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Arm Virtual Hardware and Remote.It: Simple Remote Access to Virtual Devices to Scale the IoT

A powerful solution for IoT development with the ability to test and debug applications virtually
By Eric Sondhi, Senior Manager, Arm Virtual Hardware Go-To-Market, IoT line of Business, Arm

Billions of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices are expected to come online in the next few years, but that massive scaling comes with complexity. As IoT development becomes more widespread, developers are demanding powerful and reliable tools, such as virtual hardware prototyping, to help them create and deploy their applications. 

Deploying solutions based on standardized, readily available hardware has dramatically simplified the development of distributed and IoT solutions. There is a wide range of solutions, including productivity, entertainment, and communication solutions hosted on Raspberry Pi and other hardware platforms.

Local development is straightforward: Access the Raspberry Pi IP address from another device on the same LAN (Local Area Network). Existing tools, such as SSH (Secure Shell), VNC (Virtual Network Computing), and web browsers, work well.

Challenges of remote virtual hardware prototyping

But remote development – virtual hardware prototyping increasingly used by global teams of developers – adds more steps and creates security risks. You need public IP addresses and open ports to connect remotely. There may be a VPN to set up, or firewall rules and IP allow lists to manage. In short, remote development is possible, but it just requires extra work and leaves the public IP address and port accessible by malicious actors and bots exploiting known vulnerabilities and exposures.

Let’s take it a step further: Developing remotely in a third-party cloud is similar to any remote development but comes with further restrictions on tools and admin rights. Arm Virtual Hardware (AVH) provides an API and also a remote console interface within the web browser that allows developers to create and test their applications in a virtual environment, without the need for physical hardware. 

AVH, unveiled in October 2021, already has a flourishing ecosystem, with partners such as Oracle, GitHub, GitLab and Nota AI integrating AVH into service offerings. Third-party Arm-based hardware from NXP, STMicroelectronics and Raspberry Pi are already available

So, fantastic, right? But what if you need access to the database or web application hosted on the Arm virtual device?  If you need more than console/SSH access, users typically set up a VPN.

There is a simpler and more secure way to develop remotely: Technology from Remote.It. Remote.It is a powerful remote access and management platform for IoT devices that allows developers to connect to, configure and control their devices remotely. 

Effective combination: Remote.It with AVH

When combined, AVH and Remote.It provide a powerful and efficient solution for IoT development with the ability to test and debug applications in a virtual environment, while also remotely controlling and monitoring devices. This helps developers quickly identify and resolve issues and bring their products to market faster. Additionally, the security features of Remote.It will help to protect the data and the devices from unauthorized access.

Benefits of Remote.It include:

  • Unified and automated network management
    • Automate network configuration. Eliminate person-hours spent planning, maintaining, and resolving IP address, subnet, routing table, and VLAN configurations.
    • A single dashboard consolidates users, services, and devices into one management dashboard. Devices can be on-premise or in the cloud, such as with AVH.
  • Zero Trust security
    • Least privileged access. Unlike a traditional VPN, grant access controls to services without exposing the entire subnet. Allow users to access your web application without having access to SSH, for example.
    • Eliminate external attack surface by keeping private resources off the public Internet. There is no need for a global IP address or port forwarding. Global IP addresses are scanned over 50k times a day by bots and malicious actors looking for known vulnerabilities or services with weak passwords.
  • Immediate ROI
    • The basic Remote.It account is free forever.
    • Immediately save time by eliminating managing IP allow lists, subnet range overlaps, VLAN segregation, and Docker/public cloud routing tables.
    • Eliminate expensive VPN licenses and hardware.

Developers can access Remote.It initially for free, and the company has subscription plans for everyone, including free-forever plans and paid plans, including organization management and SSO integration. Here’s a link to getting started with AVH using Raspberry Pi. 

A new approach to scaling IoT development 

Together, AVH and Remote.It – a simple solution to remotely access your virtual Arm devices hosted in AVH – are powerful tools that can help developers streamline their workflows and bring their products to market faster. 

Remotely access any service hosted on your virtual device. No VPN or router/firewall network configuration changes are required. All virtual services appear local to the remote user, and groups of virtual devices can be put into logical ‘networks’ for ease of management. And users can access devices in AWS, Azure, GPC, on-premise, and AVH at the same time.

As IoT development continues to evolve, these tools are essential for developers looking to stay ahead of the curve and scale their IoT ambitions quickly and effectively.

More information about AVH is available here.

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Brian Fuller and Jack Melling
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