Introduction to Azure IoT Hub
Most of us would have encountered an IoT device in our everyday life. IoT is a mesh of devices that connect and interact with each other. In IoT, you extend your internet connection beyond your usual internet supporting devices (such as desktops and smartphones).
Say, you have an Amazon Echo device that is connected with WiFi at your home. It gives you a real-time update of where your Amazon package is based on the updates sent from the logistic partner. This is a classic example of multiple IoT devices working in conjunction.
And an Azure IoT hub facilitates communication between multiple IoT devices and applications. In this post, we are going to understand what is Azure IoT hub and how it helps you in various real-life scenarios.
Table of Contents
- What is Azure IoT hub?
- How can Azure IoT Hub help you?
- Difference between Azure Central and IoT Hub
- What are the benefits of Azure IoT Hub
- Use Cases of Azure IoT Hub
What is Azure IoT hub?
Azure IoT hub is a managed service that allows bidirectional communication between your IoT devices and applications. It is a centralized hub that allows you to collect data and send instructions to your IoT devices from a single hub.
From a business perspective, the Azure IoT hub can help you save time in managing and processing the immense amount of data that flows from the IoT devices in your organization.
The Internet Of Things has the power to change the world as the internet did. If your organization uses or plans to use the power of IoT, Azure IoT Hub might be a great option to make your life easier.
How can Azure IoT Hub help you?
Azure IoT hub can help you in four simple ways -
Register and manage all your IoT devices at scale
The power of device management and IoT Hub’s device provisioning services helps you make this process efficient.
Establish Seamless communication between IoT devices and applications
This is one of the best features of Azure IoT Hub as it helps you manage the communication between billions of IoT devices in your organization.
Maintain industry-grade security at scale
The most important feature of Azure IoT Hub is the built-in security-enhanced IoT solutions. They cater to your needs of security by authenticating every device in your network.
Combine the power of IoT with dedicated cloud servers.
You can use Azure IoT Hub to store all your messages on the cloud and control your IoT devices with a cloud network. Seamless integration with a cloud server allows you to manage your devices in real-time, by tracking all their current states and messages.
Difference between Azure Central and IoT hub?
Apart from Azure IoT Hub, Microsoft also offers another solution for building IoT platforms - Azure IoT Central. Azure Central is a fully managed SaaS offering that allows organizations to manage IoT devices and applications at scale. This can be used by organizations that have already set up their IoT network or by businesses that use a generalized model for their network.
Azure IoT Hub is used by businesses that have already created their network and are shifting over to Azure services. It is also used by organizations that use custom applications to manage their devices and needs.
What are the Benefits of Azure IoT hub?
Enables secure communication between your devices
Azure IoT Hub allocates secure channels for the transfer of data between your devices and applications. It provides you with per-device authentication to ensure that each device can be connected and managed securely. Azure IoT Hub also boasts of the spectacular IoT Hub device positioning service that allows you to provision every IoT device to the right Hub when they are initiated. Above all, this service from Azure provides you with many types of authentication for multi-device capabilities. Some of the available authentication types are -
- SAS Token-based authentication
- Individual X.509 Certificate Authentication
- X.509 CA Authentications
Customizable Message Routing Functionality
Azure IoT Hub offers you a flexible message routing capability to set up automatic rules-based messages. Some of the features include
- Routes Messages to multiply endpoints
- Control the Hub to send device telemetry to specific endpoints
- Create and assign no code routing rules with ease.
Seamlessly Integrate Azure IoT hub with other services
The third important benefit of Azure IoT Hub is the ability to integrate it with other services offered by Microsoft Azure. Some of these services include -
- Azure Stream Analytics
- Azure Machine Learning
- Azure Event Grid
- Azure Logic Apps
Effectively configure and control your devices
As we’ve mentioned before, Azure IoT Hub allows you to manage and control millions of IoT devices from a centralized hub. Here’s a short info on what you can achieve with Azure’s centralized hub -
- Store and query device Metadata
- Store, synchronize, and query state information across all your devices
- Deploy message routing integrations to automatically respond to a device’s state.
Supports an array of languages and operating systems
You can use the Azure IoT device SDK to create and deploy custom applications in your IoT hub. All these applications are supported across an array of operating systems and languages,
Operating systems that support Azure IoT device SDK:
- Other Real-Time operating systems
Languages that support applications created by Azure IoT Device SDK
Azure IoT Hub offers a 99.9% uptime SLA for all its users, making it one of the best benefits of this platform.
Use Cases of Azure IoT Hub
Azure IoT Hub is used by organizations in a number of industries. We’ve put together a list of the top four industries to give you a better idea of their use cases
Azure IoT Hub is used in the automotive industry to innovate vehicles for their safety. Azure High-Performance Computing (HPC), Azure maps, and Cognata are some of the services offered for the development of the automotive industry.
Discrete Manufacturing industry
Azure IoT Hub presents you with a set of smart solutions that improve operational excellence while reducing costs. Here are some benefits it offers for organizations in the discrete manufacturing industry -
- Condition monitoring
- Facility management
- Supply chain management
- Asset racking
- Equipment efficiency management
Azure IoT hub helps you monitor grid assets and develop them to increase efficiency while lowering operational costs. Some common uses of Azure IoT Hub’s services in the energy sector are -
- Grid asset maintenance
- Monitoring emissions
- Energy optimization
- Load balancing to prevent outages
Azure IoT Hub serves to become very fruitful in the healthcare sector with the following use cases –
- Continuous patient monitoring
- Smart hospitals and equipment
- Inventory management for supplies
- In-home patient care devices
IoT has become essential to improve the efficiency of your business while seeking innovation. If you are thinking about acquiring a management service for your IoT devices and applications, Azure IoT hub can be a great place to start.