Microsoft Goes Big, Announcing Azure IoT Suite


Microsoft announced Azure IoT Services in a play to become an IoT platform provider.
Microsoft announced Azure IoT Services in a play to become an IoT platform provider.

In-brief: Microsoft Corp. made a major play for the Internet of Things platform space, announcing Azure IoT Suite – a cloud based platform for accelerating and managing Internet of Things products. 

Microsoft has made no secret that it sees a big role for itself on the Internet of Things. As we noted, the company is making its Windows 10 operating system available for use on the low-cost Raspberry Pi platform – a favorite for IoT “thing” makers.

But Microsoft’s vision extends far beyond its operating system. This week, the company used its annual Convergence conference to announce the Azure IoT Suite, which CEO Satya Nadella described as the next evolution of its Azure Intelligent Systems Service, a cloud-based platform for securely connecting, managing and capturing machine-generated data from sensors and devices.

What is Azure IoT Suite? Nadella described the service as a cloud-based offering that can connect devices and other assets to each other and capture the “diverse and voluminous data they generate, integrate” then “orchestrate the flow of that data, and manage, analyze and present it as usable information to the people who need it to make better decisions as well as intelligently automate operations.”

In short: Azure IoT Suite sounds like a soup-to-nuts IoT platform that will simplify device-to-device connections and communication and provide back-end storage and analysis of the data that deployed devices generate.

Microsofot says Azure IoT cloud will “provide finished applications to speed deployment of common scenarios we see across many industries, such as remote monitoring, asset management and predictive maintenance, while providing the ability to grow and scale solutions to millions of ‘things.’

For now, Microsoft has identified seven services that will comprise the Azure IoT offering: Azure Event Hubs, DocumentDB, Stream Analytics, Notification Hubs, Machine Learning, HDInsight and Microsoft Power BI.

The Azure IoT Suite will be released in preview later this year. In the meantime, Microsoft is offering consulting services to companies that want to jump-start IoT development. The company is also offering a trial of Azure Stream Analytics, data analysis tools for use with IoT devices that is part of the final IoT Suite.

What’s unclear is how IoT Suite dovetails (if at all) with the AllSeen Alliance’s nascent IoT standards efforts that Microsoft has signed on to. A white paper and other supporting materials describing Azure IoT make no mention of AllSeen or its AllJoyn standard for IoT device communications and security.

Read more via Microsoft announces Azure IoT Suite | Internet of Things.

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