Its not magic dude.
My point being that I’m sure a tremendous amount of their efforts are going into scale.
A standalone solution with a WebCoRE front end wouldn’t need to scale in the same way if each instance were autonomous.
Plenty of larger projects than SmartThings have been recreated in Open Source. I don’t see anything to LOL about.
I get that, but from my point of view, the system has been flawless for 99.9% of last year… A system built DIY wouldn’t ever give me that.
Being on the EU shard I was unaffected, but 20h downtime certainly sucks… I’m just saying, for the most part I find ST super reliable. My system is setup such that everything still works manually via wall switches if required, so downtime has less of an impact as well.
I’m just guessing here but my guess is that ST is made up of something like a bunch of microservices that publish and subscribe to events from a message broker and probably some other ancillary services around that.
It’s becoming much more feasible to package up a microservices architecture like that as a single containerized “distribution”. Much more feasible than when ST started.
Yeah its work to recreate that backend, maybe a lot of work, but its not hopelessly undoable.
I can’t imagine anyone hacking the ST hub to run their own code on it anyway… you’d need to crack one hell of a lot of security and encryption.
There are open source raspPi setups and webCoRE is open source (it’s all on GitHub including the dashboard side of things).
Maybe one day someone much cleverer than us will have a stab at it.
99.9% is interesting. I’d pay for an SLA that offered, even that level of guarantee, but they don’t offer one.
I still don’t understand the SmartThings business model. It seems a bit like the underpants gnomes to me:
- Build ST
That’s fine for now if you’re just playing with ST, but I suspect that more and more of us are beginning to rely on it in ways that when it goes away leave us seriously in the lurch.
If I understood how they planned to make money, or if I had some contractual relationship with them I’d be more comfortable. Right now how can you really complain about a service that’s basically free? You get what you get. If it goes down for 20 hours well what do you expect? It’s free!
Also, who knows if/when samsung is going to lose interest? What if they take their code and go home?
It’s these contingencies that make me wary of relying too much on them, and yet I have tasks that I very much want to automate!
If you look at the last Samsung financial report you’ll see that ST is making a huge loss.
The bigger picture is IoT for all the regular Samsung products that do make a profit.
ST is the only user friendly HA system I know of that gives such a powerful API allowing for things like webCoRE to run… the more reliable alternatives are less functional… so it depends what people want I suppose.
I would gladly pay a fair monthly service fee for Smartthings and Webcore to ensure they stick around. This stuff is far from free to maintain.
All we want is speed and reliability. As long as the cloud isn’t cloudy, I’m happy with it.
I see this cloud business about as reliable as our local internet connections were in 2002. It’ll take a little while to solidify, but eventually we’ll get to that 99.9% number.
I’m still enamored by the idea of fully localized home automation, not reliant on anything except power. But might not be necessary.
What troubles me about Samsung not making an actual business out of SmartThings is that they must have a reason.
I just came home and all of the events in my arrival piston went off correctly except one. For some reason my thermostat didn’t update. It worked yesterday and it’ll work tomorrow, but it didn’t work this time. This happens far too frequently with SmartThings. Daily even, if you have a large enough install.
This is what troubles me about Samsung’s attitude towards SmartThings. If they could make a real business out of it, wouldn’t they? It seems to me that they know they can’t get a satisfactory level of reliability given the current platform. Not something they’re willing to stand behind as a product people pay money for anyway, and there’s little evidence that they’re working on revisions or a rewrite that are going to get them there.
So what are they doing? Posturing that they’re leaders in “IoT” and “HA” until the hype passes at which point they scrap ST and move on to the next thing? Buying an engineering team to work on other products while letting ST languish?
Meanwhile I’ve got 100+ devices and 50 pistons that I count on. I have a hard time seeing how this ends well if we don’t take control of our own destiny.
Which leads to another question…
Why would they invest the money they did into buying out Smartthings if they didn’t have a pretty solid plan for it’s future? Given their vast technical resources, surely they were very familiar with what they were getting into and had some kind of long term plan for going forward… right?
It just doesn’t make sense that they would buy this platform, and we’d still be at the level we are at today with it. I think something else much deeper is going on in the bowels of Samsung, and I have a bad feeling about where it’s going to eventually leave us weekend HA hackers.
I would be willing to bet that they needed some small piece of ST’s technology or framework for a much larger, long-term business model, and figured it was cheaper to just dump whatever money into the buy-out that it took to get it. (Think Micro$oft and 80% of the Windows operating system )
Project x is probably being developed at Japan’s version of Area 51 while ST dies a slow semi-supported death to keep people from screaming too loudly before the announcement of SmartestThingsEver.
I could not agree more. The best example I can give that probably makes us feel this way is if you look at the innovation into the ST ecosystem. All innovation (webcore, actiontiles, and now konnected) are all being done outside of ST.
I came from a locally executed vera system was using pleg and some other tools for automation. It was a pain to manage and make modifications to. It did however have that sense of just working once everything was setup. However I can tell you that I did not have near the consolidation of devices I have now with ST. Not to mention the ease of getting them to talk to each other because of things like webcore. (I think we all agree on this point if we are here)
Second the things they do seem to be investing in are not working. Reviews on their latest science project with ST and ADT are not looking good. Apparently it is a ADT alarm system with it’s own sensors that do not talk to the ST ecosystem and vice versa the ST sensors do not talk to the ADT portion of the system. They just made it so that you can have both platforms in one device… (I have not touched one or experience with this device just going off reviews on bestbuy’s website)
I do agree though that if they were to offer a container for those of us that want to execute locally whether it be a docker image, or even a vm that say if you have 200 devices you need to have 2vcpus, 8GB memory, and 200GB of space to support your system and setup the hub to point to this container or vm first then have it proxy async my hub status out to their cloud I would jump on it in a heartbeat.
For those that want a more plug and play just beef up something like a intel nuc(not much larger than the hubv2) and package it as an appliance you add to your home network with the hub or add the dongle like they did with the shield and boom local resources (obviously this would have a device limit but how many devices do you think even a large ST user is running? more than 400?)
I am in the mindset at this point that we are going to wake up one day and be sol with ST. Until then I guess I will enjoy it while it works, and cross that bridge when it happens.
I have found ST to be pretty reliable over the two or so years I have been using it. Everything has an occasional glitch. I knew that when I started this adventure and accepted it as a possibility.
It would be really cool if we could change shards during an outage for our mission critical stuff - but I get it that would most likely be really difficult and expensive…
One thing I’d point out is that I’ve been in tech for years and its impossible to underestimate the stupidity of corporate M&A folks. They’re largely finance guys and don’t really understand the tech. They’d buy your rusty old delorean if you told them it was a time machine.
Everybody involved in the purchase got a pat on the back for “closing the deal” and moved on, leaving figuring out what the hell they actually bought to somebody else. Its entirely likely that samsung has no viable or well articulated plans for smartthings or for HA going forward. They’re busy selling phones and washing machines.
I’m really new to ST (December 2017) and even newer to WebCore (Yesterday). I think that you answered my question, but I wanted to make sure that I understood.
Are you saying that the SmartThings Apps do not run on the SmartThings hub and the hub really just communicates with the SmartThings cloud? So, no internet, no automation? Right?
Correct… only the official smart lighting app runs locally, and even then only with a specific list of device types.
Thanks for the reply. I’m still trying to get my head around all of this.
Is the main benefit to WebCore (vs Stringify/IFTTT), the flexibility or does it also respond faster because it is a SmartThings App (albeit a user-based App)?
It’s faster, infinitely more customisable and free
Well, just to put an endcap on this thread, I got my Hubitat in the mail today. This is a $99 device that runs most ST type groovy code locally, including it appears, WebCoRE.
Exactly what I was looking for above.
More Discussion here