Streamline device management with Device Update for IoT Hub, now in public preview
Published Mar 02 2021 06:10 AM 14K Views

As organizations focus on enabling productivity and operational efficiency, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are adopted at increasing rates. This makes it essential that the devices forming these solutions are not only built on a foundation of reliability and security but are also easy to connect and manage at scale.


Device Update for IoT Hub is a comprehensive platform that customers can use to publish, distribute, and manage over-the-air updates for everything from tiny sensors to gateway-level devices. This platform is now in preview in the Western US, Asia, and Europe to keep devices and applications secure and updated.


To realize the full benefits of IoT-enabled digital transformation, customers need the ability to operate, maintain, and update devices at scale. Explore the benefits of implementing Device Update for IoT Hub, which include being able to rapidly respond to security threats as well as deploy features to meet business objectives without incurring the additional development and maintenance costs of building your own update platforms.




Keeping IoT devices up to date and secure

Keeping a network of IoT devices secure and up to date can be complex and costly, especially for organizations with limited technology staffing. Rather than take on the cost and work of building and maintaining custom update solutions, Device Update for IoT Hub customers can take advantage of a platform that is tailored for IoT devices and built on the experience Microsoft has developed through regularly updating hundreds of millions of Windows devices.


As organizational needs change, it’s easy to expand the use of Device Update for IoT Hub to update entire networks of devices or, conversely, downgrade their usage plans as needed. The update service can be used to manage and track update deployments across any device that is running a compatible agent. It provides APIs for publishing, update management, and deployment, and it also builds on device twins and IoT Plug and Play for client and service communication—all of which makes it easy for organizations to build their own portals and meet custom business requirements.



Broad ecosystem support for Device Update for IoT Hub

At its heart, Microsoft is a platform company. Our customers know when they choose Microsoft, they are choosing a company and ecosystem that can empower them to solve their problems. We already have several industry-leading partners working with us to support how companies use Device Update for IoT Hub for specific use case scenarios, including Cognizant, Moxa, Reycom, Conplement, and CloudLinux Inc.


Cognizant, a technology integrator, and Moxa, a provider of industrial connectivity and networking devices, are partnering together with Microsoft to address this broader customer challenge of enabling device lifecycle management at scale. Moxa, for instance, provides security patches for identified vulnerabilities yet customers must still find a way to deliver these patches in addition to software vendor applications. With the release of Device Update for IoT Hub, these two companies can help companies simplify device lifecycle management for industrial IoT edge gateways.


“Before this innovation, the ability to manage scaled IoT deployments was a challenge requiring significant work to solve,” says James Branigan, AVP of IoT at Bright Wolf, a Cognizant company. “With Device Update for IoT Hub, companies can now manage fleets of remote assets, securely and at scale. It automates previously error-prone manual steps and custom code, enabling customers to build complex automation workflows.”


Another organization using Device Update for IoT Hub is Reycom, a Swiss company with deep knowledge in over-the-air updates from its TV and smart home solutions. Device Update for IoT Hub is an important part of Reycom’s industrial IoT ecosystem, and its use allows Reycom and its customers to seamlessly manage Linux-based devices via a single portal.


With a focus on helping customers more easily set up or expand IoT solutions and devices, Conplement AG based in Germany is using Device Update for IoT Hub as part of their IoT Core Services software suite. This allows them to offer an easy-to-use solution for OEMs and device manufacturers looking to accelerate time to market and reduce development costs.


CloudLinux Inc. also collaborated with Microsoft to create an integration for KernelCare IoT with Device Update for IoT Hub, which allows users to update their devices to address security vulnerabilities during runtime. With this capability, Azure IoT Hub users can maintain patch levels of all Linux devices without halting operations or restarting devices. “We understand that many types of devices must operate with zero service interruptions, so we were pleased to work with Microsoft to add live kernel patching capabilities to Azure IoT Hub,” says Jim Jackson, President and CRO of CloudLinux.


Microsoft Azure Percept, a comprehensive, easy-to-use platform for creating edge AI solutions, is also using Device Update for IoT Hub. It implements a resilient, robust, and scalable update stack on top of Device Update for IoT Hub. Learn more about its journey.


Flexible features for updating devices

Device Update for IoT Hub offers optimized update deployment and streamlined operations through integration with Azure IoT Hub. With extended reach through Azure IoT Edge, it provides a cloud-hosted solution that connects virtually any device. It supports a broad range of IoT operating systems—including Linux and Azure RTOS (real-time operating system)—and is extensible via open source. As part of our investments in Azure RTOS, we also are co-developing Device Update for IoT Hub offerings with our semiconductor partners, including STMicroelectronics, NXP, Renesas, and Microchip. Browse some of the available offerings.


Device Update for IoT Hub features provide a powerful and flexible experience, including:

  • Support for updating edge devices including the host-level components of Azure IoT Edge
  • Update management UX integrated with Azure IoT Hub
  • Gradual update rollout through device grouping and update scheduling controls
  • Programmatic APIs to enable automation and custom portal experiences
  • At-a-glance update compliance and status views across heterogenous device fleets
  • Support for resilient device updates (A/B) to deliver seamless rollback
  • Content caching and disconnected device support, including those in nested configurations, through built-in Microsoft Connected Cache and integration with Azure IoT Edge
  • Subscription and role-based access controls available through the portal
  • Comprehensive cloud-to-edge security features and privacy controls


Getting started with Device Update for IoT Hub

As this device update service rolls out for general availability, the scope and capabilities of Device Update for IoT Hub will continue to improve, adding more value and functionality to our customers’ devices. Get started by exploring available documentation for Device Update for IoT Hub.


Get started with Device Update for IoT Hub by learning more about the service; new users can use a free tier without being charged up to a defined threshold. This preview is just the beginning of the Microsoft IoT device update journey, and we can’t wait for you to try it out and hear your feedback.

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‎Mar 02 2021 05:55 AM
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