Building an IoT Platform for the Smart City on Scalingo


Toni Carrión, R&D Project Manager at Monrabal, tells the story of the Sigenty IoT project and their usage of our new TCP Gateway addon.

Who are you and what are you doing in your company?

We are Monrabal, a service company leader in its sector. Our experience of more than 45 years speaks for itself. Monrabal accumulates extensive experience and professionalism, adding means and directing them towards a global proposal, structured in the following areas: * Energy services * Maintenance and conservation * Facilities * Building * R&D / Engineering * Smart Cities

Monrabal developers office

My name is Toni Carrión, R&D Project Manager at Monrabal. I have been developing real time applications for more than 17 years, from 3D graphics engine to robotic control, always looking for new challenges and understanding that in this sector it is very important to keep up and be surrounded by a good team.

A year ago, I accepted the challenge proposed by Monrabal, and since then I have overseen the technical direction of the R & D department, initially focusing my activity on the SIGENTY project: A integral management system for energy efficiency with smart city capabilities. Within this project, I coordinate the rest of the technical team and at the same time I participate as a full stack developer.

How are you using Scalingo?

Our project is a combination of hardware and software: We have developed IoT based energy monitoring devices that will be used mainly to monitor street lighting control cabinets although they can extend their functionality to control external sensors. All the information provided by these devices must be handled in real time from an online dashboard, which will also handle data coming from 3rd party external sensors/platforms.

Due to the characteristics of SIGENTY project (co-financed with the European Union FEDER funds), we decided to go for Meteor. We evaluated the different options to launch our platform, and the option that offered us more flexibility, simplicity and power at the lowest cost was Scalingo.

Monrabal Screenshot 1
Monrabal Screenshot 2

We use one web container to host our main app, which also has the user front-end. We simply deploy to our private git repository, and once the new changes are validated, we deploy to our Scalingo's git repository and in 5 minutes the server with the new features is ready, while the update is transparent for the user.

The MongoDB database has been configured as a container addon, so everything keeps in the same network, and database latency is not a problem anymore. We choose a Business Plan to get replicasets thus having a highly available MongoDB database. Security is a must for our project, and the Domains/SSL option offered by Scalingo allowed us to quickly configure as many subdomains as needed with our SSL certificate.

Scalingo's support team helped us from the beginning to solve any doubt, which gave us a lot of confidence and tranquility. The recent MongoDB engine updates were helpful for us, because we could use the newer MongoDB timezone capabilities without any headaches as before.

The jewel in the crown for us is the new TCP Gateway add-on.

Toni Carrión, R&D Project Manager at Monrabal

But the jewel in the crown for us is the new TCP Gateway Add-On and we were lucky to use this add-on as beta testers. We have a dedicated Meteor container which is used as a TCP server thanks to the TCP add-on. We configured the environment variable of this container to target the same MongoDB database used by the main app container, so the data is shared between the 2 containers.

Our IoT based energy monitoring devices connect to our TCP Server, which carries out tasks like receiving energy measures and store them on the shared MongoDB, send new parameters to the IoT devices, register alarms, etc. Besides, our TCP Server can handle real time commands sent from the main dashboard to a specific number of IoT devices, like turning on/off the street lights immediately on demand, or changing the calendar schedule, and everything works like a charm.

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