The Blue-Ribbon Cloud Crowd – EEJournal

“I’ll go through life either first class or third, but never in second.” – Noel Coward

Goat yoga is a real thing. Parking meters are becoming “urban street kiosks.” CompuServe is still alive, although it’s down to its last dozen employees. And Wind River Systems would like to sell you a bridge.

As the world gets weirder, it’s nice to know that some things never change. Wind River – long a part of the embedded-systems world and more recently a part of Intel – is still offering its brand of bulletproof, 180-proof embedded software. Now, the company has upped its game in cloud-connected Internet-of-Things services.

We all know the drill: you want to connect your coffee maker, thermostat, remote sensor, or running shoes to “the cloud,” but you don’t know how to do it. Sure, you can buy Bluetooth modules, Wi-Fi protocol stacks, or ZigBee interfaces, but that’s just the start. Where do you send the data once it’s on the airwaves? How do you store it? Who gets to see the data you’ve collected, and under what circumstances? If the data’s sensitive – and it’s always sensitive, right? – how do you ensure that only the right people can monitor, analyze, and collect it? And once you figure all of this out, can you scale it up to big volumes of gadgets, or will the entire house of cards collapse when you turn on your 256th Internet-enabled Coke machine?

This is where the Alameda-based company shines: in providing big solutions to big problems. Wind River is almost as old as the embedded RTOS business itself, but the company always positioned itself as the blue-chip alternative to the garagistas hacking out code for small-scale embedded products. You want to roll your own RTOS and debug tools? That’s cute; call us when you get stuck. Are you ready to try on the big-boy pants and deploy real, commercial-grade embedded software? Splendid! Here’s the license, the support contract, and the software suite. Welcome to the big…

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