Carleton/Cisco IoT Testbed

As part of the collaboration between Carleton University and Cisco Systems, under the Cisco Chair in the Internet of Things initiative led by Prof. Ibnkahla, we are building the Carleton/Cisco IoT Testbed in the Sensor Systems and The Internet of Things lab.

As can be seen in the architecture, the testbed supports the cross-layer nature of the Internet of Things (IoT) and enables data processing all the way from sensing to applications. Inside the red rectangle on the right side, we can see the main parts implemented at Carleton University. All layers needed for distributed data processing are considered. This includes Sensing, Edge Computing, and Fog Computing. Sensing Layer represents the sensing resources that feed IoT applications with sensed data. A variety of IoT applications’ sensing resources are shown as the first examples being built, while other applications’ sensing resources could be added. The examples include Intelligent Transportation, Campus Safety, and Environmental monitoring. The sensing layer is designed to support heterogeneity in terms of sensor nodes’ hardware, computing capabilities (processing, memory, and storage capacities), and communication protocols (BLE, Wi-Fi, Mesh, ZigBee…etc.). Moreover, we extended the sensing layer with the IoT Packet generation through simulators/emulators, which helps in stressing the testbed with artificially generated IoT Data. The Edge Computing layer is being built with the IR829 and CGR1240 Cisco’s cutting-edge technology routers. These routers collect the sensed data from heterogeneous sensor nodes through different communication protocols. This layer enables data processing at the edge and helps in taking fast actions close to the devices and time-critical IoT systems.

The Fog layer includes high duty Cisco UCS servers placed on the Campus of Carleton University. A secure high-speed connection is planned between the Edge Computing devices and the Fog Computing servers. Data aggregation and cleansing are other features that could be implemented at both the Fog and Edge layers to prepare the data and reduce its size. Such steps offload the backbone networks with better compressed and higher quality sensed data.

The second set of IoT Applications and sensing networks is represented by the circles annotated “Remote IoT Network-Run by IoT Lab”. This set represents sensing networks that are deployed in other places in Carleton University and in the City of Ottawa, but still under full control and manageability from our lab. These applications push the data to the cloud using LTE and Wi-Fi networks.
The Third set of sensing networks is indicated in the circles annotated “IoT Network- Not Run by IoT Lab.” These networks represent other IoT sensing networks and applications that are running/being built in parallel by other parties. We do not have control over these networks, but we will access the data they share over the cloud.
On top of all of that, Cisco Kinetic is utilized to help in managing and monitoring the Testbed gateways through Gateway Management Module (GMM), support data processing at the edge and Fog layers through the Edge and Fog Processing Moule (EFM), and route the data correctly and efficiently to the designated clouds using the Data Control Module (DCM).