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Microsoft announces two new offerings to streamline IoT management

We're announcing two new offerings to streamline Internet of Things (IoT) management for businesses with tens, thousands or even millions of geographically distributed assets and devices: Device management in IoT Hub and the Azure IoT Gateway SDK.

Today at //Build, we are announcing two new offerings to make it significantly easier for customers to manage their IoT deployments: Azure IoT Hub device management and the Azure IoT Gateway SDK. With the preview of these powerful new capabilities, we're providing developers, IT managers and OT operators with tools to make managing their IoT deployments easier than ever.

IoT solutions are typically comprised of many types of devices with different software, firmware, connectivity and security capabilities. For many businesses, it’s already challenging to keep the software, firmware and configuration of new devices up to date—an issue that is often compounded as IoT devices are geographically dispersed. In addition, many businesses now need to connect older or “legacy” devices they invested in years ago, some of which are not capable of communicating directly to the cloud and need an intermediate device to help. With our new offerings today, we’re addressing these challenges and continuing to simplify IoT so customers can focus on taking advantage of the opportunity instead of the logistics.

Azure IoT Hub device management

With new device management capabilities in Azure IoT Hub, administrators can enroll, view status and health, organize, control access, and update the software, firmware and configurations of millions of geographically dispersed IoT devices. By leveraging device management capabilities in Azure IoT Hub, customers can realize significant time and resource savings by removing the burden of developing and maintaining custom device management solutions.

Azure IoT Hub scales to manage millions of devices supporting the LWM2M protocol, the leading standard from the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) for IoT device management. In collaboration with the Eclipse Foundation and other members of the open source community, we’re excited to be contributing to the growing number of developers and device makers leveraging LWM2M for device management of IoT devices.

Azure IoT Hub device management is currently being used by early adopters to enable a simplified cloud programming model for IoT solutions through new service side APIs:

  • Device Registry Manager API: Provides a first-class device object for working with IoT devices in your cloud solution. Through this device object, your cloud solution can interact with device and service properties. Device properties are used by the device for configuration or to inform the IoT solution of device state (e.g. firmware version, OEM name, serial number, etc…). Service properties, such as tags, are reference data needed by the IoT solution and not by the device.
  • Device Groups API: Work with your fleet of devices in groups and control access in a way that maps to your solution topology.
  • Device Queries API: Find devices in your IoT solution based on tags, device, or service properties.
  • Device Models API: Define the information model for the devices and entities in your IoT solution.
  • Device Jobs API: Run and monitor simultaneous device orchestrations on your global fleet of devices across a heterogeneous device population.

Azure IoT Gateway SDK

Azure IoT Gateway SDK has evolved into Azure IoT Edge on May 10, 2017. To learn more, click here.

Field gateways are a very important part of an IoT deployment and our Azure IoT Gateway SDK enables developers and ISVs to easily build and deploy modules for edge intelligence, giving them the ability to optimize and process data before it’s sent to the cloud. It also enables them to connect legacy devices to the Azure cloud without having to replace existing infrastructure. The Azure IoT Gateway SDK achieves this by providing source code that takes care of much of the necessary busy work required for the development of a gateway application, including dynamic module loading, configuration, and data pipelining.

Anyone with complex or heterogeneous device topologies can benefit from Azure IoT Gateway SDK: Whether you need to connect legacy devices to Azure IoT Hub and manage those devices from the cloud through the gateway, or provide edge intelligence capabilities such as encryption, annotation, preprocessing, filtering, or any other logic to be executed prior to sending data to the cloud. This has multiple advantages to the business, including enabling real time-sensitive edge logic to minimize latency, reducing bandwidth costs by processing selected data locally, and helping to enforce security and privacy constraints.

We’re thrilled to introduce these two new capabilities that make managing your IoT deployments even easier – and we’re just getting started.

Learn more about Microsoft’s approach to the Internet of Things at InternetofYourThings.com.