Microsoft rolls out Azure IoT Hub

New service integrates with Azure IoT Suite

Microsoft has launched a cloud-based service allowing secure connections to internet of things (IoT) devices and assets, which the company said will act as a “bridge between customers’ devices and their solutions in the cloud”.

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub is built on the foundations of Azure IoT Suite. It's a fully managed service that enables secure two-way communications between IoT devices and an application's back-end. Originally revealed last September at AzureCon, general roll out of the service began on 4 February.

These secure communications can be sent over open protocols such as MQTT, HTTPS and AMQPS, which are widely used in IoT devices today.

“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and organisation to achieve more,” said Sam George, Microsoft’s partner director for Azure IoT, in a corporate blog post.

“For businesses today, we believe that the internet of things represents not only the next major wave of computing, but also the next competitive advantage. Harnessing signals and untapped data from existing and new devices unlocks powerful insights.

“Companies are realising how quickly their businesses will improve just by knowing more about their ‘things,’ such as where they are at any given time or predicting maintenance needs to ensure zero downtime. And that is just the start.”

George said the new service will allow customers to store data, analyse and act on it in real time. He added that integrating with other Azure services, such as Azure Machine Learning or Azure Stream Analytics, is a simple process with IoT Hub.

IoT Hub leverages Microsoft’s SaaS platform Azure IoT Suite, which was released last September. IoT Suite is described as an end-to-end IoT solution that includes IoT Hub as well as other Azure services.

The company also launched its Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT programme towards the end of last year to ensure solutions from different technology companies are interoperable as devices and platforms change. George said the company has signed nearly 30 technology companies up to the initiative in the last three months.

Find out more about Microsoft plans for its IoT platform offerings here.

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