UpdateHub: The Complete Solution for Remote Firmware Updates

With the advancement of IoT and Industry 4.0, the number of devices connected to the Internet is growing exponentially as is, consequently, the amount of software that is embedded in these devices. In this way, markets are forcing each productive sector to deliver improvements and corrections of its products in an increasingly faster and safer way. The Over-The-Air update, often referred to as OTA, makes it easy to update these devices because it allows you to send software updates remotely. The best way to guarantee security and agility on file transfers over-the-air is through an end-to-end solution.

About UpdateHub

(Image source: O.S. Systems Development Lab)

UpdateHub, from O.S. Systems Development Lab, is a complete OTA update system that simplifies the process of remote updating Linux based devices. Its working cycle begins when an update package, containing the necessary enhancements and fixes for your devices, is sent to the management server. The management server is responsible for sending these updates securely to the devices. This occurs through an agent, integrated with the operating system of the device, and a management platform, which provides resources for managing the updates.

UpdateHub gives you flexibility for seamless security updates, new feature additions or bug fixes in your devices, from production line down to devices in the field. The rollout scheme designed by UpdateHub scales to any number of devices. Its capability to perform a multi-stage rollout plan allows for maximum control for huge amounts of devices while the simple rollout is convenient for small deployments.

Why is UpdateHub a complete OTA update system?

UpdateHub handles all aspect related to firmware over-the-air updates, including:

  • Update package signature validation for security
  • Automated rollback in case of an update failure
  • Conditional installation (content, version, and custom pattern support)
  • Callback support for every update step
  • HTTP API to control and inquiry of the local agent
  • Bootloader update support

Its rich set of features reduces development efforts, risk, costs, and time-to-market in embedded Linux devices. UpdateHub means less warranty cost, greater agility to fix bugs and add new features, and more time to focus on your product.

How does it work?

The UpdateHub management platform is available in two flavors.

  • UpdateHub Community Edition (CE): an open-source version, constantly updated and maintained by the community. Ideal for individual developers and small teams looking to get started with UpdateHub and experimenting with Firmware Over-The-Air updates.
  • UpdateHub Cloud: an enterprise-class cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, built on a high-performing, reliable, scalable, and secure cloud network, which offers a set of customized filters to manage massive over the air updates of the devices.

The update package is uploaded to the UpdateHub manager server, which makes updating available to devices. The UpdateHub agent - on devices - verifies if there's some update package available. This agent/server communication is encrypted with TLS protocol. Before starting file transfer, the agent verifies the update package integrity to avoid corruption during file transfer over a network. Then, update package authenticity is validated using cryptographic signatures before it is installed on the device. If a failure occurs during update package installation, the automatic rollback guarantees the last version to avoid bricks on your device.

UpdateHub is the best way to keep all your devices, always updated.

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About this author

Image of Otávio Salvador

Otávio Salvador is an Embedded Linux expert who has worked on embedded systems since 2002. A businessman, writer, CTO at OS Systems Development Lab, and an active member of the Open Source community, he still contributes to several projects such as Yocto Project, U -Boot, Linux Kernel, OpenEmbedded, and Rust.

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