Comparing Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure IoT Cloud Platforms

– As I mentioned above, for both vendors I still need to use multiple portals and applications to get everything configured and working correctly. The easier one company makes this, surely will have a huge impact on adoption. Be less developer dependent for configuration, monitoring and on going management and focus more on providing an easy to use one stop portal experience

Device Connectivity – Device Gateway

At the bottom of this post you will find a detailed table comparing each companies solution components by categories. As a summary, after the comparison, Microsoft Azure edges Amazon AWS primarily due to the following factors:

Does not provide a custom OS for devices

What it takes to build an Internet of Things product or service

Azure ML with ability to generate embeddable API

As you can see the strategy both companies have on the device connectivity and device management is quite comprehensive with Amazon providing an interesting feature around Shadow of Device. The differentiators I mention above are very much so on the data side which I believe wont be huge differentiators even in a few months from now.

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Device Connectivity – Supported Protocols

AWS supports storing data in: 1) S3 2) MPP Data Warehouse – Amazon RedShift 3) Relational Database Service – Amazon RDS 4) NoSQL – Amazon DynamoDB 5)

If you have not read my post onWhat it takes to build an IoT based product or service, I suggest you take a quick read through it. This post is a continuation of that introductory post and dives into evaluating IoT platform offerings of two major cloud platform providers – Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure.

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What it takes to build an Internet of Things product or service

Aure IOT suite consists of Azure Stream Analytics Service that allows SQL Like Syntax to be conducted over data ingested by IoT Hub. Stream Analytics allows tapping of historical data and use that as part of analyzing live streams from IoT Hub

Big Data Business Intelligence Cloud Data Visualization Internet of Things Advanced Analytics

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The existence of Azure Data Lake Store which is a brand new HDFS compatible hyper scale repository and can be used natively by a wide variety of cloud data services without having to move data around (as would need to be done say if I choose to store data in S3 and use Redshift)

System-level authorization and authentication are based on per-device identities. They make access credentials and permissions nearly instantly revocable. Device connectivity operations are monitored and logged.

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– In either of the vendors case I dont see mention of how/what role do the service providers play as far as the overall IoT solution is concerned. I believe that tighter integration within the IoT Suite with offerings from Service Providers would be a game changer specifically if the economics and ease of use are addressed as part of that

There is still a lot of work happening in the areas of standards specifically around device discovery and ability for heterogenous devices to talk to each other. I see Microsoft a lot more active here than Amazon at this time.

Protocol Gateway to convert Protocols AND Field Gateway to allow local local low power devices to communicate with Azure IoT

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– The number of device manufacturers that come built in with the IoT SDKs from each vendor

A robust ETL framework in Azure Data Factory

AWS IoT Registry assigns unique identity to each device. AWS IoT provides mutual authentication and encryption at all points of connection, so that 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.

Big Data Business Intelligence Cloud Data Visualization Internet of Things Advanced Analytics

As part of Azure IoT Hub, though additional support in the form of Azure Event Hubs

– Currently Microsoft is moving towards an IoT Suite Marketing and Pricing which includes a lot of these cloud services under one pricing model. With Amazon, I still need to manage pricing individually for each cloud service

This is an example. Double-click here and select a page to create a cloud of its tags or categories.Learn more

Azure supports storing data in: 1) Relational Database Service – SQL Server 2) MPP Data Warehouse Service – SQL Server 3) Azure Data Lake Store – high performant 4) Azure Blob Storage 5) Azure HDInsight (Hadoop distribution) 6) Spark on HDInsight 7) NoSQL Document DB

Provides Open Source access to Microsoft Azure IoT device SDKs to connect to and be managed by Microsft Azures IoT Hub Cloud Service. The IoT device SDKs can be used across a wide variety of devices and support multiple languages like C, Java and JavaScript

Comparing Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure IoT Cloud Platforms

The AWS IoT Device SDK enables devices to connect, authenticate, and exchange messages with AWS IoT cloud service. Open Source and available for customization. Embedded C, JavaScript and Arduino Yun available from AWS site

As part of AWS IoT, Amazon provides a Rules Engine service that supports SQL like syntax but does not support access to historical data as part of live stream analysis

To begin, both Microsoft and Amazon have evolved an IoT specific cloud platform offering.Microsoft Azure IoT SuiteandAmazon AWS IoT.Both companies have come a long way in 2015 in bringing core IoT platform functionality to their cloud platforms. Though a lot of the core foundational capabilities exist, a lot of stitching still needs to be done to build an IoT service offering. For instance, specifically in the areas of device management, security management, class of service allocation, policy management and monitoring there are no good portal companions to the heavy development that needs to be done to make everything come together. I suspect that this will materialize as time goes on or be filled in by each companies partner ecosystem. For now, the basis of comparison is really the completeness of the solution components to allow creation of an IoT based product or service.

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Device Connectivity – Authentication and Authorization

A more mature stream analytics platform that supports SQL based analysis of stream data (Amazons version is not too far)

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Relationship with the Service Providers

This is an example. Double-click here and select a page to create a cloud of its tags or categories.Learn more

Comparing Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure IoT Cloud Platforms

Hardware Engineering – Operating System

Bulk Device Management APIs but no out of the box portal for seamless device health monitoring or device management

A Machine Learning Algorithm marketplace along with a data marketplace

Still in Preview – Amazon QuickSight

We are at an exciting time. Even just two years ago creating an IoT based service or an IoT strategy would be a daunting task. Both Amazon and Microsoft are democratizing the heavy lifting of securely connecting devices to the cloud and enabling Device to Cloud and Cloud to Device communication while providing incredible array of choices for working with data. A lot of use cases are suddenly possible!

A mature data visualization service in PowerBI (Amazons QuickSight is in preview currently)

Offers a specific Windows version for IoT devices. Windows 10 IoT Core is a version of Windows 10 that is optimized for smaller devices with or without a display, and that runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 and 3, Arrow DragonBoard 410c & MinnowBoard MAX

Multiple APIs available to perform device management functions. An easy to use application is not present making it difficult to manage a large number of devices easily. AWS would force user to use multiple sets of Amazon Services like AWS IAM, AWS IOT Device Registry to manage devices manually

MQTT, WebSockets, HTTP 1.1/td

Comparing Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure IoT Cloud Platforms

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