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Author Topic: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv  (Read 1644 times)

Offline Z-Waver

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One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« on: April 05, 2016, 11:41:16 am »
Revolv is a multiradio home automation controller that came out a few short years ago. Like so many others, it was 'going to be the one home automation controller to rule them all'. It was going to control everything and it was going to be SO easy to use and in fairness, their smartphone based app setup utility/tool was a nice innovation. But, Revolv was also a controller dependent on the cloud. The HA logic happened in the cloud.

You may not have been aware of it, but Revolv was bought out by Nest, who themselves were bought out by Google and now spun off under Alphabet, Google's holding company. A couple of days ago, the president of Nest dropped a bomb on Revolv users. They're shutting down the service on May 15, 2016. That means that despite promises of "service available forever", all Revolv devices will cease to function on May 15, 2016.

Beware of cloud based controllers. Not only does this sort of thing become a real risk, but you automation is totally dependent on your internet being up. None the less, Nest will certainly be releasing a new overpriced, cloud based controller in the future and I'm sure people will line up to pay for it, only to have the rug pulled out from under them a few short years down the road.

Here's an article about the announcement.

Beware cloudy controllers. Beware Vera sliding toward cloudy controllers.

deejc

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2016, 11:46:39 am »
the vera(s) will work offline tho ? mine will allow local logins etc, I know they do need internet access but I don't think its as crucial for them to be connected to the internet, they still control your connected equipment if not connected to the internet.
i thought the main reason for internet access was the reverse ssh remote access mainly ?

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 11:55:10 am »
You are correct. Although, Vera is showing signs of increased cloud dependency. They will release a security version in the next few months to a year that will be a major step towards a cloudy requirement. I'm not seeing anything to suggest a concerted effort to avoid cloud dependency.

Offline andrewgarfield

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2016, 12:12:01 pm »
Z-Waver,

Couldn't agree more about avoiding the cloud based systems with these (and other) types of devices.  I'm not anti-cloud at all in general, in fact i'm a big proponent.  However I am very much against it in the case of having cloud based IoT devices of any kind. 

My main gripe with it is a security related one.  But i also feel that for IoT device, usually cloud based solutions give few additional benefits than well architected locally run solutions, but then tag on some additional concerns.  One of which is supportability as you mentioned.

There are so many times I wish I didn't feel this way.  There's so many cool new devices out there that I would love to buy and everyone else seems to be buying enjoying.  But I can't let myself buy them because they are cloud based and know that in the end its not a good idea. 

In my opinion, Vera does it correctly.  One of the only challenges in running a purely local setup is remote access.  Really the only cloud based solution they offer is this remote access component.  However, I choose not to use it so I disable it (by firewall rule) and use a VPN instead.

But yeah, definitely agree.  Stay away from cloud based IoT for this and many other reasons.

deejc

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2016, 01:45:39 pm »
I think a lot of it is based on the demographic vera wants to target, they obviously love the techies and the plugin writers who do all the heavy lifting on the platform but (want) need the average person in the street who wants to turn their lights off and on to buy their controllers and use them with the least amount of fuss and bother, this is how any company will continue to flourish, its a real hard game of balancing the needs of the few(er) techies who want the platform off the cloud to the needs to the most who just want to fire up the app / web page / portal and turn off their lamps or turn their thermostat down.
I love the cloud, sometimes and others I hate it.
the security needs to be rock solid and this needs to be the MAIN focus of any company, Security, Security, Security.

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2016, 02:02:20 pm »
I think the non techies want it to work even when the internet goes down. What use is a system that only works if the internet is there. Many non techies will still use it as an alarm (i know its not perfect) and to think that just cutting the phone wires will stop it all working is crazy.
Non cloud based with cloud access for specific high tech functions for me.
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deejc

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2016, 02:07:26 am »
I think the non techies want it to work even when the internet goes down. What use is a system that only works if the internet is there.

don't get me wrong I fully agree with this, but its a balancing act.
caching of credentials on local devices may be as bad as only allowing the device to access them via the cloud, who's to say a bad actor wont reverse engineer their local device and attack (literally) from the inside ?
I'm pretty happy with it the way it works, I don't want it totally reliant on the internet yet I don't want it only offline where I cannot update it with security fixes and plugins etc.
At this point my personal opinion is its strikes a good balance, the whole revolv thing stinks.. I got rid of my nest and went with an apple homekit thermostat that is also compatible with vera and has a manufacturer app... fingers crossed I wont get hit on all 3 sides, z-wave for interoperability and (at the moment) 433mhz stuff I am slowly swapping out for zwave.  ;D

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: One Of The Risks With Cloudy Controllers - Revolv
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 08:21:39 am »
I think the non techies want it to work even when the internet goes down. What use is a system that only works if the internet is there.

don't get me wrong I fully agree with this, but its a balancing act.
caching of credentials on local devices may be as bad as only allowing the device to access them via the cloud, who's to say a bad actor wont reverse engineer their local device and attack (literally) from the inside ?
I'm pretty happy with it the way it works, I don't want it totally reliant on the internet yet I don't want it only offline where I cannot update it with security fixes and plugins etc.
At this point my personal opinion is its strikes a good balance, the whole revolv thing stinks.. I got rid of my nest and went with an apple homekit thermostat that is also compatible with vera and has a manufacturer app... fingers crossed I wont get hit on all 3 sides, z-wave for interoperability and (at the moment) 433mhz stuff I am slowly swapping out for zwave.  ;D
Don't get me wrong, I also think the balancing act is about right now. Pushing any further towards the cloud would worry me.
Devon UK 240V 50Hz
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