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Top 10 industrial IoT cloud providers

In our article, Cloud computing 101: Advantages and disadvantages, we defined cloud computing and discussed some of the benefits and challenges that come with transitioning from local servers to the cloud. We also took a look at the top 5 industrial IoT companies, excluding cloud providers. Now, we will list the top ten cloud providers for the industrial internet of things, and describe some of the main features found in each offering.

The top 10 cloud providers

Amazon

Amazon dominates the market share for providing cloud services to consumers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud operates 35 “availability zones” within 13 geographic regions around the world, with 9 more availability zones and 4 more regions coming online throughout the next year. Here are some of the features offered with Amazon’s AWS IoT platform:

source: Amazon
source: Amazon

AWS IoT Device SDK

AWS IoT provides an SDK to help enterprises connect to hardware device or mobile applications. The AWS IoT Device SDK enables devices to connect, authenticate and exchange messages with AWS IoT using the MQTT, HTTP or WebSockets protocols. The Device SDK supports C, JavaScript and Arduino, and includes the client libraries, developer guide and the porting guide for manufacturers. You can also use an open source alternatives or write your own SDK.

Device Gateway

The AWS IoT Device Gateway enables devices to securely and efficiently communicate with AWS IoT. The gateway can exchange messages using a publication/subscription model, which enables one-to-one and one-to-many communications, making it possible for a connected device to broadcast data to multiple subscribers for a given topic. The Device Gateway supports MQTT, WebSockets and HTTP 1.1 protocols.

Authentication and Authorization

AWS IoT provides mutual authentication and encryption at all points of connection, so data is never exchanged between devices and AWS IoT without proven identity. AWS IoT supports the AWS method of authentication (called ‘SigV4’) as well as X.509 certificate based authentication. Connections using HTTP can use either of these methods, while connections using MQTT use certificate based authentication, and connections using WebSockets can use SigV4.

Registry

The registry establishes an identity for devices and tracks metadata such as the device’s attributes and capabilities. The registry assigns a unique identity to each device that is consistently formatted regardless of the type of device or how it connects. It also supports metadata that describes the capabilities of a device.

The registry allows the storage of metadata for devices at no additional charge, and metadata in the registry does not expire as long as users access or update their registry entry at least once every 7 years.

 

Microsoft

Microsoft’s Azure cloud comes in second place to Amazon in terms of reach, but had a greater quarter-to-quarter growth rate than any other cloud in late 2015, according to Channele2e. Here are some of the things you can do with Azure, according to Microsoft:

source: Microsoft
source: Microsoft
  • Capture and analyze untapped data to improve business results
  • Get started quickly with preconfigured solutions
  • Tailor preconfigured solutions to meet your needs
  • Enhance the security of your IoT solutions
  • Support a broad set of operating systems and protocols
  • Easily connect millions of devices
  • Analyze and visualize large quantities of operational data
  • Integrate with your existing systems and applications
  • Scale from proof of concept to broad deployment

Microsoft also strongly promotes the cloud’s ability to use predictive maintenance to predict failures before they happen, as well as remote monitoring for increased visibility.

IBM

According to IBM, the company’s Bluemix cloud offers a clean and simple UI where you can add and manage your devices, control access to your IoT service and monitor your usage. It also offers:

source: IBM
source: IBM

 

Device Management

Using IBM’s device management service, companies can perform device actions like rebooting or updating firmware, receive device diagnostics and metadata or perform bulk device addition and removal.

Responsive, scalable connectivity

The IBM IoT cloud uses the industry-standard MQTT protocol (OASIS ratified) to connect devices and applications. MQTT is designed for efficient exchange of data to and from devices in real-time.

Secure Communication

Securely receive data from and send commands to devices. Do this using MQTT with TLS to secure all communication between your devices and our service.

Storage and access to data

As well as having access to real-time data coming from your devices, enterprises can opt to store data for a period of their choice, allowing them to have access to historical and real-time data for your devices.

IBM combines its well-known Watson IoT platform with its Bluemix cloud to allow powerful application access to IoT devices and data.

Google

Google operates its own private fiber network with over 70 “points of presence” across 33 countries, ensuring data to and from your devices gets delivered at ultra-low latency. Google says this allows enhanced security because enterprise IoT devices avoid having to travel the public internet through the majority of their time in transit. Here are some other key features of the Google IoT Cloud Platform, according to the company:

Google-Grade Security

Whether device-to-cloud or cloud-to-device, security is a first-class concern as IoT is increasingly used to support business-critical operations. All Cloud Platform APIs are secure by default with full encryption, backed by integrated and pervasive security across the entire infrastructure.

Real-Time, Actionable Insight

From a ride-sharing car blipping toward a user on her mobile device, to sensors tracking the location of buses and trains, users no longer tolerate stale information. Using Cloud Platform as the base of your IoT capability, the expectation of real time is built-in: stream and transform data as it arrives withCloud Dataflow, a unified programming model for both batch and streaming data sources.

From Small to Big (Data)

Each sensor-equipped device may be small and yields only incremental insight. Multiply this by hundreds, thousands, or millions of sensors all ingesting data to the cloud, and the collective stream presents as a big data problem. Cloud Pub/Sub makes real-time, reliable processing of IoT data easy, and our storage products persist all your data efficiently and economically.

Salesforce

Powered by Thunder, an event processing engine, Salesforce’s IoT Cloud connects data from the Internet of Things to the rest of Salesforce for better insights and real-time customer actions, according to the cloud computing company.

Sales

Create opportunities and sales orders.

Service

Automatically request and schedule repairs.

Marketing

Trigger customer notifications and texts by devices.

Apps

Initiate automatic inspections based on the delivery of supplies.

Cisco

Cisco’s IoT Cloud Connect platform, a subscription-based horizontal IoT platform, is suitable for various vertical applications:

  • Purpose built and IoT optimized
  • Modular to suit business needs
  • SIM management
  • Flexible billing
  • Data management and APIs
  • Flexible deployment models including in-country hosting
  • Part of Cisco IoT vision and strategy
  • Partner technology combined with Cisco value adds – packet core, network intelligence, multiaccess, global reach and vertical use cases

Oracle

The database management company also has features within its cloud specifically designed for IoT uses:

source: Oracle
source: Oracle

Device Virtualization

Standardize integration of devices with the enterprise

High Speed Messaging

Enable reliable, secure and bi-directional communication between devices and the cloud

Endpoint Management

Manage all your device endpoint identity, metadata and lifecycle states

Stream Processing

Real time analysis of incoming data streams with event aggregation, filtering, and correlation

Data Enrichment

Enrich raw data streams with contextual information and generate composite streams

Event Store

Query and visualize massive amounts of data with integrated Oracle BI Cloud Service support and enable Big Data analysis

Enterprise Connectivity

Dynamically dispatch critical IoT data and events to applications and process flows

REST APIs

API based integration with Oracle and non-Oracle Apps and IoT devices

Command & Control

Send messages to devices from enterprise & mobile apps, independent of device connectivity

SAP

SAP’s in-memory platform-as-a-service, the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, makes it easy to build, deploy, and run applications that leverage the Internet of Things, says the German software company. Here are a few of its features:

  • Connect and control your devices
  • Access and connect all of your devices, manage their individual lifecycles – and control them remotely.
  • Analyze machine and sensor data
  • Leverage the analytical capabilities of SAP HANA Cloud Platform to detect patterns in data streams from machines and sensors.
  • Optimize your processes and create new business models

Bosch

The Bosch IoT Cloud comprises a large portfolio of ready-to-use cloud services. The cloud design helps you to:

source: Bosch
source: Bosch
  • Accelerate IoT projects
  • Improve time-to-market for new IoT solutions
  • Profit from integrated security mechanisms
  • Lower complexity and costs in your IoT projects.

The Bosch IoT Cloud is hosted in a dedicated data center near Stuttgart, Germany. Additional cloud locations are planned for the United States and Singapore.

This offerings ensures strict data protection using the latest protective mechanisms. According to the Bosch Group, it has set itself fixed rules for dealing with personal customer data – respecting the right of its customers to know what happens with their personal data.

General Electric

According to the creators of the term “IoT,” Industrial companies need a software platform that:

• Is specialized for industrial machines and processes

• Supports heterogeneous data acquisition, storage, management, integration, and access

• Provides advanced predictive analytics

• Guides personnel with intuitive user experiences

• Is delivered securely in the cloud using open standards and community processes

GE’s Predix cloud is based on a multi-tenant “gated community” model, ensuring that tenants of the Predix cloud belong to the industrial ecosystem. The company says this reduces the risk of bad actors entering the community and, unlike public cloud platforms, enables Predix to comply with rigorous regulatory requirements. Support for a variety of data governance, federation, and privacy protection is included, as are stringent security features such as perimeter security, data encryption in flight and at rest, access control and data visibility:

  • Industrial-Grade Security
  • Connectivity as a Service
  • Asset Models, Analytics and Applications
  • Advisory Services
  • Managed Services
  • Starter

 

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