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I want to use a lot (3000+) Raspberry Pi's in a country-wide service. I have been googling around, but I haven't found a similar usage-scenario so far. It made me wonder what would be against this idea, so I'm posting the question here so that others attempting something similar might have something to follow.

The usage-scenario is as follows:

Many (3000+) Pi's scattered across the country. Each Pi has its own building it is monitoring. A web-server like Amazon AWS hosts a website in which customers can check clusters of buildings (since they tend to own around 50) and see details for specific buildings. They can interact with the Pi (switch a relay, request a reading, look at camera footage).

Issues I see arising:

  • Version control. Once an update is made in the software, you would want to roll this out everywhere, with a minimum amount of downtime. Solution: Keep a list of all Pi urls and via SSH loop through them, updating either the image or the relevant scripts. Warn customers in advance there might be some small downtime that day.

  • Camera footage: constantly storing and sending the footage will probably cause very quick depletion of the the read/write cycles left on the SSD. Solution: USB HDD

  • Security issues??

At least once a year (probably more often) a mechanic will be in the neighbourhood so he can switch out SD-cards to prevent wear.

What I am wondering is: Am I missing something important/major red flags in a project like this?

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Regarding 'version control' / 'configuration management' - you might want to check out Puppet or something of that ilk for easier management of multiple end points.

You'd probably also want to look into some kind of device monitoring - maybe something like Nagios as you'd want to know if an end point stopped communicating, or filled it's (USB) disk etc.

Security in a project like this consists of many facets - making sure that only authorized devices update your central server, making sure that devices only accept updates from the central server, making sure that users that log in can only see the devices for their building etc.

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