Seeed partners with Balena to enable container-based application deployment and fleet management for embedded devices

We are glad to share with all community now our ODYSSEY-X86 series is now supported on balenaOS and fully compatible with balenaCloud. With the balena technology stack, developers can bring cloud microservices workflows to embedded devices and minimize friction for fleet owners. Balena aims to make the process of deploying IoT applications as easy as deploying web applications (or even easier!). balenaCloud enables a complete CI/CD workflow to your edge devices using Docker container technology. Once the device is set up with the host OS (balenaOS), developers can push code to the balena build servers, where it will be packaged into containers and delivered to the fleet. Please check our wiki Getting Started with balenaOS on ODYSSEY-X86 for more details.

Deploy, manage, and scale embedded devices powered scenarios.  

All running services on ODYSSEY-X86 can then be managed, monitored, and updated through the web dashboard, or through belena’s API via the CLI and SDK. We need to install Balena CLI on a host PC. Balena CLI is a Command Line Interface for balenaCloud or openBalena. It is a software tool available for Windows, macOS and Linux, used through a command prompt / terminal window. It can be used interactively or invoked in scripts. Follow this link to install Balena CLI according to your operating system.

balenaCloud is a comprehensive cloud-based device deployment and management infrastructure, hosted by balena. It allows even the most novice fleet owner to build applications in any language, seamlessly provision devices, quickly test new features, and easily manage their device fleet. Docker container technology enables safe, secure, and reliable updates through a single command while devices remain online and fully functional. Users can view and manage their entire device fleet using the balenaCloud dashboard or they can choose to interact directly with the API.

balenaOS is a simple yet powerful operating system tailored for containers and built for multiple embedded devices via the Yocto framework and optimized by Linux containers and Docker in particular.

ODYSSEY is a series of SBC (Single Board Computer), allowing you to build Edge Computing applications with ease. The ODYSSEY – X86J4125,  based on Intel Celeron J4125, is a Quad-Core 2.0GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.7GHz. It includes all the powerful features of Mini PC such as including an 8GB LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB eMMC Storage(optional), onboard Wi-Fi/BLE, Dual Gigabit Ethernet Ports, Audio Input and Output, USB Ports, HDMI, SATA Connectors and PCIe, however, within a cost-effective price. With simple connections such as a  Mouse, Keyboard and Monitor to ODYSSEY – X86J4125, you will get a Desktop Mini PC right away. With eMMC versions, you even have the Windows 10 Enterprise pre-installed!

How to get started

The easiest way to test balenaOS on your ODYSSEY X86 is to first setup a balenaCloud account – the first 10 devices are fully featured and free to test as much as you like. 

Once in the balenaCloud dashboard, you can “Add New Device”, and select `Seeed ODYSSEY-X86` from the drop-down menu so that it can be added to your IoT Fleets:

Once you’ve selected your connectivity preference, you can directly flash the image generated from your dashboard. After the image is flashed, ODYSSEY X86 will be automatically connected with Balena Cloud.

Your application is able to run and extract new code even if the application crashes in BalenaOS, or to restore the old firmware version if the new version fails. Balena allows users to connect via SSH (using a secure VPN connection) to any running service or underlying host operating system. In Balena Cloud, you will have a dashboard with device configurations and containerized services.

What is balena?

Balena provides a full technology stack to help customers develop, provision, deploy, and manage IoT fleets at any scale. At every level, balena is built so that customers can focus on developing their applications and growing their fleets with as little friction as possible.

The product you might be most familiar with is balenaEtcher, which provides a reliable and open-source method for flashing OS images to SD cards and USB drives. Etcher and EtcherPro were both created with customer feedback in mind to improve the experience of flashing – everything from a single device at home to thousands of devices in manufacturing workflows. 

balenaOS is a powerful OS with a minimal footprint, built for running containers on embedded devices. balenaOS provides a single experience across supported hardware so customers can stop spending so much time focused on their hostOS and focus instead on developing and debugging their edge applications. balenaOS also provides a unique management experience, supporting remote troubleshooting capabilities natively into both the hostOS and individual services, as well as providing reliability for updates in harsh networking environments.

balenaCloud is a SaaS platform which enables both application and device management features. With balenaCloud, you can build and provision your application image to hundreds of thousands of devices, making use of features such as the API and SDKs. In addition, customers can manage fleets at scale using either a friendly GUI or automate tasks with the Command Line Interface.

What’s next? 

Let us know what application you plan to build and deploy on ODYSSEY-X86 using balenaCloud! 

We are also intensively working on the integration for reTerminal, powered by Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4, and our NVIDIA Jetson carrier boards. Stay tuned with us and let’s make IoT fleet management and scalability easy. 

Join Seeed Partner Ecosystem

How do we wanna partner with you? 

By consolidating the latest and the best technology, Seeed aims at emerging all kinds of enterprise scenarios. Combining Seeed’s best-in-class hardware, the software platform from our partner ecosystem, and community knowledge, developers and system integrators will find the easiest ever way to consolidate the IoT solution to their existing or new systems. 

Join Seeed Partner Ecosystem

We will be glad to partner with cloud services, software platforms, and superior ISVs for:

  • Delivering ready-to-deploy and co-integrated solutions to global companies and system integrators. 
  • Delivering added value for verticals audience
  • Integrating partner’s unique solution into Seeed hardware platform and sharing with the community together.
  • Lowering the threshold for end-users to from quickly POCs to scale industrial scenarios.

Join us today by contacting [email protected] for more partnership ecosystem information.

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January 2022