Today we are pleased to announce the Azure Percept DK, an exciting solution that enables the use of Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP) to simplify the onboarding of Wi-Fi enabled Microsoft Edge AI IoT devices into Azure IoT services. Onboarding Wi-Fi IoT devices to the cloud previously required multiple steps, and specialized technical expertise, to accomplish. This complicated IoT rollouts and increased the total cost of ownership (TCO) of fleet management. The Azure Percept DK was established to address these issues by leveraging the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service with the Wi-Fi Alliance’s industry-standard Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ to minimize the time and complexity of Wi-Fi IoT device onboarding.
Wi-Fi device onboarding to Azure IoT
Connecting Wi-Fi enabled Azure IoT devices to a customer’s network, and then provisioning them to Azure services for the first time, are top customer pain points. These processes often require device manufacturers to customize device configurations at the point of production, and for customers to manually provision the network settings of each device, a serialized process that is inefficient. In addition, these processes need to have sufficient security measures in place.
The Azure Percept DK and ZTP solution will enable pilot projects to leverage Wi-Fi provisioning that can be performed by anyone and at any location by simply powering on the device within range of a Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ configurator. The configurator does the provisioning of the devices to access the local Wi-Fi network and can be integrated into existing enterprise Wi-Fi products as a service or provided through a separate appliance like our Azure Percept DK. We’ve partnered with Aruba to enable ZTP configuration as an integrated service within the customer’s Aruba Wi-Fi network.
How it works
ZTP uses Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ and leverages the Device Provisioning Service to know which devices are expected to be provisioned, as well as the device’s authentication credential. The Device Provisioning Service enrollment record can be augmented to include device-related ZTP bootstrapping data that are inserted during manufacturing or distribution, before a device comes online. The extra data enables devices to be seamlessly provisioned onto any Wi-Fi network using Wi-Fi Easy Connect™.
A Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ Configurator, paired with the customer’s Device Provisioning Service , configures the ZTP device to access the local Wi-Fi network. Alternately, a stand-alone Configurator appliance can provision the ZTP device to any WPA2-Personal or WPA3-Personal wireless LAN. The Azure Percept DK can function as either a stand-alone Configurator appliance or a regular Azure IoT Edge client.
The following steps are required to prepare and activate a device using ZTP:
- The device manufacturer loads the device software and configures the device’s TPM for authentication to Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ and the Device Provisioning Service;
- Enroll the device to the Device Provisioning Service with the required Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ information.
- Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ Configurator Setup establishes a trust relationship with the Device Provisioning Service instance and the network provisioning settings that each device should receive;
- Device Connectivity is then established:
- Unprovisioned devices are automatically discovered
- The Configurator authenticates the device on power-up and provisions it with the Wi-Fi network settings and a unique credential
- The device associates to the Wi-Fi network with its provisioned credential
- With network access established, the device connects to the Device Provisioning Service to complete registration and provisioning to an Azure IoTHub. Azure IoT provisioning is now completed.
Aruba’s native Wi-Fi ZTP integration will support the deployment of Azure IoT devices onto customer Wi-Fi networks to work directly out-of-box, without any manual provisioning. Aruba’s depth of knowledge about zero touch provisioning, and the pervasiveness of the Aruba Edge Services Platform in enterprise Wi-Fi deployments worldwide, made them an ideal co-development partner for this project.
Now that you have an overview of how Azure Percept with ZTP can help make Wi-Fi deployments super easy, we invite you to learn more about the Azure Percept solutions, Wi-Fi Easy Connect™, and Aruba's ZTP solutions at the below links:
Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ | Wi-Fi Alliance (wi-fi.org)
Aruba ZTP solutions