It goes without saying that we all live a data driven life, both at home and work. We use data – sometimes to stream music, to look for directions on GPS, while shopping online, searching reliable restaurants, adding friends suggested by Facebook, using searches made by Google and enjoying TV shows predicted by Netflix.

So, everything from food intake to mood, sleep to fitness is being tracked, measured and shared now-a-days. Remember those marketing messages, offering products and services, festival discounts and introductory offers that end up in your inbox, almost daily. They are actually the result of business data mining and capturing.

Businesses capture, analyze and capitalize on the vast streams of data from customers, suppliers and even products themselves. Jeff Bezos need no mention. He started Amazon to sell books at discounted prices, but he did not stop there. Along the way, his little website collected data about me, you and everyone else and turned that data into knowledge and now, he is ruling the web.

Most of the companies today are already gathering massive amounts of data through myriad devices, but they are upset about being unable to make effective use of the huge amounts of data flowing into their companies, as there is too much data for traditional analytical methods to comprehend.

So, the need of the hour is a unified approach with the right kind of technology, like IoT (Internet of Things) which connects objects/devices to the internet to collect and share data.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.”-Wikipedia.

But there are multiple IoT solutions available in the market and it becomes difficult for the businesses to decide which IoT solution should they start with.

This article helps you understand what your IoT solution should have and what it should deliver to you.

Characteristics of a generic IOT solution architecture

The generic IOT solution architecture includes three key elements – Device connectivity; Data processing and analytics; and Presentation and business connectivity.

It also has some key requirements to deliver like:

  • Allow use of proprietary, custom, or industry-specific application protocols.
  • Support large set of popular hardware and software platforms, and embedded systems with no human operator, only reachable through the solution back end and
  • Delivery of security, reliability, scalability and bidirectional communication between devices and a back-end solution.

Above requirements become hard and time consuming when projects are implemented using traditional technologies like web containers or messaging brokers.

The following figure shows the key elements in a generic IoT solution architecture.

Architecture of IOT

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite helps businesses to integrate their existing systems and devices with IoT solutions that can be customized per their business needs so that they can manage data effectively and gain relevant insights for transforming their business.

It enables businesses to meet requirements mentioned above as well as get complete, end-to-end, implementation of this architecture for specific IoT scenarios – remote monitoring, predictive maintenance and connected factory.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite – the enterprise grade solution for your data

Azure IoT Suite is the solution developed by Microsoft to help its customers to reduce the time it takes to deliver their IOT solutions. The suite enables its customers to capture untapped data quickly and easily, create new intelligence, enhance the security of the IOT solutions and ultimately transform their business into an improved one.

Further, it helps them realize the opportunities of IoT without making any massive investments in the infrastructure that might slow time to value.

Azure IoT Suite offers a broad support for a variety of devices and systems, provides an interactive dashboard and a set of flexible preconfigured solutions, built on the cloud platform.

It offers different solutions for different IoT scenarios –

  • The Remote monitoring solution to help you connect and monitor the status of devices. With it, analyze the stream of data from your devices and improve business outcomes by automating processes’ responses to that stream of data.
  • The Predictive maintenance solution to help you anticipate maintenance needs of the devices. With the dashboards and visualizations, you get new intelligence that enables you to drive efficiencies and enhance revenue streams.
  • The Connected factory solution gives you end to end industrial solution and helps you connect and monitor your industrial devices in cloud and get insightful analytics with OPC Unified Architecture.

How Azure IoT Suite works?

Benefits of Azure IoT

Connect and scale – This suite offers Device Software Development Kits (SDKs) to help you connect your existing devices and the new ones with the different platforms and operating systems along with the freedom to scale.

Real time analytics – Azure IoT Suite enables clients to collect untapped data from different devices, visualize and take action and further allows them to use SQL-based syntax to set up real analytics and discover new insights.

Easy Integration – Azure IoT Suite integrates with the already existing customers’ device assets, applications, and IoT systems and help to visualize when a business asset or device needs attention. Also, it allows to build secure web APIs of their own.

Enhanced Security and integrity – It helps customers to create individual identities and credentials for their connected devices and retain the confidentiality of both cloud-to-device and device-to-cloud messages.

Mine and analyze your untapped business data with the extensible preconfigured Azure Solutions

To deliver various capabilities and benefits, Azure IoT Suite comprises multiple Microsoft Azure services with the custom extensions as preconfigured solutions that include –

  • Simulated devices
  • Preconfigured Azure services
  • Solution-specific management consoles.

Businesses can use following preconfigured Azure services to tap and analyze their business data:

  • Azure IoT Hub – With this service, you can receive messages from your devices, send commands to them as well as manage them too.
  • Azure Stream Analytics – With this IoT Suite service, you can process incoming telemetry, detect events, perform aggregation, and process informational messages containing data or command responses from devices as well. You can use it to process the messages from your devices and deliver them to different other services.
  • Azure Storage and Azure Cosmos DB – Use this Microsoft Azure IoT service to get data storage capabilities – to store telemetry and to make it available for analysis. With Cosmos DB, store device metadata and enable the device management capabilities of the solutions.
  • Azure Web Apps and Microsoft Power BI – It helps you with the data visualization and interactive dashboards capabilities. With the flexibility of Power BI, quickly build your own interactive dashboards.

Was this Azure IOT Suite tutorial of some help? Please let us know via comments.

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