Security and reliability are 2 huge problem areas to overcome with the Internet of Things (IoT). The Microsoft Azure IoT Hub is the cloud solution Microsoft has created to grant developers a solution to both the reliability and security problems. Azure IoT Hub provides a fully managed IaaS solution for enabling bidirectional communications between IoT devices and the Azure Cloud.

Primary Benefits of Azure IoT Hub

Security is the biggest problem to solve with IoT devices. It’s never a good idea to have your developers roll their own security and encryption schemes; as they are bound to make a mistake. Microsoft is investing huge amounts of money to ensure that Security is implemented correctly; not just within Azure IoT Hub, but within the entire Microsoft Azure platform as a whole. With Azure IoT Hub, each device connects to the Cloud with its own security key that is stored within the IoT Hub Identity Registry. This allows for the access of each device to be controlled individually providing security on a per-device basis.

High Scalability is among one of the huge benefits that are much more easily obtainable with cloud services like Microsoft Azure. Just as with the rest of Azure, the Azure IoT Hub offers the ability to scale to facilitating communications with millions of simultaneously connected devices logging millions of events per second. No matter the scale of you system, Azure IoT Hub can definitely handle it.

Standard Protocols for internet communications and messaging are used within Azure IoT Hub. Even with Azure IoT Hub SDKs available on many platforms (C, C#, Java, JavaScript) the implementations of HTTP and AMQP 1.0 protocols ensure that any programming language and platform can be implemented to communicate effectively with Azure IoT Hub.

Reliability can be a tricky problem to solve depending on the budget of the solution being built. Just as with all Microsoft Azure features, there is a guaranteed SLA that is automatically included with the usage of the Azure IoT Hub services. Having reliability be a feature built into the platform can really ease the pain and speed up the time it takes from the start of implementation to release. Yet another “automatic” feature you just get when building solutions on the Microsoft Azure platform.

Aure IoT Hub Pricing

Currently, Azure IoT Hub is in preview, but full pricing information is available on the official Azure IoT Hub pricing page. As with all Azure Services, you can pay for the resources you use “as you go”, as well as pay for different service tiers offering different levels of service.

One thing to note is that during the Preview Period, Azure IoT Hub currently doesn’t come with an SLA guarantee. However, once Azure IoT Hub reaches GA (General Availability) it should have the same 99.95% SLA as other Microsoft Azure services.

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect