edge is available as a container, and your edge applications alike are packaged as containers in your CI/CD pipeline. And so, voila, you’re allowed to deploy both HiveMQ as well as your applications to thousands of machines.

Avassa for IIoT will let you orchestrate the deployment of HiveMQ Edge and your container applications to all your systems. That way, over-the-air updates over unstable and low-bandwidth connections are fully optimized. It will also let you monitor and troubleshoot applications and OS issues remotely as well as update the OS in a controlled manner.


The combination of Avassa’s edge management and operations platform and HiveMQ Edge will let you quickly and securely develop and deploy your IIoT applications on the Edge. The openness of containerized applications will let you grow along with demand and the industry-leading efforts of HiveMQ and Avassa solve the IoT protocol layer and the edge deployments challenges alike.

To learn more, read Avassa for IIoT.

Stefan Vallin

Stefan Vallin is Product Lead at Avassa, forming the roadmap and evolution of the product together with the engineering team. Before joining Avassa, Stefan held product management positions at Tail-f, Cisco, Netrounds, and Juniper. Stefan holds a Ph.D in Network Management and has also been an assistant associate professor at Luleå Technical University.

  • Contact Stefan Vallin via e-mail

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