What's the best protocol to use for IoT device with ½-20 MB file transfers? (FTP, HTTP, MQTT, …)

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Martin Falch

May 3, 2018, 5:54:49 PM5/3/18

Hi there,

We manufacture CAN bus data loggers for use in e.g. cars, trucks etc.

The logger records data to an SD card. When the logger is in range of a WiFi/Cellular hotspot, it will start pushing the data to a specified server. The files will be ½-20 MB in size and need to be transferred frequently (e.g. every few seconds). A user can have 100-300 loggers deployed, all sending data to the server simultaneously.

Today, we handle this using the FTP protocol. It’s been a simple solution that most users understand.

However, we fear it’s not future proof and we’d like to look into other options (e.g. HTTP, MQTT) - in particular also to enable easy transfers to e.g. Amazon/Google cloud servers.

A few questions that we’d like input on:

  1. What do you believe would be the best protocol for the case described above?

  2. Do you have any examples of use cases, APIs, open source code etc. in such applications?

  3. If we switch from FTP to another protocol, is there a way to keep it simple for our “less techy” users that do not use e.g. Amazon/Google servers, but just their own PCs?

Thanks a ton for your inputs!


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