FoundriesFactory —Because No One Else Cares

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Posted on Dec 12, 2022 by Andy Doan

4 min read

Bringing connected products to market is really hard. Many years back, the Cloud world figured out that if you want to run something in the Cloud, there is a series of things you must always do. So they came up with the "Twelve-Factor App” to help them get it right each and every time. But we don’t have this for embedded products.

If you are reading this, you probably came thinking FoundriesFactory is just another IoT and Edge Linux-based device management platform. It’s not. Device management is just one of our “Twelve Factors”, just one of the items on the ticklist that needs to be taken care of. The thing you need to know is this: we created our platform because nobody was solving our problems. Each service we’ve had to create was done so begrudgingly. We saw that there was no full service out there to help you get your products to market and beyond. We recognized that things needed to be done differently.

Device management is important, but it’s just a small piece of the larger puzzle that product makers need to solve. Embedded products have many “Factors”, including:

  • CI
    • Building Yocto scalably
    • Building container images correctly
    • Managing multiple development branches
  • Testing
    • Quickly running builds from CI
    • Promoting good builds
    • Getting good builds onto production devices
  • Configuration
    • How to manage fleet, group and device specific options
    • How to know these secrets are safe
  • Container Registry
    • How are your millions of devices going to authenticate?
    • Does that authentication method work with a secure element?
  • SBOM
    • What’s running on your devices?
    • Any GPLv3 in your product?
  • Manufacturing
    • Dealing with your secure element
    • Handling first-boot details
    • Handling device registration
  • Remote access
  • Third party cloud integration

Almost every company we are compared to offers a single “factor”, and just doing one thing barely helps a product maker in their journey. Getting it right is difficult, and at, we acknowledge these challenges, we’re honest. Security isn’t just one thing, it is many.

Device registration at manufacturing time is hard and requires customizations.

Remote access should not work out of the box — you need total control.

Building 32-bit ARM containers is a dumpster fire and running them took us a lot of work.

Frankly speaking, it seems that many of the players in this industry aren't acknowledging the full range of customer needs, and the necessity to find a way to deal with all of them.

I was recently on an email thread between a large enterprise customer and a really large enterprise Cloud provider. The customer had a simple requirement: their devices should access the Cloud provider’s service using their HSM. The response given was even more simple: “No”. That’s why customers choose — because nobody else is going to really help.

I’m sure the large enterprise customer in this scenario was surprised. Why would anyone believe our small company when we’d warn them the Cloud provider's answer would be no? The truth is, we’ve been through this as product builders ourselves and as a company. We knew how hard the problem was, and we knew that the Cloud provider wasn’t going to care.

Look at something like FluentBit for example. I love the project. However, it doesn’t have PCKS11 support. It wouldn’t be hard to add the support, but the thing I’m struck by is this: people in our solution space don’t include it as part of their offering. For those using FluentBit, security isn’t even an afterthought — it’s simply not possible.

In some ways, FoundriesFactory was built in anger. We were always looking for help to solve the problems involved in building a real product. Usually there is no help. When there is, nobody is going to help you integrate it. That’s why we exist. Our mission is to help you get through this pain. Put these issues in our hands and focus on building, deploying and maintaining your products.

Security is one of the hardest challenges to address in the embedded space. FoundriesFactory brings the ability to ensure your full range of products is secure for the entire lifecycle, all from one platform. You can try FoundriesFactory for free for 30 days and unlock the most sophisticated security for your business.

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