3 January, 2022

December 2021 change log

Major flespi improvements in December 2021.

Finally, December is over. The month was very similar to the whole year 2021 — controversial and different. December in Europe started with snowy cold weather and until the very end it looked like a perfect winter. But in the very end, it changed to warm and wet weather reaching meteorological temperature records in some locations and disrupting the New Year mood. It resembles the situation we had with the COVID-19 pandemic all year round. The year started with vaccination probes and mass hopes for returning back to the normal life that were ruined at the very end of the year by the booster doze requirements and Omicron variant of the virus raising numbers of new cases to the new maximums.

flespi dark sky

Due to a human mistake when activating the ongoing limitation change for the Free plans it was applied to a wider range of plans touching also a part of Commercial plans. This was noticed by our uptime monitoring bots and it took us three minutes to detect and fix the issue. Together with some DDoSes in the EU region that occurred earlier in the month, December was the worst month for the whole year with 99.9903% uptime in the EU region and 99.9934% in the RU region.

Although December was rated only with four nines, we finally were able to deliver the five nines yearly uptime in both regions. The exact value for the EU region is 99.999039% yearly uptime with 303 seconds of downtime. And for the RU region, it is 99.999176% yearly uptime with 260 seconds of downtime. Here you can track each individual month starting from 2017 (you may click on a month bar to read associated changelog entry with explanations about any problems we had in it) and I also created a combined chart with per-year uptime:

flespi yearly uptime chart

I believe this “five nines” uptime mark is one of the best achievements for our team and contractor teams working in the datacenters and responsible for uplinks connectivity.

Despite this human mistake, for flespi that was an incredibly productive month. 

We introduced new Commercial plans and created for ourselves a possibility to deliver different types of features and limitations based on the size of the project. 

We opened our PVM technology to the public and allowed our users to code flespi behavior in plugins.

We advanced the devices plugin concept to the next stage. Among the new plugin types released in December and already available to use are: 

  • google-reverse-geocoding — to resolve the position address using Google reverse geocoding and add it to the message;

  • nominatim-reverse-geocoding — to resolve the position address using Nominatim reverse geocoding (OSM) and add it to the message;

  • wialon-reverse-geocoding — to resolve position address using reverse Gurtam Wialon geocoding and add it to the message;

  • wialon-lbs-geocoding — to resolve position coordinates using LBS Wialon geocoding and add them to the message;

And this is just the beginning of a magical trip with plugins. Our next plugin type that is in development now is the replacement to the pipe-cache-params channel protocol — a plugin that will add the last known values of specified parameters to the message if they are missing.

Similar to stream and channel protocols, we can implement private plugin types upon request; for example, they can query specific databases and inject valuable information into device messages.

We integrated two new protocols: geometris and positioning-universal.

flespi baltic sea

Looking at the 2021 year as a whole I see a lot of indicators that everything with flespi is going in the right direction. All important charts are growing at a 100+% rate year-to-year, service stability is excellent, technical support is confident and immediate, the technology we are providing is still on the edge, and demand for telematics backend services is only growing each month.

In 2022 we will continue to concentrate on PVM and will deliver more and more tools for its efficient usage. Our primary mission here is to create a PVM development environment running in a web browser and enabling channel, stream, and plugin code development for our users.

Analytics will be adapted to handle events and should be made more simple to use. Maybe we will even have an additional API level that is less flexible, but much simpler.

A lot of new plugin types are going to be developed. We plan to integrate with every possible system our users may find interesting — fuel card systems, CAN errors decoders, driver behavior analyses, and so on.

In terms of datacenters - we are thinking of opening a second datacenter in the EU region to implement datacenter-level durability. We already had preliminary discussions with our supplier and drew the scheme of how to make it simple and efficient. But this implementation will obviously delay the delivery of some important features for our users so it is not yet clear if we will perform this step in 2022.

As our user community is becoming bigger and bigger, we would like to organize an online or offline event in order to let our partners meet and network with each other. I strongly believe that now many flespi partners are ready to share and absorb the experience of their colleagues all over the world and we, as a technology provider, just have to organize the meeting point to attract telematics business professionals to the network. So far there is a huge demand from various Telematics Service Providers (TSPs) both for outsourcing development services on top of flespi and for ready-to-use solutions. At the same time, there is almost no competition between TSPs due to the regional diversity and usage of unique solutions. And the benefits of absorbing the knowledge from other market participants are so obvious. Even more importantly, this event could attract developers and system architects because we have a lot of information to share that will make their flespi-based solutions more effective. That’s why we have a flespi conference in mind and, if the stars align, we will have a good opportunity to organize it soon.

flespi conference

Of course, we will keep introducing hundreds of small changes just to make your experience with flespi as smooth and rewarding as possible. These usually appear when we communicate with our users and notice their troubles. Our mission here is to eliminate hurdles before they are hit and answer questions before they are asked.

In 2022 I wish you to achieve your goals and, of course, to stay healthy! Happy New Year!