Since 2018, Chatek team decided to leverage Canonical's LXD infrastructure to host our IoT internal infrastrucutre and assets. It's been 2 years and we've never looked back. This blog post talks about why it fits our business and technologies well.

We launched KakaBox in 2018, an open source IoT-sensor app prototype, to explore the potentials of Ubuntu Core and the stack underneath it (Nodejs for firmware). We've been struggling with the build environment for our development and CI pipeline for firmwares and apps. After a few weeks research and rough testing, we decided to move our build infrastructure to Canonical's LXD/LXC.

Infrastructure security and openness

It seems counter-intuitive to have security and openness go together, but we are believers in such principle for critical infrastructure development. On the one hand, choosing tech stacks who's been embracing openness and high security standards only became a natural fit to Chatek's culture as well.

On the other hand, we're ready to ship tech solutions to both China and overseas customers, even including government agencies who are political foe to each other. And this is the ONLY principle that makes sense for our business. Our solution and tech stack have special focus on data collecting IoT apps, hence total transparency is the only way to go to gain trust from all parties.

Closer to hardware

As a minority hypervisor, LXD/LXC stacks have been famous for their approaches in implementting their operating system level APIs. This makes it good for building IoT sensor apps and firmwares on. Not surprisingly, we also use Ubuntu Core as our main edge device firmware operating system facilities.

We started out with one bare metal server as host to our build farm servers (LXC containers), and slowly adding more backup or secondary bare-metals to add capacities when needed. LXD/LXC's simple approach in system admin please us the most. We've never had to struggle with complexities and oddities when using other hypervisors.

Tech stack unity, firmware and cloud

As we're rolling out more apps and solutions to clients, we started validating the benefits of using the same tech stack in firmware and on the cloud. The open and community approach of Canonical's tech developemnt culture, again, plays a big role here. Our international tech developer team can easily find tips or answers to whatever issues they encounter while using the tech stacks.

True that we're still on early stage of deploying LXD/LXC for IoT firmwares and on the cloud, we'll certainly share more stories once we've found something interesting to share with the world.

Small firm running on government-grade networks

Our short partnership with China Telecom Guangzhou back in 2018 resulted in our team's added expertise. We are now capable of deploying the many PON, ADSL and SD-WAN services by China Telecom's cloud services, the CTCloud.com and CTYun.cn.

It's been a MUST-have for IT infrastrucutre or Inetnet service platforms supporting cross-boarder operations between China and the rest of the world. The many dirty little details involed will simply hinder any non-China IT teams in deploying infrastructure for both operation efficiency and info. security, while staying legally compliant with IT laws of different jurisdictions. And yet Chatek team worked hard to earn our expertise in such a tough domain in spite of the many political and Internet segregation policies.

And we are now ready to take on cross-boarder IT and Internet infrastructure projects that help bridge the gaps between the China Intranet and the rest of the world.

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