Top Open-Source IoT Platforms in 2023: Complete Pros and Cons

Top Open-Source IoT Platforms

Open sourcing is a significant reason for the rapid growth of information technology.

Open-source technology has become so important that entire systems like WordPress are built on it. Recently, OpenAI has been making a big impact with its generative AI technology. They trained and created it using data that was freely available to everyone.

Nowadays, millions of IoT products collect data, analyze it, and make decisions. This data provides valuable information for planning, managing, and making decisions.

The IoT products include everyday objects that can be accessed, identified, located, addressed, and controlled via the Internet, regardless of the communication method (such as RFID, wireless LAN, wide area networks, etc.).

Open-source technology is playing a major role in the development of IoT products.

Open-source platforms and frameworks provide a foundation for developers to build and deploy IoT solutions quickly and cost-effectively. Additionally, open-source communities offer a wealth of resources, such as code, documentation, and support, that can help developers accelerate their development efforts.

For example, the open-source platform Eclipse Paho provides a wide range of tools and libraries for developing IoT applications. Paho can be used to connect to a variety of IoT devices, including sensors, actuators, and gateways. It also provides a variety of features for managing IoT devices, such as data collection, data storage, and data analysis.

Another example of an open-source IoT platform is Node-RED. Node-RED is a visual programming tool that makes it easy to create IoT applications without writing any code. Node-RED can be used to connect to a variety of IoT devices and services, and it provides a wide range of nodes for processing and visualizing data.

As the IoT market continues to grow, open-source technology is likely to play an even greater role in its development.

What to expect: This post will discuss the best scenarios to utilize open-source architecture in IoT platforms.

Understanding Open-Source IoT Platforms

IoT affects many industries like farming, healthcare, manufacturing, electronics, transportation, and energy. As more devices connect and new ideas arise, organizations are using open-source systems and technologies.

These technologies speed up development and foster innovation. The IoT technology world is complex, with physical devices, connections, systems, data analysis tools, user programs, and support services.

By definition, an IoT-based system should meet the following seven high-level architecture requirements:

  • Context: To capture context continuously, 24/7, throughout the year.
  • Standards: For utilizing communication protocols based on standards between IoT devices and enterprise systems.
  • Scalability: To respond to increased load by reducing performance, not failing, and scaling capacity as resources are added.
  • Data management: For efficiently handling massive volumes of data.
  • Connectivity: To offer high network connectivity for large data payloads and uninterrupted streaming.
  • Security: For securely moving and encrypting information, even with introducing new risks and vulnerabilities posed by IoT.
  • Interoperability: To connect all systems and ensure data interoperability across the network.

An IoT logical reference architecture helps organize and understand an IoT system. It has three tiers: hardware, connectivity, and cloud. Each tier handles data and control flows using different networks.

The hardware tier includes IoT devices and a gateway. Devices communicate using short-range networks, and the gateway stores and analyzes device data. It also enables communication with the primary system.

The connectivity tier processes and sends commands between the enterprise and edge tiers. It maintains communication within devices, as well as with the servers..

The cloud tier receives data from the device stirs and sends commands. It hosts specific applications and interfaces for users.

This architecture allows devices to communicate through smart gateways. Data flows through an integration hub for application integration and then to a centralized data platform for analysis and machine learning.

Importance of Open-Source IoT Architecture in IoT Platforms

Businesses like having private IoT platforms, but they also see the benefits of open-source architectures. They know that the open-source community drives innovation and keeps improving IoT technology.

In the future, the IoT market will rely more on open source and standards. This means different systems can work together easily and it gives flexibility to adapt. It creates an environment where new ideas can thrive and help everyone involved.

Community Value

Open-source IoT architecture is like a unique building plan for IoT platforms with many benefits. It creates a friendly community where people who know much about technology can collaborate and share their ideas.

Open sourcing also means being open and honest about how the technology works. Users who see how things work feel more confident using them.

Added Value

Another good thing about open-source IoT architecture is that it can be changed and adjusted to fit the needs of each business. This flexibility helps companies to work better and more efficiently with IoT.

Open-source IoT architecture also leads to fast progress and new ideas. When many people contribute to a project, they can build on each other's work and quickly improve things.

Cost Effective

Lastly, using open-source IoT architecture can save businesses money. They don't have to pay expensive fees to use special software. This is good news, especially for smaller businesses or startups that don't have much money.

When Should You Look For an Open-Source Architecture for Your IoT Products?

Using open-source technology is helping IoT (and the larger tech community) improve. It allows devices to talk to each other. But it doesn't mean that an open-source platform has everything you need.

However, there are some good things about using open-source technology. Let's see what they are.


Open-source IoT frameworks don't cost any money because they're free. This makes it easier for people and organizations to use IoT without worrying about expenses. However, you may need to adjust them to fit your specific needs.


The open-source code shared by the community encourages new ideas and creativity. Developers can make different products that work on various systems like Android, Windows, iOS, and Linux.

Open APIs

Open-source IoT frameworks have special tools that let different software, hardware, and systems talk to each other in a unified way.


Open-source IoT frameworks offer valuable resources like libraries, software development kits (SDKs), and open-source hardware such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino. These tools help companies stay updated with the latest technology and customize their IoT platforms.


Open-source software can protect people's data using strong security methods like encryption (SSH, SSL, and PGP). It's an important part of keeping mobile devices secure and protecting data.


Open source technology helps different IoT systems work together smoothly, solving the problem of devices being unable to talk to each other easily.

Challenges With Open Source IoT Architecture

Open-source IoT platforms are flexible but come with a fair share of challenges. For an open-source architecture to cater to enterprise-level IoT, it must provide end-to-end IoT solutions. Here are some challenges you may face with open-source IoT architecture.

  • Complexity: Open-source IoT can be complex for organizations with limited expertise or resources.
  • Fragmentation: Different open-source IoT components can be incompatible, leading to integration challenges.
  • Security risks: Improper implementation or maintenance of open-source IoT can pose security threats.
  • Lack of support: Getting timely and reliable help for specific issues in open-source IoT may be challenging.
  • Scalability: Scaling open-source IoT may require additional resources to handle many devices or data-intensive applications.
  • Integration with proprietary systems: Integrating open-source IoT with existing proprietary systems can be difficult due to differences in protocols, interfaces, and data formats.
  • Intellectual property concerns: You must consider intellectual property implications and comply with licenses when adopting open-source IoT.

So, if you are looking for an open-source IoT platform for your business, make sure that the architecture offers you the following:

  • Connection, provisioning, and management of distributed IoT devices and gateways with enhanced security
  • Simplified data flow management with edge intelligence and analytics
  • Comprehensive centralized advanced analytics and data management platform for building or refining machine learning models
  • Prioritizing security with pre-integrated security and manageability across devices, access, authentication, applications, and data in motion and at rest
  • Utilization, application development, deployment, and integration services

For enterprises, open source represents an opportunity to gain efficiencies and drive innovation by commodifying non-core parts of the technology stack, similar to how standards operate.

Top Open Source IoT Platforms in 2023


ThingsBoard is a platform that helps with collecting, processing, and visualizing data in IoT. It also manages devices. It works with popular IoT protocols like CoAP, MQTT, and HTTP. You can use it in the cloud or on your own servers.

ThingsBoard lets you create workflows based on different events like life cycle changes, API events, and requests.

Now, let's explore the key features of ThingsBoard:

  • Scalability, production readiness, and fault tolerance ensure a stable platform.
  • Robust device management, providing secure control over all connected devices.
  • Transformation and normalization of device inputs and the ability to generate alarms and alerts for telemetry events, restorations, and inactivity.
  • Customizable rule groups to enable use-case-specific features and functionalities.
  • High scalability, capable of handling millions of devices concurrently.
  • Fault-tolerant architecture with no single point of failure, as every node in the cluster is identical.
  • Out-of-the-box support for multi-tenant installations.
  • Thirty highly customizable dashboard widgets to enhance user access and provide comprehensive data visualization.


Node-RED is a free and open-source tool created by IBM that helps make IoT and industrial solutions easier. It allows programmers of any level to connect physical devices, cloud systems, databases, and APIs.

Core features of this platform include:

  • Free and open-source logic engine
  • Interconnectivity of physical I/O, cloud-based systems, databases, and APIs
  • It offers a user-friendly browser-based flow editor
  • It uses different types of nodes with well-defined purposes or functions
  • The platform supports flow-based programming for a visual representation of applications
  • Users get access to pre-installed node types for various tasks (analyzing texts, running commands, etc.)
  • It easily Integrates with services like MongoDB and MySQL
  • The framework is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and industrial IoT gateways
  • It is widely used by solution architects and developers in IoT applications is a platform that helps you connect devices to the cloud. With this platform, you can easily create an ecosystem by adding devices and managing them through the platform's admin console.

The core features of this platform include:

  • Scalable cloud-based platform for connecting devices
  • Supports boards like Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ESP8266, and Intel Edison
  • User-friendly admin console for managing projects
  • Open-source libraries for scalability, security, and speed
  • Easy integration of devices through a few lines of code
  • Various components and applications available on the platform
  • A simple process of adding and configuring devices
  • Options for different device types (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, GSM, HTTP, MQTT, NB-IoT)
  • Device credentials for secure and individualized access
  • Compatibility with popular boards like ESP8266
  • Integration with Arduino IDE for programming devices
  • Detailed documentation and examples provided
  • Visual representation of device connectivity and status


SiteWhere is a platform that handles data from devices. It stores, processes, and integrates this data. It works with Apache Tomcat and uses optimized versions of MongoDB and HBase.

SiteWhere can be used on cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, GCP, or on your own servers. It also supports Kubernetes cluster setup.

Here are some additional features of SiteWhere:

  • Ability to run multiple IoT applications on a single SiteWhere instance
  • Utilizes the Spring framework for configuration management
  • Supports the addition of widgets through self-registration, REST services, or batch operations
  • InfluxDB handles event data storage
  • Offers connectivity with devices using MQTT, Stomp, AMQP, and other protocols
  • Integration with third-party integration frameworks
  • Leverages Eclipse Californium for CoAP messaging
  • HBase provides non-relational data storage
  • SiteWhere data can be visualized using Grafana

Open Remote

OpenRemote has released a new open-source IoT platform that helps people create energy management, crowd management, and asset management apps. It has many useful features to make strong IoT solutions.

Here are the key features of OpenRemote's IoT platform:

  • The platform supports various asset types, allowing effective asset definition and management.
  • It simplifies setup and configuration for OEMs by automatically provisioning devices.
  • It supports HTTP REST and MQTT, ensuring seamless connectivity with IoT devices, gateways, and data services. Users can also create custom APIs.
  • The platform offers a provisioning, automation, control, and monitoring Dashboard. Provides Web UI components for project-specific application development.
  • Supports Android and iOS consoles for integrating mobile services like geofences and push notifications.
  • Facilitates connectivity between multiple instances of the platform and a central management instance, enabling centralized control of distributed deployments.

Final Thoughts

Open-source platforms have advantages and disadvantages. They allow businesses to try new technologies without big upfront costs or worries about legal issues. But they can also compete with closed-source options that charge money.

To be safe, it's a good idea to choose a platform that has some open-source parts but is mostly proprietary. Bytebeam is one such platform. It's made for businesses and offers customized solutions for different industries. It has features that improve efficiency, productivity, and cost savings.

Although Bytebeam itself is not open-source, it does have an open-source part called the MQTT broker. If you want more information about this specific part, you can learn about its new features and how it's built using Rust.

Key features of Bytebeam include:

  • Over the Air (OTA) Updates: Update device software remotely, even for devices in distant or difficult-to-reach places.
  • Faster Updates: Easily update firmware, restart devices, and perform other actions remotely without needing physical access.
  • Easy Onboarding: Simplified process for adding devices to the platform, supporting multiple protocols and device types.
  • Device Monitoring: Keep track of device health and performance in real-time through comprehensive monitoring capabilities.
  • Security and Access Control: Ensure enterprise-grade security with data encryption, access controls, and compliance with industry standards.
  • Data Collection and Analysis: Gather and analyze device data to discover valuable insights and optimization opportunities.
  • Easy Programming: Supports various programming languages like C++ and Python, and provides ample learning resources.
  • ESP32 Module: Enables device connectivity to the internet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It supports built-in sensors for temperature, humidity, and motion detection.
  • Versatility: Manage both simple IoT devices and more complex projects that require higher processing power.

In summary, open source offers a great chance for businesses to become more efficient and promote innovation by using shared technology. It's similar to how standards help in this regard. Therefore, it's important to select the right IoT platform for your company.

To learn more about Bytebeam, reach out to our experts today or schedule a demo immediately!