Why the MQTT Protocol is ideal for Internet of Things?

The term Internet of Things (IoT) is used to describe the practice of connecting devices through the use of the Internet. The IoT is already connecting computing devices, appliances, humans and other living beings through the Internet. Accumulating data and knowledge through these Things would improve a vast array of items and experiences throughout the world. The IoT is made of events and signals of many different kinds and requires a standardized mode of communication.

After analysing the available protocols, we decided to go with the MQTT (MQ Telemetry Transport) for our communication system.

History behind MQTT

MQTT is a machine-to-machine (M2M)/”Internet of Things” connectivity protocol, stands for MQ Telemetry Transport. It is a publish/subscribe, extremely simple and lightweight messaging protocol, designed for constrained devices and low-bandwidth, high-latency or unreliable networks.

MQTT was developed by Andy Stanford-Clark (IBM) and Arlen Nipper (Eurotech; now Cirrus Link) in 1999 as a lightweight messaging protocol to enable low-energy monitoring of an oil pipeline. The goals were to have a protocol, which is bandwidth-efficient and uses little battery power because the devices were connected via satellite link and this was extremely expensive at that time.

16 years later, it’s proved to be the most efficient programming language for IoT-enabled devices, which also rely on low-energy communications, and was adopted as an international standard for IoT last year by OASIS.

The Reasons why we choose MQTT

In the ever- growing world of technology, everyone wants the devices to communicate in a secure and reliable way. And what we believe is “Quality & Reliability is what matters the most and it should be something built inside.

Here are the 5 things about MQTT which made us to choose it for our IoT implementation.

1. Security

Even though MQTT messaging uses an unsecured TCP, we can be able to encrypt data with TLS/SSL Internet security to make it robust, when implementing for the mission-critical business. We can have partial and complete encryption based on the resourcefulness of the system and security mandate.

2. Central Broker

We may be getting billions of devices on the Internet over the next 5 to 10 years. Broker which can act as a server can effectively reduce the number of packets that fall into the internet and also the amount of processing the individual memory needed for the clients. We should be able to build a grid of highly interoperable brokers across different vendors.

3. Quality of Service

MQTT defines three QoS which can cater to based on the importance of each messages and the repetitiveness of the messages in the environment.

Quality of service (QoS) levels determines how each MQTT message is delivered and must be specified for every message sent through MQTT. It is important to choose the proper QoS value for every message, because this value determines how the client and the server communicate to deliver the message. Three QoS for message delivery could be achieved using MQTT:

QoS 0 (At most once) – where messages are delivered according to the best efforts of the operating environment. Message loss can occur.

QoS 1 (At least once) – Where messages are assured to arrive but duplicates can occur.

QoS 2 (Exactly once) – where message are assured to arrive exactly once.

There is a simple rule when considering performance impact of QoS. It is “The higher the QoS, the lower the performance”. MQTT provides flexibility to the IoT devices, to choose appropriate QoS they would need for their functional and environmental requirements.

4. Last WILL & Retained Message

Last WILL helps in knowing whether the particular client is available or not. It is not worth waiting for something that won’t happen. The listeners can be put on the power saver mode with interval based wake up to check the publisher availability.

Retained messages will help subscribers receive messages that were published sometime before.

These messages highly decouple both the publisher and the subscriber to work independently of each device.

5) MQTT clients are very simple to implement

MQTT is open protocol and standardized by the OASIS Technical Committee. This makes this protocol easy to adopt for the wide variety of IoT devices, platforms, and operating systems. Many applications of MQTT can be developed just by implementing the CONNECT, PUBLISH, SUBSCRIBE, and DISCONNECT control packets. A variety of MQTT client libraries are made available through the Eclipse Paho project. Eclipse Paho MQTT client libraries could be downloaded from the Eclipse Paho website.

Implementing MQTT

Because the MQTT protocol is so lightweight and easy to implement, it’s adaptable to a wide variety of applications in different industries. For most applications, all that’s required is that you implement control packets for Connect, Publish, Subscribe and Disconnect. Some applications may require additional control packets, such as Unsubscribe, PingReq and PingResp. This is a quick and painless process with the help of the right consulting team, who can implement your control packets, connect your devices and bring them on board for ongoing data collection and analysis.

MQTT is the protocol builds for M2M and IoT which can help provide revolutionary new performance and opens up new areas for messaging use cases for billions of things connected through the Internet.


July 4, 2018 6:18 am Leave your thoughts

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