Why simulation is critical to the IoT market

IoT virtualization leads to new possibilities

The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing. As is the case with most new technologies, developers have started leveraging proven tools and techniques to build proof-of-concepts, validate new ideas and demonstrate new capabilities. With the vast array of devices comprising IoT production, simplifying the development process will be a critical step in ensuring the market’s success.

The KnowThings Project

KnowThings.io is an incubation under development in CA Technologies’ innovation program, CA Accelerator. At KnowThings.io, our focus is to empower IoT development by making device simulations faster and easier to deploy. We’re building a self-learning IoT virtualizer that is scalable and repeatable across various use cases, including simulations for heterogeneous devices, platforms and protocols.

Why IoT Virtualization?

Are simulators proving useful in bringing new capabilities to the IoT market? The answer is an emphatic, yes! Let’s look at a recent example of IoT virtualization from Ericsson, a large, Swedish communications provider.

In July 2017, the Bluetooth SIG announced a Bluetooth Mesh standard. As Bluetooth is a widely used point-to-point technology, the standard held significant promise for the IoT market. Recently, Ericsson tested the capabilities of Bluetooth mesh, demonstrating its potential in commercial usage, according to their whitepaper on the subject.

In their test, Ericsson carried out a full stack implementation of the Bluetooth Mesh Profile in a system-level simulator to demonstrate the scalability, performance, and interoperability of the system-under-test. Their office-based automation scenario included a total of 879 devices including window sensors, occupancy sensors, HVAC sensors, light switches and light bulbs. All were deployed in an area of 2,000 square meters!

The Ericsson Findings

The network performance evaluation replicated low, medium and high traffic use-cases to help Ericsson determine performance requirements, such as the number of relays/hops required to meet the typical QoS needs for a connected lighting system. Using a simulator, they could test these realistic use-cases with significantly lower setup and testing costs than creating physical labs.


As simulations are more widely used to test new IoT ideas and standards (like the test conducted by Ericsson), IoT virtualization will be a key enabler in streamlining IoT development and deployment.

You can download the KnowThings.io pre-release and share your feedback here.

Parthasarathy Srinivasan
Dedicated to helping IoT developers perform better app tests. Partha has worked at various organizations…


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