Microsoft has released the latest component of its cloud IoT suite, the Azure IoT hub, which was first announced back in September.
Azure IoT Hub is designed to make it easy to connect IoT devices to the cloud as well as allowing bidirectional communication, with device to cloud telemetry and cloud to device commands.
These bidirectional messages are then secured and authenticated, thereby ensuring privacy and confidentiality. Additionally, Azure IoT Hub provides access to libraries for all the most popular languages and platforms, which provide the tools to reliably and securely make the connection to the solution back-end.
If you are unable to use the libraries then Azure IoT Hub also exposes a range of public protocols and extensibility such as AMQP 1.0 and HTTP 1.1, as well as MQTT via the Azure gateway protocol. Azure IoT Hub can also scale to millions of connected devices and simultaneously millions of events per second making it suitable for even the largest field deployments.
However what differentiates Azure IoT Hub from the many other services and platforms is its processing power, with the ability to process millions of events per second on your hot path by using an event processor engine. It can also store them on your cold path for analysis. IoT Hub retains the event data for up to seven days to guarantee reliable processing and to absorb peaks in the load.
Microsoft’s policy is to charge for Azure IoT hub on a per-message basis, in both directions, for example whether from a device to cloud, or from the cloud to a device. However, Microsoft does offers a free trial that lets users try out the service with up to 500 devices and sending up to 8,000 messages per day.
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