Microsoft Ignite 2017: Leading Innovation for IoT

 |   Sam George - Director, Azure IoT

An announcement raising awareness of Microsoft Ignite, taking place in Orlando, FL from 9/25-9/29

Adoption of Internet of Things solutions across industries continues to accelerate, and Microsoft is leading on innovation to power these solutions. This year alone we announced a large set of breakthrough services and capabilities coming to the market:

  • Microsoft IoT Central – A new IoT SaaS offering that dramatically accelerates time to value and requires no cloud solution development expertise.
  • Azure IoT Suite – Azure IoT Suite is a great accelerator for custom IoT solutions that provisions in minutes. Today we’re announcing a new microservices architecture for the Remote Monitoring pre-configured solution, bringing easier customization, a beautiful new user experience, new language support and a dramatically lower price.
  • Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service – An industry first, this new service enables rapid and error free “plug and play” provisioning of IoT devices, dramatically simplifying deployment.
  • Azure IoT Edge – Today we’re also announcing new breakthrough capabilities for our industry first Azure IoT Edge service. These new capabilities enable IoT devices to run cloud intelligence services on them directly, such as Azure Machine Learning, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Functions and even our AI Cognitive Services.
  • Azure Time Series Insights – An industry first cloud-based IoT-scale time-series data store that includes a powerful user experience, enabling any knowledge worker to find insights into IoT data in minutes.
  • New Security Innovations – At Microsoft we take security seriously and we’re committed to raising the bar across the industry. For example, we recently published a paper that identifies what makes a device highly secure and used those insights to set a new security standard, which is supported by Azure IoT as well as TPM2.0.

At Microsoft Ignite in Orlando this week, we’ll be showcasing the amazing work of customers and partners who have built cutting edge solutions on top of this technology, and highlighting the latest innovations from Microsoft for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Azure IoT Suite

Two years ago, we launched the Azure IoT Suite, which dramatically simplified deploying an end to end working IoT solution that can then be customized to meet any need.

At Ignite, I’m excited to showcase our latest update to the Azure IoT Suite’s Remote Monitoring solution. This lower cost solution accelerator, available as open source in .NET and Java, has a brand new user interface and has been built for extensibility and scale.

Built using a microservices architecture, the updated Remote Monitoring pre-configured solution offers development speed without compromising on scale or agility. The new architecture dramatically simplifies the ability to customize the solution to meet your needs.

We will have talks at Ignite that go into depth on the new Remote Monitoring pre-configured solution.

Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning

We recently announced the public preview of the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service. This new industry first service dramatically simplifies the job of provisioning IoT devices to a solution.  It works in harmony with Azure IoT Hub to help solutions enable zero-touch “plug and play” provisioning of IoT devices.

Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service enables customers to pre-register devices and centrally control which IoT Hub each device should be connected to. It even supports re-provisioning so you can move devices between IoT Hubs. Once a device connects to its IoT Hub, it can be provisioned with the correct software, firmware and configuration using IoT Hub’s Device Management capabilities.

Check out our sessions at Ignite for an in-depth look at this new service.

Azure IoT Edge

IoT Gateway devices are a critical part of the IoT puzzle. These devices start smaller and less capable than a Raspberry Pi and come in a range of hardware capabilities even beyond PC class devices. They perform a set of critical functions in an IoT solution, such as connecting to additional IoT devices (in a “gateway” configuration) and providing security isolation for them. They can also perform tasks such as adapting to existing machine protocols, storing device telemetry and more.

Azure IoT Edge is our cross-platform runtime that makes using these devices in your Azure IoT solution easy, and it has been generally available since November 2016.

Earlier this year, we announced set of breakthrough capabilities we’re working on adding to Azure IoT Edge, including the ability for Azure IoT solutions to deploy cloud intelligence directly on IoT devices running Azure IoT Edge. These solutions include Azure Machine Learning, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Functions and Azure Cognitive Services – all on cross-platform devices with as little as 128MB of memory. This enables cloud processing to happen right at the point of collection, reducing the cost of an IoT solution and ensuring that this processing continues to run even if there is a local network interruption.

At Ignite, we’ll showcase the great progress we’re making with these new Azure IoT Edge capabilities and show how customers are adopting them.

Azure Time Series Insights

Most IoT data being sent to the cloud is the result of taking sensor readings at some interval. For example, measuring engine RPM speed every second. This type of data is referred to as ‘time-series’ based data. Up until now storing, indexing, analyzing and visualizing this data was an exercise left to the reader. Worse, finding insights into this common type of IoT data required sophisticated techniques, putting those insights out of the reach of some enterprises.

To simplify this and bring insights into the hands of every day knowledge workers, earlier this year we announced the public preview of Azure Time Series Insights. The response from customers has been phenomenal and at Ignite we’ll be talking about the next set of features for Azure Time Series Insights as well as how customers are already benefitting.

New Security Innovations

Microsoft has a long history of leading in security innovations and IoT is no exception. Recently we published an important paper that describes the 7 properties of a highly secure device. The paper is based on insights we have gained with our own devices, and now we are taking that learning to standards organizations like the Trusted Computing Group, as a new standard named the Device Identifier Composition Engine (DICE).

Azure IoT now supports this standard, as well as TPM2.0, and at Ignite we are announcing support for DICE from Microchip. Our existing partnerships with STMicroelectronics, Micron and Spyrus are also enabling a variety of hardware to be used with Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service.

Microsoft is committed to building end to end secure IoT infrastructure through a host of security features, programs such as Security Program for Azure IoT and variety of hardware partnerships. Join us at Ignite for a dedicated talk on IoT Security that covers all of this in great detail.

Customer Momentum

Throughout the show, we’ll be sharing stories of customers using these new technologies to securely scale and enhance their IoT deployments.

For example, we will show how Grundfos, a global manufacturer of HVAC systems and water pumps, is using Azure IoT Suite to predict the maintenance needs of their smart pumping solutions. These solutions can isolate faulty pipes and reroute water to where it’s supposed to go. With Azure IoT Suite and Microsoft Dynamics 365, Grundfos added remote monitoring and maintenance to these systems, reducing costs and saving time in responding to emergencies.

Their solution uses Azure IoT Hub for a fully-managed service, enabling secure, two-way communication between Grundfos’ pumps and a customer’s monitoring console. With the Azure IoT Device SDK, they can collect pump data in real time and synthesize it with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Come See Us

We’ll keep you updated on everything happening at Ignite this week. If you’re attending Ignite make sure to stop by and see our sessions, say hello and give us your feedback. We love our customers – and innovating to solve their IoT needs is what drives us.

For further reading:

Azure IoT Customers:

Supported HSM manufacturers for Azure IoT:

Ignite sessions to check out:

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