IoT in its simplest form is about connecting things in our physical environment to the Cloud in order to extract insights from the data the things can share to make informed and better decisions as well as allow remote monitoring and control of assets in our environment. The goal is to transform our businesses, change our environments, change our organizations.
Using data from our environments is the pot of gold.
But as you also know if you have started looking into what implementing an IoT solution entails, it can rapidly be more complex than it first appears.
A typical scaled IoT solution looks more like this:
When building your solution, these are the questions that will come up:
How do I ensure it scales?
What about High Availability and Disaster Recovery?
How do I model my IoT data?
Where do I manage my devices?
How can I manage user access?
What about hot, warm, and cold storage for the devices data?
How do I know if my fleet is connected?
How can I get support for multi-tenancy?
How can I run commands against my devices?
What about APIs to access my data from other apps?
How can I transform data on ingress and egress?
Here is an example of an architecture and features you would need to implement to build a repeatable and scalable IoT Solution taking those questions into consideration:
As you can see in the diagram you can leverage Azure services to build your IoT solution integrating and configuring them for your needs. While these services offer a great deal of flexibility, putting them all together can take time and require Cloud development skills you might not have in house.
Azure IoT Central handles this complexity for you and gives you a ready-made environment for IoT Solution development. It comes with Azure services preassembled and a user experience and API layer on top allowing you to easily connect and manage your devices, analyze their health and data, secure your solution and even extend it with an extensibility layer.
All this on top of an Application Platform that is scalable, highly available, supports disaster recovery and is secure by nature.
Let me take you through some demonstrations showing how you can use IoT Central to easily Connect, Manage, Analyze, Secure and Extend you IoT solution and devices.
Let’s start with device connectivity. What kind of devices can be connected, how do they connect, where to find certified devices… Sandeep shows us how you can easily and securely connect your devices to IoT Central whether you are using a certified device from our device catalog or are bringing your own device.
Connecting devices is just the beginning. What you will need next is a way to manage these devices, configure them once deployed, update them. Jehona walks us through how you can manage your devices at scale using the rich Jobs experience in Azure IoT Central
Visualize and Analyze IoT data
In order to take advantage of your IoT devices data, you will need to visualize it and navigate through it rapidly and comfortably with different dashboards and widgets that you’ll need to adapt to your own needs and scenarios. MJ shows us how you can Analyze the health and telemetry of your devices using Dashboards and the Data Explorer right from your IoT Central application.
There can’t be an article about IoT without addressing security. How can you ensure that your devices are securely connected and operated, that the right people and only them have access to the right devices controls and data? Azure IoT Central comes with many important and key security features that Harsha demonstrates in this short video:
Lastly, you will want to integrate your IoT solution with your business applications and workflows. Azure IoT Central exposes an API surface, a rules experience and Data Export capabilities that dramatically simplify making the most of your IoT data to transform your business. Avneet discusses the main extensibility features IoT Central has to offer:
But wait… there is more!
If the above demos got you interested and you want to see more, you can check out all the IoT Central demo videos on our channel at https://aka.ms/msiotdevs/demos.