Wind River releases device management suite

Wind River is extending its embedded OS with a set of management tools for remotely diagnosing and fixing devices, it said this week.

Wind River Systems is enhancing its embedded operating system with a suite of management products designed to allow companies to monitor software on remote devices.

Wind River, distributed in Australia by Dedicated Systems Australia, makes the VxWorks embedded operating system, used in network equipment like routers and switches, automotive equipment like car radios, as well as in industrial equipment and consumer goods such as personal video recorders.

The Wind River Management Suite is for managing software on devices after they are developed and deployed. Two products in the suite have been announced so far: Field Diagnostics and Workbench Diagnostics. They'll be available for VxWorks and Linux on a variety of processor platforms in the third quarter, the company said. Pricing wasn't announced.

Field Diagnostics lets engineers collect and manage data from devices to identify and correct faults. It includes an on-site configuration for local diagnostics, and an "enterprise" configuration for aggregating data from devices deployed remotely.

The product works with Wind River's Workbench development suite and lets engineers write applications for monitoring their devices in the field. It uses a Web services architecture to transmit data based on Java Enterprise Edition, XML (Extensible Markup Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).

Workbench Diagnostics is a root-cause analysis tool set that will be offered as an add-on for VxWorks. It includes runtime components for collecting data on devices and offloading it, and diagnostic tools for identifying and fixing software faults.

The VxWorks 6.2 kernel generates snapshots of system memory when exceptions occur. WorkBench Diagnostics lets engineers view those snapshots, as well as "sensor points," or software that monitors applications while they're running.

In a speech at the company's conference on Monday, Chief Executive Officer Ken Klein said the Management Suite would "change the face of the industry."

Wind River also announced a partnership with embedded chip designer Freescale Semiconductor, which was part of Motorola until it was spun off as a public company in 2004.

Wind River will support Freescale's PowerPC communications and host processors with its software tools in wireline and wireless communications, switching and routing, home networking and high-end industrial controls. They demonstrated a joint product at the user conference that combined Freescale's dual core MPC8641D processor running VxWorks and a multicore debugger from Wind River.

Twenty-eight percent of Wind River's revenue came from the aerospace and defense sectors last year, Klein said.

The company has sought to address the threat from open-source software by offering to support both Linux and its proprietary VxWorks OS, and to let customers run them side by side under a common set of middleware.

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