Packet Tracer 7.x - Internet of Things tutorials

Packet Tracer 8.1.1 - IoT devices configuration

Things and Components available in Packet Tracer 8.1.1

In addition to classical network devices such as routers and switches available in the previous versions, Packet Tracer 8.1.1 Components Box now contains a wide variety of Smart Things and components :

  • Smart Things are physical objects that can connect to the Registration Server or Home Gateway through a network interface. They are separated into 4 subcategories : Home, Smart City, Industrial, and Power Grid.
  • Components are physical objects that connect to microcontroller (MCU-PT) or single boarded computers (SBC-PT). They typically does not have a network interface and rely on the MCU-PT or SBC-PT for network access. These are simple devices that only communicate through their analog or digital slots.

There are three subcategories for Components :

  • Boards: microcontrollers (MCU-PT), single boarded computers (SBC-PT), and a special device called Thing which are used to create self-contained physical objects like coffee makers or smoke alarms.
  • Actuators: these components manipulate the Environment, themselves, or the area around them.
  • Sensors: these components sense the Environment (photo detectors, temperature sensor), the area around them (RFID, metal sensor), or interactions (potentiometer, push button).

MQTT protocol and applications wereadded in Packet Tracer 7.1 to improve communications between IoT devices

 

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Packet Tracer 8.0 - IoT advanced programming & automation

Tutorial description

This tutorial will provide guidelines to simulate a fully automated IoT environment using the capabilities of the new Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0 devices.

A MCU board connected to smoke and temperature sensors will act as a remote Fire Detection Unit. The board will be securely wifi connected to a 829 ISR router.

A SBC bord connected to a visual alarm will act as a Fire Alarm System.

Both IoT board will register to a central IoE server which will provide automation capabilities to raise the Fire Alarm if a fire is detected by the Remote Fire Sensor.

Packet Tracer 7.0 advanced programming and automation network topology

  

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Packet Tracer 8.0 - Arduino emulation for IoT programming

What is Arduino ?

Arduino is a hardware and software company building microcontroller-based kits for building digital devices and interactive objects that can sense and control physical devices.

The project is based on microcontroller board designs, produced by several vendors, using several microcontrollers. Arduino boards provide digital and analog input/output (I/O) pins that can interface to different expansion boards  and other circuits. The boards feature serial and USB communication interfaces for loading programs from computers to the boards.

Programming the microcontrollers is done through the Arduino integrated development environment (IDE) based on a programming language named Processing, which also supports the languages C and C++.

 

Arduino at Cisco Live 2016

Arduino organised a technical challenge at Cisco Live 2016. The idea was that people at the Cisco event could discover and play with some fun Arduino projects like a RFID lock, a colour sensing and display thing, and a light sensitive theremin. Have a look on the video ;-)

 

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IoT with IoX on ISR 819HG-4G router

What is IoX ?

Fog computing concept

Cisco IoX hosts applications in a virtual machines running on an hypervisor hosted on an IoX capable hardware called fog node. Cisco IoX is delivered with a pre-packaged Yocto Linux distribution but developpers are free to use any operating system. Yocto has been selected by Cisco because of it's various CPU architectures support, it's comprehensive SDK, and it's slim design to work on resource constraint platforms like routers.

All Cisco fog nodes have converged compute, networking and storage, which simplifies management and reduces power and space requirements and makes possible to run the same application on different kind of fog nodes without modification :

  • Cisco ISR router (ISR 819HG-4G-IOX router simulated in Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0
  • Cisco switch
  • Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers

The data and application access is protected by classical Cisco security mecanism. For example, IoX applications hosted on an ISR router benefit from Netflow to help detect anormal activity and CBAC to inspect to inspect and restrict the network flows. These two security mecanism can be simulated in Cisco Packet Tracer 8.0

Cisco IoX use cases

The main use case of IoX is local interaction with IoT industrial devices.

Example :A manufacturer could use Cisco IoX to host Rokwell Factory software on factory-floor routers. Using Cisco IoX API, the software could communicate with the factory IoT devices running any proprietary protocol. A second fog application could send IoT data to the enterprise cloud network by translating the non-standard or proprietary protocol to IP.

 

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Blocky programming IoT devices

What's blocky ?

Blockly is a visual programmation editor which uses uses graphical blocks to represent code concepts like variables, logical expressions, loops, and more. It helps students to better understand and apply programming principles without having to worry about the specific syntax of a specific programming language.

Code can then be exported to popular programming languages such as python, javascript, ...

Use blocky to program IoT devices in Packet Tracer 8.0

Blocky has been integrated by Cisco in Packet Tracer 8. to ease IoT programming for network students who are not well aware of Javascript or Python programing. The following videos demonstrates the amazing capabilities of this feature.

Video part 1

Video part 2

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