5 things that make it the smarter choice
You probably already know what the RAKwireless Built-in Network Server is since it is quite popular among our clients. In case you are new and curious let us first introduce it briefly.
LoRaWAN® defines the communication protocol and system architecture for the network, while the LoRa® physical layer enables the long-range communication link. LoRaWAN is also responsible for managing the communication frequencies, data rate, and power for all devices.
In a deployment of sensors communicating through a LoRaWAN network, the network server is a central element. It is in charge of the management of LoRaWAN gateway, the authorization of the sensors, and the exchange of data (uplink, downlink) between the sensors and the applications. Data transmitted by an end-node device is received by multiple gateways, which forward the data packets to a centralized network server. The network server filters duplicated packets, performs security checks, and handles the authentication, LoRaWAN mac-layer communication (and mac-commands), communication with the application server, and the scheduling of downlink frames. Data is then forwarded to application servers.
The Application Server on the other hand is responsible for the device “inventory” part of a LoRaWAN infrastructure, the handling of join-request, and the handling and encryption of application payloads.
And that leads us to the first major benefit:
Everything is in one place
With a network server and an application server just inside your device, your gateway becomes your personal data hub. Everything is easy to access and manage. You need only one gateway with a Built-in Network Server to make your network. You can link it with other gateways, and add nodes to your application. And the information from all of them will be forwarded and processed by the one main gateway the Network Server is running on. Pretty neat and useful, huh? Wait to read the rest!
You don’t need cloud services
Having the Built-in Server gives you a freedom that no other network can provide! You won't need to search for a suitable service that depicts all your needs and preferences. Not to mention that you won't need to pay the fees most of those services charge or have to struggle with the restrictions of the free ones! Even better: those pesky internet providers? You don’t need them either! To manage your data, you only need a place to store it and with the built-in MQTT Bridge, this may be a simple computer in your local network or a single-board PC like Raspberry Pi, running an MQTT Broker. Still, if you want you can use the cloud, but why bother? A free and independent network, what is better than this?
The control and monitoring functionality that is built-in comes with a ton of additional options for you to play with. An example is the node filtering functionality. With it, you can filter incoming traffic and only forward packets from the desired nodes to optimize bandwidth usage over the backhaul. You can filter by OUI or Network ID by whitelisting. There is also a functionality that allows nodes to be automatically dropped following a set of parameters. One can set threshold values for Discard Period, Join Period, Join Interval, and Join Count. With the further development of technologies, there are no limits to how far we can go!
Easier and quicker deployment
Easy deployment of applications and integration of gateways without the need of other intermediaries. Since every command is one click away with the user-friendly interface the deployment becomes a breeze. Because the software and UI sit on top of OpenWRT, the gateway is perfect for the development of custom applications (via the open SDK). Thus, such a Gateway is suited for any use case scenario, be it rapid deployment or customization with regards to UI and functionality.
You can get your data with HTTP or MQTT endpoints at any time and any place! Thanks to the HTTP Post-Get Method you can even visualize it directly on your website. If your nodes are using Cayenne LPP Data Format you don’t need to worry about decoding your data since your Gateway supports it and will do it for you.
In conclusion, the RAKwireless Built-in Network Server just makes your work easier. With its features, it makes your day go smoother and reduces external issues, making it the smarter choice when choosing a gateway!