Internet of Things for every business—Power digital transformation by unlocking insights from your connected devices. Transform those insights into action through powerful applications to create new revenue and business opportunities.
The Internet of Things (IoT) can be a lot of things—a robotic arm in a connected factory, sensors that help monitor and control a smart building or home, an intelligent coffee machine in your office, and much more. IoT creates vast business opportunities, but also some challenges. It can be time-consuming to get started, and security is complex and spans devices, connectivity, and data. It can be hard to make sense of what you need and who to work with.
Azure IoT simplifies IoT and helps you get started quickly and easily. With the most comprehensive IoT portfolio—spanning solutions, platform services, and industry-leading edge technologies—you can create operational efficiencies, new revenue streams, and better customer experiences. When you connect your business with IoT, the opportunities are endless.
Accelerate your IoT journey with fully managed and industry-specific IoT solutions, or build a customized IoT application that enables fine-grain control. Either way, Azure IoT offers powerful and secure IoT solutions that will meet your needs today and into the future.
Use device-to-cloud telemetry data to understand the state of your devices and define message routes to other Azure services without writing any code. In cloud-to-device messages, reliably send commands and notifications to your connected devices and track message delivery with acknowledgement receipts. Device messages are sent in a durable way to accommodate intermittently connected devices.
Set up individual identities and credentials for each of your connected devices, and help retain the confidentiality of both cloud-to-device and device-to-cloud messages. To maintain the integrity of your system, selectively revoke access rights for specific devices as needed.
Speed up your IoT deployment by registering and provisioning devices with zero touch in a secure and scalable way. IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service supports any type of IoT device compatible with IoT Hub.
Take advantage of IoT Edge to make hybrid cloud and edge IoT solutions a reality. IoT Edge provides easy orchestration between code and services so they flow securely between cloud and edge to distribute intelligence across a range of devices. Enable artificial intelligence and other advanced analytics at the edge, reduce your IoT solution costs, ease development efforts, and operate devices offline or with intermittent connectivity.
IoT solutions require secure, bidirectional communication between devices, possibly numbering in the millions, and a solution back end. For example, a solution might use automated, predictive analytics to uncover insights from your device-to-cloud event stream.
The following diagram shows the key elements of a typical IoT solution architecture. The diagram is agnostic of the specific implementation details such as the Azure services used, and device operating systems. In this architecture, IoT devices collect data that they send to a cloud gateway. The cloud gateway makes the data available for processing by other back-end services. These back-end services can deliver data to:
Other line-of-business applications.
Human operators through a dashboard or other presentation device.
In an IoT solution architecture, devices typically send telemetry to the cloud for storage and processing. For example, in a predictive maintenance scenario, the solution back end might use the stream of sensor data to determine when a specific pump requires maintenance. Devices can also receive and respond to cloud-to-device messages by reading messages from a cloud endpoint. In the same example, the solution back end might send messages to other pumps in the pumping station to begin rerouting flows just before maintenance is due to start. This procedure makes sure the maintenance engineer could get started as soon as she arrives.
Connecting devices securely and reliably is often the biggest challenge in IoT solutions. This is because IoT devices have different characteristics as compared to other clients such as browsers and mobile apps. Specifically, IoT devices:
Are often embedded systems with no human operator (unlike a phone).
Can be deployed in remote locations, where physical access is expensive.
May only be reachable through the solution back end. There is no other way to interact with the device.
May have limited power and processing resources.
May have intermittent, slow, or expensive network connectivity.
May need to use proprietary, custom, or industry-specific application protocols.
Can be created using a large set of popular hardware and software platforms.
In addition to the previous constraints, any IoT solution must also be scalable, secure, and reliable.
Depending on the communication protocol and network availability, a device can either communicate directly, or through an intermediate gateway, with the cloud. IoT architectures often have a mix of these two communication patterns.