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What is ThingsBoard Edge?

ThingsBoard Edge is a product designed for edge computing offered by ThingsBoard. It facilitates the analysis and management of data at the edge, i.e., where the data is generated, while maintaining seamless synchronization with the ThingsBoard server (Cloud, Demo, PE or CE), as per your business requirements. If you’re new to edge computing, we recommend reviewing what-is-edge and the getting started guide. More information can be found on the dedicated page.

How do I get started?

We recommend installing ThingsBoard Edge on your local machine (laptop or PC) using Docker and following the getting started guide.

Does ThingsBoard Edge require an internet connection?

No, ThingsBoard Edge doesn’t require an internet connection. You can operate it without one. The only necessary connection is to the ThingsBoard server via gRPC.

However, ThingsBoard Edge does utilize an HTTP(s) connection to the ThingsBoard server to verify the license. The URL set in the Cloud Endpoint configuration is used for this validation. Please ensure that the HTTP(s) connection to the server is not blocked by any firewall settings. The ThingsBoard server acts as a proxy for ThingsBoard Edge to connect to the ThingsBoard License Portal.

What happens if the connection to the ThingsBoard server is temporarily unavailable? How will the license check be carried out in this case?

ThingsBoard Edge can operate offline, without a connection to the ThingsBoard server, for up to 7 days.

Can multiple tenants or customers access a single ThingsBoard Edge in a remote location?

ThingsBoard Edge PE supports a single tenant and partial support of multiple customers. If the owner of the Edge is a sub-customer, all the parent entities of that sub-customer up to the tenant level will be provisioned to the Edge. This means customers from the same hierarchy path can access the same ThingsBoard Edge PE instance. However, you cannot share a ThingsBoard Edge between multiple tenants, and devices from multiple tenants cannot connect to a single ThingsBoard Edge. In such cases, you’ll need to provision multiple ThingsBoard Edge instances for each tenant.

Can I connect devices from multiple tenants to a single ThingsBoard Edge?

No, a ThingsBoard Edge supports a single tenant only. You cannot connect devices from multiple tenants to a single ThingsBoard Edge. In such cases, you’ll need to provision multiple ThingsBoard Edge instances for each tenant.

What can I do with ThingsBoard Edge?

ThingsBoard Edge allows you to connect your on-site devices to a local ThingsBoard Edge instead of directly connecting them to the ThingsBoard server. This setup offers the following benefits:

  • Local Deployment and Storage
    Process and store data from local devices without a server connection. You can push updates to the server once the connection is restored.
  • Traffic Filtering
    Filter data from local devices at the ThingsBoard Edge level and only push a subset of data to the server for further processing or storage.
  • Local Alarms
    Respond immediately to critical situations on-site without relying on server connectivity.
  • Batch Update and Visualization
    Update thousands of edge configurations in a single click. Monitor local events and time-series data with a real-time dashboard.

How can I connect my device?

ThingsBoard supports various protocols including MQTT, CoAP, HTTP, and LwM2M. Existing devices can be connected to the platform using the ThingsBoard Gateway. More information is available on the connectivity page.

Furthermore, you can use ThingsBoard Integrations to connect devices from different sources and with custom payloads to the edge.

Do I need to use an SDK?

No, many IoT devices are not designed to embed third-party SDKs. ThingsBoard Edge provides a straightforward API over common IoT protocols, so you can select any client-side library of your preference or even use your own. Some useful references include:

What about security?

You can use MQTT (over SSL) or HTTPS protocols for transport encryption. Each device has unique access token credentials or X.509 certificates used to establish a connection.

How many devices can ThingsBoard Edge support?

The number of connected devices depends on your subscription plan. Some plans offer ‘Unlimited Devices and Assets’, thus there are no soft limits on creating devices and assets on the edge side.

However, in real-world deployments, several additional factors must be considered to support a large number of devices on the edge side - hardware, internet connection speed, and gRPC channel bound limits. Your edge hardware must be powerful enough to process messages from an ‘unlimited’ number of devices and assets. The speed of your internet connection between ThingsBoard Edge and the ThingsBoard server must be fast enough to deliver a large amount of data. Lastly, gRPC channel bound limits, which affect message delivery rate, should also be considered. Since ThingsBoard Edge is designed with remote locations with potentially low bandwidth connectivity in mind, we do not recommend connecting more than 1000 devices to a single edge.

Where does ThingsBoard Edge store data?

Data is stored in the PostgreSQL database, which is well-suited for storing and querying entities and local time-series data.

How can I get support?

You can refer to our troubleshooting instructions and community resources, or contact us to learn more about the services we provide.