Briefly: I’m evaluating the Photon to retrofit older access controllers, eliminating the serial communication lines from local servers that currently are used to save daily logs and upload new access codes to the controllers. So far all examples and discussions and documents I’m reading suggest Photons only communicate by means of commercial or public cloud services of one sort or another. For security and technical reasons, that is not suitable for my application. I need to be able to save and fetch file data directly from my controller to our own enterprise server without going through somebody else’s cloud service. This is dead simple with the RasbPis we’ve been deploying in our new access controllers: they “phone home” every night, only grabbing a WiFi lease for the few moments needed to use SFTP to drop off their logs on a locally networked host, and pick up new information, then dropping off the network. I was hoping the Photon would let me do something similar but so far I’m not finding examples. Having to use the cloud services to develop the code is not the issue for me, very impressive dev system; it is having to talk to anything other than our own local servers when I roll out my production devices that is the concern. If that’s not an option, I’ll use these for some less critical project and maybe get some Pi Zeros for my retrofit.
Yes and no. The Particle products can communicate with non-cloud servers over TCP or UDP. The catch is that there is no SSH implementation, so you can’t use SFTP. While I love the Particle products, I would lean toward the Pi if you need SFTP.
If you can use https, there is a client implementation of TLS for Particle products.
Another option is to host the “local cloud server” yourself.
It’s a bit dusty at the moment, but it will get more attention again especially when there is enough call.