Here are the 2 main reasons why Azure Cosmos DB is great for in IoT applications:
For a fascinating history and in-depth technical outline of Cosmos DB, check out this blog by Dharma Shukla Founder of Azure Cosmos DB, Technical Fellow, Microsoft.
The two primary IoT use cases for Cosmos DB are storing device telemetry and managing a device catalog. Read on to learn key details and catch this Channel 9 IoT Show episode with Andrew Liu, Program Manager, Cosmos DB team:
The first IoT use case for Cosmos DB is storing telemetry data in a way that allows for rapid access to the data for visualization, post processing and analytics.
XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, uses Cosmos DB for this exact scenario. The company has 50,000 oil wells generating telemetry data like flow rate and temperature at a high throughput. With lots and lots of bytes/second coming in, XTO DB uses Cosmos DB because of its fast, indexed data store, partitioning, and automatic indexing. See the architecture diagram below showing how Cosmos DB fits in their IoT solution. Note that data comes into Azure IoT Hub. Typically, you would position a hot store (with fast, interactive queries) and cold store behind IoT Hub. In this case, Azure Cosmos DB is used for the hot store. Read more about XTO Energy use of Azure Cosmos DB and Azure IoT.
A second IoT scenario that benefits using Cosmos DB is managing a device catalog for critical processes. This is where the low latency and "always on" guarantees of Cosmos DB comes in. Less than 10-ms latencies for both, reads (indexed) and writes at the 99th percentile, all around the world and 99.999% availability for multi-region writes!
Azure Cosmos DB transparently replicates your data across all the Azure regions associated with your Cosmos account. Cosmos DB employs multiple layers of redundancy for your data managing partitioning for you. Learn more about Cosmos DB high availability.
A real-life scenario example is that of an automobile manufacturer running an assembly line with high availability requirements. The manufacturer drives commands to robots that manufacture the cars. In order to ensure that the assembly line never stops, the manufacturer uses Cosmos DB to ensure extremely high availability and low latency.
There are four “must-know” aspects that IoT developers need to understand to work with Cosmos DB:
Not convinced yet? Try a hands-on lab. In the lab, you will use Azure Cosmos DB to ingest streaming vehicle telemetry data as the entry point to a near real-time analytics pipeline built on Cosmos DB, Azure Functions, Event Hubs, Azure Databricks, Azure Storage, Azure Stream Analytics, Power BI, Azure Web Apps, and Logic Apps.
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