Exploring Azure IoT Services

Introduction

The Internet of Things is upon us. At least with the major players announcing their support for IoT, it appears so. As with each technology leader providing a solution for IoT, Microsoft has not only provided tools to build IoT applications, it also even offers cloud services for use with IoT applications.

In this article, we will learn about the various Azure services that can be used with Internet of Things applications. At the time of writing this article, there were four Azure services available for IoT. They will be described in the following sections.

1. Event Hubs

Event hubs is a highly scalable service for cloud-scale telemetry. It supports telemetry ingestion from websites, apps, and devices. Chief features include:

  • It can process millions of events submitted from connected devices and applications in near-real time.
  • It supports connecting devices with flexible authorization and throttling.
  • It supports time-based event buffering.
  • It supports broad platform reach with native client libraries and pluggable adapters for other cloud services.

2. Stream Analytics

This Azure service supports real-time stream processing in the cloud enabling real-time insights into your IoT application.

Chief features include:

  • It supports real-time analytics for IoT solutions.
  • It supports streaming millions of events every second.
  • It supports mission-critical reliability, and performance with predictable results.
  • It supports creating a real-time dashboard and alerts based on data coming from devices and applications,
  • It supports correlation across multiple streams of data.
  • It supports rapid development with familiar SQL syntax.

3. Machine Learning Services

Azure machine learning services offer a streamlined experience to easily build, deploy, and share advanced analytics solutions by reducing the time to set up experiments. Azure Machine Learning Studio also comes with a library of time-saving sample experiments that can be directly incorporated into a workspace.

The chief features include:

  • Easier faster modeling of experiments
  • Reduced deployment cycles without losing previous results
  • Easier to share with community
  • Opportunity to monetize solution on the Azure Machine Learning Marketplace

4. Notification Hubs

Notification hubs is a scalable mobile push notification engine that quickly can send notification messages to a variety of platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, and Kindle.

Chief features include:

  • Support for broadcasting messages to millions of devices in minutes with a single API call
  • Support for customizing messages by audience, language, or location
  • Support for scaling instantly to millions of devices
  • Support to dynamically define and reach audience segments

Azure's support for IoT is just the beginning. I am confident that very soon we will have even more services supporting IoT scenarios.

Summary

In this article, we learned about various Azure services available for use in Internet of Things devices and applications. In upcoming articles, we will learn about how to use these services in Hands On exercises.

About the Author

Vipul Patel is a technology geek based in Seattle. He can be reached at vipul.patel@hotmail.com. You can visit his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/vipul-patel/6/675/508.



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