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TechnologyJan 26, 2018

State of the Internet of Things Service Offerings

Simon Saugier, Jason Goth, and David Barrett

As the Internet of Things (IoT) landscape continues to mature, major cloud providers have responded by creating IoT-specific offerings for their platforms. The scope of cloud IoT offerings covers a huge swath of the IoT solution space, extending from software installed on the actual devices themselves all the way to identification of trends in IoT data and automated responses.

When thinking about IoT, it is important to recognize that each IoT implementation is specific to the industry and business that’s building it. It’s more accurate to talk about your IoT instead of the IoT. With that said, there are significant advantages to be gained by leveraging the IoT service offerings of cloud platforms into your IoT implementation.

In this article, we will provide a summary of the cloud IoT offerings provided by Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure, and Google’s GCP (Google Cloud Platform).

brief history of cloud iot offerings

Azure was first on the scene, publishing their Azure IoT Suite in March 2015, demonstrating their experience building business-oriented platforms by providing the best analytics visualization capabilities out of the group. Additionally, Microsoft leverages their deep experience with operating systems into Windows 10 IoT. AWS was a close second to provide a cloud IoT offering (December 2015). The power of the AWS IoT offering is its seamless integration with AWS’ robust and mature cloud solutions.

Google is a bit of a laggard, publishing their cloud IoT offering two years after Azure and AWS (September 2017).

iot solution components

IoT solutions are complex and require many moving parts to work together as a whole to achieve business value. An IoT solution must have the following solution components.

Solution Component

Description

Sensors

Hardware that performs measurements.

Remote device management

Perform device firmware updates, factory resets, and reboots.

IoT OS

Local operating system for connected devices.

Edge computing

Perform a limited set of cloud computing tasks directly on local hardware installed near the IoT devices.

Transmit data

Send data to the cloud. Solutions must account for poor connectivity and low data rates.

Store data

Store continuous feeds of sensor data for later analysis.

Stream data

Stream sensor data through near-real-time processing.

Response to events

Machine learning algorithms to detect patterns in sensor data and automatically identify anomalies and correlations.

Remote commands

Send messages to devices and execute commands remotely.

comparison of the offering

Each of these cloud platforms have similar IoT offerings. The following shows the major components of an IoT and identifies the specific cloud offerings:

Purpose

Azure

AWS

GCP

Sensors

Remote device management

Azure IoT Hub

AWS Device Management

Cloud IoT Core

IoT OS

Windows 10 IoT

Amazon FreeRTOS

Android Things

Edge computing

IoT Edge

Greengrass

Transmit data

Azure IoT Hub

AWS IoT Core

Cloud IoT Core

Store data

Blob Storage

DynamoDB

Bigtable

Stream data

Stream Analytics

Kinesis

DataFlow

Response to events

Azure Machine Learning

SageMaker, AWS Machine Learning

Cloud Machine Learning

Remote commands

IoT Hub

AWS IoT Core

Cloud IoT Core

In summary, all three providers have significant capabilities. The one notable difference is that Google lacks edge computing.

need some help?

As you can see, there are a lot of issues to consider and problems to solve to develop your IoT solution. If you need help determining which platform best fits your IoT needs, Credera would love to engage you on this topic. Feel free to reach out to us at findoutmore@credera.com.