Top Considerations When Choosing an Embedded IoT Web Server

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An embedded web server is a small, lightweight web server designed to be integrated into other software or hardware systems with limited resources. When it comes to IoT devices, choosing an embedded web server is a decision that can greatly impact performance and costs. These small web servers are essential for providing a web-based interface for monitoring and controlling devices, but there are several challenges to their development that must be addressed.

What Characteristics are Important When Choosing an Embedded Web Server for IoT Devices

To optimize the performance of an IoT device, it is crucial to consider the limited resources available. An embedded web server must have a small memory footprint to minimize RAM usage and be lightweight to reduce energy consumption. Reducing resource usage translates into smaller hardware requirements, which greatly decreases the unit cost per device, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for mass-produced IoT devices.

Manufacturers also need to consider the size and flexibility of the server when choosing an embedded web server. A small server size allows for easy integration into any application, while flexibility ensures that the software can be reused and ported between different systems. However, this must be balanced with the need for functionality.

Finally, server performance is critical as embedded systems have limited resources. It is essential to choose a server that can handle multiple requests from different users simultaneously without slowing down the device.

IoT device manufacturers often default to using a Linux web server without realizing that other lightweight solutions exist in the market. Manufacturers can consider mature, standard, and optimized solutions like MicroEJ, which supports the trend for miniaturization, including embedded web servers. By carefully selecting their embedded web server, manufacturers can optimize the performance and reduce the cost of their IoT devices, making them more competitive in the market.


How MICROEJ VEE Solves these Challenges For Lightweight, Simple to Use Embedded Web Servers

The integration of web servers on embedded devices has traditionally been associated with the use of Linux. However, MICROEJ VEE Container is now challenging this notion by offering an alternative solution. This standard software container has been optimized for small, resource-constrained devices and offers the same capabilities as a high-level operating system while minimizing memory requirements. As a result, MICROEJ VEE Container enables the embedding of web servers on RTOS-based embedded devices without the need for a Linux-based system. This has several benefits, including reduced development costs and faster time-to-market.

Furthermore, MICROEJ VEE Container allows for the integration of web servers on devices that were previously limited by memory constraints, expanding the possibilities for embedded system developers.

As a result, MICROEJ VEE Container reduces the bill of materials, making it more accessible and cost-effective for a broader range of users. Its virtualization and containerization technology ensures higher portability, which is critical for embedded devices. Indeed, MicroEJ’s Managed-C support facilitates the integration of widely-used embedded C web servers, such as Microsoft Azure Netx, within its software container, providing the added advantage of sandboxing. This integration allows for portability across various target platforms, as the runtime environment abstracts hardware and operating system specifics, simplifying the migration of embedded web servers.

Additionally, MicroEJ developed and offers the HOKA embedded web server for simple and efficient web connectivity.


MicroEJ HOKA Embedded Web Server Framework For Resource Constrained IoT Devices

MicroEJ’s HOKA embedded web server simplifies the integration of web services onto resource-constrained devices. HOKA is a lightweight and efficient framework, making it ideal for devices with limited processing power, memory, and storage. At its core, HOKA provides a simple HTTP server that can handle requests, and it comes with APIs and libraries to create custom web services. The framework allows remote management and monitoring of connected devices, which is useful in industrial or manufacturing settings. HOKA also supports common web protocols and formats, such as RESTful APIs, JSON, and XML, making it easy to integrate with other web-based systems and services. In addition, HOKA offers benefits like low power consumption, increased reliability, simplified development, improved security, and flexibility. Developers can tailor HOKA to their specific requirements, especially for IoT applications where each device or sensor may have unique needs.


Benefits of Using MicroEJ’s HOKA Embedded Web Server:

  • Low power consumption

Embedded and IoT devices often run on batteries or other limited power sources, so minimizing the energy requirements of the webserver is important. HOKA is a lightweight embedded web server framework that can reduce power consumption, making it easier to run the device for extended periods.

  • Increased reliability

HOKA is designed to be robust and resilient, with features like error handling and automatic recovery from failures. This can help ensure that the web server continues to operate reliably even in challenging environments or under heavy loads.

  • Simplified development

By providing a pre-built web server framework like HOKA, developers can focus on building their application logic rather than worrying about the underlying web server infrastructure. This can simplify development and reduce the time required to get a web-based application up and running.

  • Improved security

HOKA, when combined with our Security Foundation Library, includes built-in security features, such as SSL/TLS encryption, secure authentication protocols, and access controls. This can help protect both the device and the data it transmits from unauthorized access or tampering.

  • Flexibility

HOKA is designed to be highly customizable, allowing developers to tailor the embedded web server to their specific requirements. This can be especially valuable for IoT applications, where the needs of each device or sensor may be unique.


Choosing The Perfect Embedded Web Server for Your IoT Project

In summary, although Linux has traditionally been the preferred option for embedded web servers due to its reliable web communications, there are now more cost-effective solutions available that could be a better match for your project and offer significant cost savings. That’s where MicroEJ comes in – as a recognized web server enabler, it offers a multitude of benefits for the burgeoning IoT industry, including an accelerated time to market, cutting-edge development methods like continuous integration and automated testing, and the ability to prototype faster on virtual devices with short iteration cycles. So, if you’re looking to stay ahead of the curve and optimize your project’s efficiency, MicroEJ is the way to go.


Additional Resources

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