LoRaWAN Network Server

The LoRaWAN Network Server is the brain and the controller of a LoRaWAN network

LoRaWAN network server device to application infographics

The network server connects sensors, gateways and end-user applications and ensures reliable and secure data routing all along the LoRaWAN network. Along with the Operation Support System (or OSS), they are the brain that controls the complete LoRaWAN network

Network control & supervision

MAC Layer

MAC layer management  of uplinks & downlinks, including service messages

Double

Because of the broadcasting nature of uplinks, deduplication of packets is needed

Best GW

For downlinks, best gateway selection based on availability and radio parameters

ADR

Adaptative Data Rate is used to control spreading factors, power emissions and retransmits to optimize network capacity

Class A, B & C

Different classes can be assigned to devices depending on the use case to control power consumption.

Multi cast

For downlinks, multicast groups of devices can be created to send the same message to a group of devices, to optimize downlink network capacity

Firmware

Device firmware can be updated through  reliable multicast and Firmware-over-the-air update server, ensuring long device lifecycle

Device & Gateway management

Device

Advanced device management with provisioning, device RF profile and class configuration

Gateway

Advanced LoRaWAN gateway management with provisioning, RF monitoring, configurable alarms and reverse-SSH for remote control

Multi-RF

Multiple Radio Frequency profiles for gateways to manage multiple regions and countries on the same network

Packet routing

Each device can be assigned one or more end-user application URLs for data routing

Decode

On selected LoRaWAN devices, the network server can apply decoders to extract application layer data and send it to relevant application

API

Every network management function, including data exposure, can be accessed through a set of open & documented APIs

Connect

Out-of-the-box cloud connectors for easy routing to popular IoT clouds such as Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure or IBM Watson

Multi tenant

Fine access control and right management for multiple instance management

Security

AES 128

Network and application layer symmetric AES 128 bit encryption ensuring optimal and integrated security

Join Servers

Integrated or external Join Servers for secure device activation and Key storage & management

IPSEC 

IPSEC tunnels are used to mount VPN between Gateways and the Network server to ensure a higher level security at IP layer.

Flexible deployment models

LoRaWAN network server deployment model infographics

How does the Actility network server compare to open source network servers or gateway-embedded solutions ?

Gateway-embedded network servers limitations

  • Can only manage 1 gateway or 2-4 in master slave mode. Limited hardware capabilities prevent from growing more
  • Very limited overview of the network
  • Complex-to-implement packet deduplication
  • Usually, no GUIs are available, need for using Commande Line interface
  • Device provisioning is very complex, especially in OTAA if several Gateways are connected
  • Complex, if not impossible to monitor
  • No remote access to gateways
  • Can not have advanced features like geolocation solver, FUOTA, roaming or external JS
  • Can simply not scale

Open source network servers limitations

  • Are complex to install and configure
  • Imposes technical choices such as MQTT
  • Lack of secure connection between gateways and network server (IPSec tunnel)
  • Lack of secure connection between gateways and network server (IPSec tunnel)
  • No external Join Server for secure Key management

Learn more about the Actility products