Running your Azure IoT Hub based solution on-premises!
Published Oct 30 2020 08:00 AM 15K Views

Blog post by: 

Rita Cao, PM in the Azure IoT Hub team
Briton Zurcher, PM Lead for the Azure IoT Hub team

Azure IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub (ASH) is now in Public Preview! IoT Hub today connects millions of devices so you can monitor, manage, and operate your devices from the cloud. Deploying IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub allows you to operate your whole solution - from the data ingestion pipeline, to the analytics workflow, to the IoT device and sensor management - all from within your own datacenter. Today’s preview unlocks a myriad of on-premises IoT scenarios, including, hybrid edge computing for low latency and cloud independence, compliance with data sovereignty, and other rich and complex hybrid scenarios which can’t be provided with on the Azure cloud



Value at the Edge

Azure IoT Hub on the Azure cloud is serving many enterprises and business today, ingesting data and managing their IoT devices and sensors from the cloud. However, we’ve also heard from many of these same companies that have challenges connecting their devices directly to the cloud due to a variety of situations. By offering the IoT Hub service delivered on Azure Stack Hub, we are able to unblock a new dimension of scenarios allowing enterprises to take advantage of the same cloud technologies while addressing their specific environmental constraints. IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub will offer customers to:

  • Configure and manage IoT devices in their own protected network
  • Meet specific regulatory and policy requirements for data management which can’t be satisfied in the public cloud
  • Bring intelligence and decision making to the edge in real time
  • Allow solutions to be built in situations with poor or unreliable internet connectivity,
  • Reduce the costs of transferring all data to the public cloud


New On-premises Scenarios

IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub enables band new scenarios while unlocking the potential for enterprises to leverage the greatness of the established Azure cloud-based technologies within their specialized environments. Starting early in the development process, we collaborated closely with existing customers and partners to help test and shape today’s release, such as:

  • Manufacturing companies which had an existing and unique network setup to facilitate their business needs. These networks are often protected from the public Internet in multiple layers and with different levels of protection. The closer to manufacturing activities, the more protected the network will be. Mission critical devices, actuators, and sensors are protected by disallowing direct Internet access. IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub allows companies to successfully set up and operate IoT solutions within their network settings without compromising their security design and requiring public Internet access.
  • Many industries have challenges connecting to the Internet due to their remote locations and the high cost of transmitting data over cellular or satellite. The challenges are especially common with energy companies whose operations reside in all corners of the globe. With IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub, monitoring, data transfer, diagnostics, and production operations can all be performed onsite without interruption due degraded or heavily metered Internet access.
  • Enterprises are often looking to enable hybrid scenarios. For example, in the retail industry, companies have many stores operated across the globe, sitting close to residential communities. The managers/operators need to monitor the availability of goods on the shelf, order new inventory, and control the temperature and efficiency of refrigerators and chillers. Streaming this data between the cloud and the store front as part of daily operations incurs considerable costs. Leverage IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub, these managers and operators can conduct store level operations locally while still maintaining some required communications to public cloud, such as periodically sending report to HQ, or delivering data to the public cloud for training machine learning models.
  • Data sovereignty is especially important for enterprises that need to comply with local regulations or complex geopolitical data policies. For example, hospitals are regulated on patient data and how it can be transmitted for use off-premises. With IoT Hub on Azure Stack Edge, these hospitals can keep patient data confined to the clinics or community hospitals, while still being able to conduct new IoT-driven innovations in analysis, diagnosis and patient treatment.


Feature Parity with Cloud

We strive to provide full feature parity between Azure IoT Hub delivered in the public cloud and on Azure Stack Hub to maximize compatibility of applications built to run in both places. In today’s preview release, here is the list of features that are available for each delivery:



Public Cloud

(all standard SKUs)

Public Preview on ASH (only S2/S3)

Device-to-cloud telemetry

Cloud-to-device messaging

Per-device identity

Message Routing

HTTP, AMQP, MQTT Protocols


Monitoring and diagnostics

Cloud-to-device messaging

Device Management, Device Twin, Module Twin

Twin notifications, device life cycle events

Edge layered Deployment

Admin portal (1)


Secret rotation (1)


Capacity management (1)


Backup & Restore (2)



DeviceConnected,DeviceDisconnected, ASC (3)


device module configuration

Device Streaming, IoT Plug and Play, Jobs, File Upload (4)


Failover (5)


1) This feature is specific to enabling operators to manage IoT Hub on ASH
2) For public preview, customers can perform backups but not restores. Full backup/restore functionality will be supported by GA.
3) This feature depends on other Azure services coming soon to ASH.
4) This is a preview feature in the public cloud and will be available to ASH after the feature GA.
5) This feature is not applicable on ASH.


Single Solution, Different Environments

IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub provides the same APIs as IoT Hub in the Azure cloud. This means developers can build a single solution which runs seamless across different deployment environments. This lowers development costs as well as shortens the compatibility and testing cycles dramatically.


Differences from IoT Edge and Azure Stack Edge

IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub enables both offline and hybrid IoT solutions. It also works with both Azure IoT Edge and Azure Stack Edge to enable an even wider array of specialized edge capabilities.


Processing on The Edge - Continuum.png




The following table describes some of the major differences between each edge technology:



Azure IoT Edge

Azure Stack Edge

Azure Stack Hub & IoT Hub

What is it?

Middleware that deploys container-based cloud applications to run directly on IoT devices and gateways.

On-premises first party Microsoft cloud managed physical appliance with compute, hardware ML acceleration, and storage.

Hybrid cloud platform: an extension of Azure to consistently run hybrid applications on-premises.

IoT Hub is Azure IoT platform which connects, monitors and manages IoT devices. Microsoft makes the service available on Azure Stack Hub for on-prem solutions.

Primary usage

•Low latency and tight control loops

•Protocol translation & data normalization

•On-prem data aggregation and analysis

•Offline, Local AI/ML

•Customer developed code can run in containers

•ML inferencing at the edge – results quickly and close to where data is generated

•Edge compute platform – cloud managed edge compute

•Data pre-processing at the edge – aggregate, modify, or filter data

•Network data transfer from edge to cloud

Large data volume and intensive computing with the intention of keeping the data on-prem


•Individual oil wells

•Connected warehouse

•Manufacturing line

•Smart conference room

•Smart car

•Industrial IoT


Public Safety



Oil and Gas


Cruise ship

Smart stadium

Deep sea oil rig


Regional retails

Manufacturers that prefer private data centers

Business Model

•Software-only (certified 3rd party IoT Edge-enabled hardware here)

•Edge modules charged based on per-device fee; metering coming soon

•1st party hardware

•monthly service fee (includes hardware)

•Integrated hardware/software model

•3d party hardware sold by select partners

•Software charged based on meter or fixed fee


•Cloud/Stack managed

•Cloud managed

•Locally managed


•Support extended offline operation;

•require connectivity to

authenticate, transfer data

and deploy/update


•Can run disconnected;

•require connectivity to activate, transfer data, and deploy/update containers

•Can be completely and permanently isolated environment

•Can support hybrid too


•Single-tenant only

•Single-tenant only

•Multi-tenant support

Containers/VM support

Containers only

•Containers, including IoT Edge Modules


•Virtual Machines

•Support for containers, managed by AKS

•Support for VMs

High availability

Kubernetes support (public preview) – GA CY2021

•Single node

•All nodes are clustered

•In case of hardware failure, VMs and services fail over to a running node

Scale of compute and storage

Dependent on BYO (Bring You Own) hardware

•Single node

•Available options: GPU, FPGA

•4-16 nodes

•X cores and Y RAM

•A-B TB of storage

Hardware acceleration

Dependent on BYO hardware

•Brainwave-powered FPGA

•Nvidia T4 GPU

•ML inferencing done using CPU

•GPU support coming soon



During Public Preview, the IoT Hub capability will be offered for free to maximize customer testing. We continue to be hard at work on the generally available release, which is when we will provide finalized pricing, feature set, and support full production deployments.


Join the preview!

The preview Azure Stack Hub resource provider is available today in the Azure Marketplace for Azure Stack Hub. You can download and begin your own proof-of-concept IoT solution by following these steps:

  1. Use an existing Azure Stack Hub instance or if you have not yet acquired one for your private network, get started today with one of our certified partners
  2. Make sure your Azure Stack Hub is running version 1.2005.6.53 or higher
  3. Review the documentation to learn how to install the proper dependencies as well as the IoT Hub resource provided from the Azure Marketplace

To learn even more about this exciting preview release:

  • Visit here to see the Azure Stack Hub preview edition of the IoT Show
  • Visit here for how to install/operate IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub
  • Visit here for how to use IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub as a solution developer

We look forward to hearing your experience with IoT Hub on Azure Stack Hub and what new scenarios this release will enable for your IoT-enabled business. To contact the product team to send your questions, comments, and feature requests please use this form.

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‎Oct 30 2020 11:45 AM
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