QNAP: QIoT Containers


QIoT Containers

Your private IoT cloud platform

Application container technology simplifies many methods for both software architecture and development processes, and provides benefits for Internet of Things (IoT) deployment to create a real-world impact. QNAP redefines NAS for IoT, providing comprehensive "QIoT Containers" for QNAP’s Container Station platform to help quickly structure your IoT environment and deployment.

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Internet of Things. The next revolution is here.

The “Internet of Things” is a giant network of “things” including computers, smart devices, wearables, home appliances, and other internet-connected devices. The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things, and a large amount of data will be collected and exchanged throughout the IoT ecosystem in order to trigger events and being further analyzed for insights that can improve efficiency, reduce waste or increase profits.

What about data storage for IoT?

Now everything is connected to the Internet, and automatically-generated data is constantly growing. You may resort to public cloud services to store IoT data, but the storage cost could be considerable, and there are also privacy and security concerns that must be addressed. If valuable data is stored outside of your company/organization, it also leads to potential control and ownership issues.

You need a private cloud to back your IoT

Taking these critical drawbacks of public cloud services into consideration, a private cloud offers a more reliable and cost-effective solution to support IoT architecture. QNAP NAS provides high storage capacity and features various protocols and security functionalities to perform as an ideal IoT platform. The native support for handy containerized apps that can facilitate IoT development and implementation makes it an even better choice for streamlining infrastructure and services.

  • Large storage capacity

    You need more storage for IoT. QNAP NAS supports TBs up to PBs of storage capacity that is sufficient for accommodating substantial device-driven data.

  • Well-rounded security

    QNAP NAS features trustworthy security including full encryption and service binding alongside data protection features such as RAID.

  • Protocols for IoT

    MQTT, HTTP, COAP, AMQP are de-facto standards for IoT. With QIoT Containers QNAP NAS provides support for all these protocols making QNAP NAS most suitable for IoT applications.

  • Shorter design lifecycle

    With QNAP’s exclusive Container Station which supports LXC and Docker®, you can quickly make use of rich containerized apps to form you IoT architectures in an isolated, secure environment.

  • Scalability for microservices

    The container ecosystem supports characteristics for microservices-based IoT systems. For example: multiple Ponte Containers with a HA Proxy provides highly scalable IoT Gateway.

  • Integrated with public clouds

    Besides using the rules engine of QNAP NAS, data produced by IoT can be transmitted to public clouds for analytics to leverage more resources of cloud computing.

Agile IoT model: use containers to build a microservices architecture

Microservices is an approach to develop single large software as coupled smaller services to serve a business goal. Containers naturally lend themselves to supporting the same characteristics outlined earlier for microservices-based architectural patterns as applied to IoT systems. Supporting the essential attributes required of IoT, such as loosely-coupled, independently evolving and deployable components, containers are such a good fit for microservices with the capabilities to enable incremental deployment and updates of those services as required by business or customers. This means you can do a better job of modeling a business process in software.

Benefits of microservices and containers

Evolutionary design

Microservices do not require rewriting entire applications from the ground up. Instead you can simply add new features as microservices, and plug them into your existing applications.

Small codebase

Each microservice deals with one concern only – keeping a small, lightweight codebase, which means less complexity and easier maintainability.

Easy to scale

What if your users suddenly start uploading lots of images? In this case you have the freedom to only scale the Image API, as that service will handle the highest load.

Easy to deploy

Most microservices only have a couple of dependencies so they are easier to deploy. This is especially beneficial for developers and fast-moving start-up companies to be highly productive.

Rapidly design your own IoT stack

Design your own IoT stack with "QIoT Containers". Creating your own private IoT cloud platform is as easy as selecting a container for each stage of your IoT backend and installing it in Container Station.

QNAP Container Station exclusively integrates LXC and Docker® lightweight virtualization technologies. It provides an ideal platform with countless hands-on containerized apps for developers to easily apply, rapidly develop, and conveniently deploy IoT applications. Simply search "IoT" in Container Station, acquire proper containers, and create diverse IoT applications with QIoT Containers.

Modules Protocol converter Message broker Rules engine Database Presentation
Descriptions QNAP provides QBridge which works as field gateway helping bridge two different protocols. Translates a message from the formal messaging protocol of the sender to the formal messaging protocol of the receiver. Rules engine processes incoming messages and gives your "things" the ability to interact with services. Use relational databases and NoSQL, manage more heterogeneous data generated by sensors, devices and gateways. Implemented as mobiles, wearables, and web/desktop apps. Users can monitor and control devices by presentation layer.
Containers QNAP QBridge Kafka

IoT use cases

“QIoT Containers” starter kits for developers

From as little as US$35, developers can use development boards (such as Raspberry Pi) and sensors (smoke, temperature, humidity, etc) to build a simple Home Environment Monitoring project. QIoT Containers provide a variety of protocols and dashboard applications that enable developers to easily utilize the sensors on development boards, and set up apps such as MQTT, Node-RED and Freeboard on a QNAP NAS. Data received from the sensors will be sent to the QNAP NAS, while users can remotely monitor their home environment with the dashboard.

Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) opens up greater opportunities for company growth and industrial development. QNAP IoT Containers are a cost-effective way to integrate next-generation IoT protocols with legacy industrial protocols (such as Modbus, Koyo, Omron, Melsec, Siemens, etc). You can configure an IP connection over the Internet for Edge Gateway, Modbus and PLC, eliminating the need for costly field gateways.

Smart parking with QIoT

IoT can be used in parking assistance to improve management efficiency and public safety. While parking space managers can greatly boost their productivity from managing the parking space utilization, users can reduce frustration when searching for available parking spaces, especially in crowded urban areas.

Smart home with QIoT

Smart assisted-living homes address household conveniences in many aspects, such as intelligent entrance controls, light switches, indoor temperature and humidity adjustments, security & alarms, and more. IoT in smart home connect a network of appliances, sensors and entertainment devices, effectively integrating environmental awareness and security.

Healthcare/personal fitness with QIoT

Implementing IoT in healthcare is expected to improve access and quality while reducing the cost of care. The wide scope of practice ranges from clinical care to remote patient monitoring. Through IoT-driven healthcare applications, health data can be collected, recorded and analyzed before generating recommendations.


  • Blockly Blockly is a library for building visual programming editors.
  • Dashing Dashing is a Sinatra-based framework that lets you build beautiful dashboards.
  • Freeboard A Open Source Dashboard.
  • Intel Edison Intel® Edison technology is a hardware and software platform that, when combined with sensors and your imagination, empowers you to invent new Internet-enabled products and solutions.
  • Kafka Apache Kafka is a publish-subscribe messaging rethought as a distributed commit log.
  • MariaDB MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system intended to remain free under the GNU GPL.
  • MongoDB MongoDB (from humongous) is a cross-platform document-oriented database.
  • Node-RED Node-RED is a tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways.
  • Ponte Ponte allows you to publish and receive data using any protocol: HTTP, MQTT and CoAP.
  • RabbitMQ Robust messaging for applications.
  • Redis Redis is a data structure server. It is open-source, networked, in-memory, and stores keys with optional durability.
  • RPI The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit-card-sized, single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intent to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.