Your IoT journey: simplified and secure with Azure IoT Central and Azure Sphere
Published May 26 2020 08:00 AM 4,630 Views

The start of any IoT journey involves connecting things and acquiring data. This requires bringing together disciplines across cloud development, embedded development, cybersecurity, software management, and systems integration. The breadth of expertise needed makes for a daunting first step often prolonging project timelines which can delay or even block the successful completion of an IoT digital transformation. The combination of Azure Sphere and Azure IoT Central is the perfect combination. Azure Sphere’s integrated security solution for internet-connected devices and equipment paired with Azure IoT Central’s fully managed IoT Software as a Service (SaaS) offering provide the foundation needed to build, monitor, and safely manage your IoT devices and products.


The Seven Properties of Highly Secure Devices of Azure Sphere meets Eight Attributes of successful IoT solutions from Azure IoT Central

Among businesses that have adopted IoT 38% indicate technical complexities are the key barrier, while 47% say they don’t have enough skilled workers to build complex solutions (based on IoT signals report). Organizations are constantly looking for answers to avoid these issues while building IoT solutions. At Microsoft, we’ve worked with professionals and partners building IoT solutions development to identify 8 key attributes of IoT solutions: scale by design, out-of-the-box device management, big data management, analytics, built-in High Availability and Disaster Recovery (HADR), security/compliance as a feature, DevOps, and understanding total-cost-of-ownership (TCO). Azure IoT Central is built on and with these attributes in mind allowing customers to rapidly stand-up a secure and manageable IoT solution ready to scale and adapt to rapidly changing business needs.


Creating secured devices and managing security over the device lifecycle adds additional complexity to the mix and requires highly skilled cybersecurity experts. Azure Sphere dramatically reduces the burden of creating and maintaining secured devices; it makes achieving layered, renewable security for connected devices an easy, affordable, no-compromise decision. Azure Sphere delivers robust defense that utilizes the evidence and learnings documented in the Seven Properties of Highly Secured Devices. These properties clearly outline the requirements for an IoT device with multiple layers of protection and continually improving security, they include: a hardware-based root of trust, a small trusted computing base, defense in depth, compartmentalization, certificate-based authentication, security renewal, and error reporting.


Reduce development, deployment costs and overall time to market

Azure Sphere’s integrated security spans hardware, software, and cloud, and delivers active security by default with ongoing OS and security updates that put the power of Microsoft’s expertise to work for you every day. With the integration of Azure IoT Central customers will be able to enjoy simplified security, and device management experiences. They can quickly visualize device data, health, error reporting in Azure IoT Central without having to build their own custom solutions which can be complex and time consuming.


At the center of Azure IoT Central is a device template that describes device capabilities (telemetry, commands etc.) and the rich user experiences in IoT Central. Device manufacturers and solution providers (such as qiio) and enterprises (such as Starbucks) can use Azure Sphere to create secured devices or securely connect existing equipment using guardian modules, build their device application software to map to device templates in IoT Central to standup an end-to-end production grade solution very quickly. The device software and the device templates can be easily reused in different applications, enabling Device manufacturers to repackage devices and solutions making it possible to build the stack once and deploy many times. This reduces development and deployment costs and overall time to market.


Support for Azure Sphere devices in Azure IoT Central

We are embarking on a journey to provide the best in class experience for Azure Sphere devices in IoT Central; this will significantly simplify device building, onboarding, and management at scale.  Today with IoT Central Azure Sphere device builders are be able to model Azure Sphere devices with device templates and easily reuse them in different applications. With future integrations, Operators will be able to enjoy simplified security management from a single pane of glass with optimized device management experiences. They can get the most up to date view of device health, application deployments, error reporting and device configuration with Azure Sphere specific dashboards in IoT Central. Additionally, Solution and Device builders looking to create end-to-end packaged solutions with devices and customer experiences will be able to easily build and deploy solutions with IoT Central at scale.





At Build 2020, we made the first set of features available! We now have an out-of-the-box device template in IoT Central for Azure Sphere devices, along with a sample application to match the device template. Customers can:


  • Create the Azure Sphere Device template with a click of a button
  • Build dashboards and views in IoT Central
  • Connect a real Azure Sphere device
  • Run the sample Azure Sphere application
  • See real Azure Sphere device data in IoT Central
  • Interact with an Azure Sphere device through IoT Central

Once the device is connected to IoT Central, customers can leverage all the key features in IoT Central such as Jobs, Analytics, Rules to monitor, and safely manage Azure Sphere devices.


Next steps

To learn more about this feature, go to Connect an Azure Sphere device to your Azure IoT Central application

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‎May 27 2020 01:37 PM
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