A number of our customers are looking for a way to connect a serial port straight to the cloud securely. This FAQ will discuss the options available.

  1. Port Forwarding

    In this scenario the cloud server makes an inbound connection to the brainboxes Ethernet to serial device (which resides on the internal network). The Brainboxes ethernet to serial device exposes its connection by forwarding a connection to its serial port through the router.

    Use a service such as NOIP.

    Set up port forwarding on the internet facing router.

    From the cloud connect out to your dynamic dns domain name with the port number of the router.

    Communicate with the brainboxes device from the cloud in raw TCP mode or use Brainboxes.IO software API.

    Advantages: It works!

    Disadvantages: Not secure. Need to configure each location and have access to the router.

  2. Cloud Connection using Brainboxes.IO software

    In this scenario an intermediary controller device such as a PC/Laptop or Raspberry Pi communicates with the Brainboxes Ethernet to serial device on the local network. Then relays that communication securely, by making an outbound connection to the cloud.

    Need a Controller in the system, for example a Brainboxes BB-400.

    Controller needs a Windows OS or OS with .NET Core or Mono framework installed.

    Write a small piece of software using brainboxes.IO API to communicate from the Controller to the ES, and send data up to cloud Sample code.

    This is the prefered option for many of our customers, and they can communicate with many local ES devices aggregate data and send to the cloud.

    Advantages: Secure! No router config.

    Disadvantages: Need a controller or equivalent, small amount of software dev.

  3. Brainboxes Serial to Cloud server

    In this scenario the Brainboxes Serial to cloud device communicates with the RS232 or RS422/485 peripheral and makes an outbound secure connection to the cloud and communicates the data to the cloud.

    Use the Brainboxes BB-400 Industrial Controller. This product contains an RS232/422/485 serial port and built in Node-RED software flows allow simple cloud connectivity and configuration. For more complex deployments custom software can be written and ran on the BB-400 to analyse serial data locally before sending to the cloud. The BB-400 can also be used to communicate locally with multiple ES devices.

    Advantages: Secure and no router config and no PC/laptop/RPI.

    Disadvantages: Software rewrite of non cloud apps.

The best thing to do is contact our technical team who will happily advise you on the best configuration for your system.