Best IoT Platforms for Device Management

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IoT device management refers to managing every process, capability, and tool necessary to effectively support IoT solutions at scale. It includes rapidly and safely onboarding new devices, automatically identifying device problems, automatically classifying devices into contextual states, and decommissioning old devices.

IoT device management is a foundational offering of any successful IoT platform. It enables IoT platforms to speedily and securely maintain, monitor, control, configure, authenticate, and provision IoT devices effectively at scale.

Top IoT Device Management Platforms

AWS IoT Core

AWS IoT Core by Amazon is an IoT management platform that allows you to simply and safely connect billions of IoT devices and route trillions of messages to the AWS Cloud without having to manage infrastructure.

Key Differentiators

  • Connect, monitor, manage, and scale devices simply and dependably without managing or provisioning servers.
  • Select your preferred communication protocol, including LoRaWAN, MQTT over WSS, HTTPS, and MQTT.
  • Safeguard data and device connections with end-to-end encryption and mutual authentication.
  • Safely transmit messages to and from your IoT application and devices with high throughput and low latency.
  • Act upon, filter, and transform device data while in motion, on the basis of defined business rules.
  • Store the most recent state of a connected device with Device Shadow, so it can be set or read at any time.
  • Convey audio messages between devices by using secure AWS IoT-reserved MQTT topics.

Pricing: The one-year AWS Free Tier allows users to enjoy 500,000 messages and 2.25 million connection minutes per month. Contact the AWS sales team for AWS IoT Core pricing details.

Also read: Best Cloud Service Providers

Azure IoT Hub

Azure IoT Hub by Microsoft is an IoT device management tool that enables you to connect, monitor, manage, and scale billions of IoT devices from the cloud to the edge.

Key Differentiators

  • Azure IoT Hub provides a secure and reliable communication channel for sending and receiving data from connected IoT devices.
  • Device Update for IoT Hub permits over-the-air deployment of updates to quickly deploy features to meet business goals and respond to security threats cost-effectively.
  • Integration can be completed with Serverless Compute, and Azure Event Grid simplifies IoT application development.
  • Compatibility with Azure IoT Edge aids in hybrid IoT application development.
  • Individual credentials and identities can be set up to authenticate every connected device for enhanced security.
  • Device registration and provisioning can be automated to accelerate IoT deployment.
  • IoT Edge modules can be easily created and deployed to extend the capabilities of the cloud to edge devices.
  • Azure Defender for IoT offers threat monitoring as well as remediation and security posture management.

Pricing: The free tier of Azure IoT Hub is available for one year and comes with a $200 Azure credit that is available for one month. Contact the Azure sales team through live chat or call to request a pricing quote.

Google Cloud IoT Core

Cloud IoT Core by Google is an IoT monitoring platform that permits you to simply and safely connect, manage, and absorb data from globally distributed devices.

Key Differentiators

  • Device Manager enables individual devices to be managed and configured safely in a coarse-grained manner.
  • Cloud IoT Core enables end-to-end security.
  • All gateways and devices can be connected to Google Cloud over industry-standard protocols like HTTP and MQTT.
  • Users can integrate with Google Big Data Analytics and ML services like Google Data Studio, BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow, and Cloud Bigtable to obtain out-of-box data insights.
  • The IoT platform is fully managed and scalable, and it does not demand up-front software installation.
  • User access to data and devices can be controlled by applying identity and access management (IAM) roles to device registries.
  • REST APIs can be used to automatically manage the operation, deployment, and registration of devices at scale.
  • Users can send configuration or command directives to all connected devices.

Pricing: You can try Google Cloud IoT Core for one year, free of cost. The free trial includes a $300 credit, which can be used during the first three months of the trial. Use the Google Cloud Pricing Calculator to determine the cost of using Cloud IoT Core. You can also reach out to a Google Cloud sales specialist to determine product pricing information.

Also read: Edge AI vs. Cloud AI 

IBM Watson IoT Platform

IBM Watson IoT Platform is an IoT device management platform that allows you to set up, monitor, and manage connected devices.

Key Differentiators

  • A powerful web dashboard enables you to simply add and manage devices, monitor usage, and control access to your IoT application.
  • Using the device management service, you can perform bulk device addition or removal, receive device metadata and diagnostics, and update or reboot firmware.
  • The IoT platform uses the MQTT protocol to connect your IoT application and devices.
  • Data can be safely received from devices and commands can be sent to devices by using MQTT with TLS.
  • Secure REST and real-time APIs can be used to connect your IoT application with the data coming from devices.
  • Data lifecycle management permits access to real-time and historical data for devices.
  • IBM Watson IoT Platform offers useful review documentation, such as Watson IoT Recipes, Watson IoT Docs, and Watson IoT Answers.

Pricing: Reach out to the IBM team for Watson IoT Platform pricing details.

Oracle IoT Service Monitoring for Connected Assets

 With this Oracle-powered IoT platform, you can monitor IoT devices and subcomponents (assets) through your customer service center. You can also track the utilization, health, and real-time location of assets, reducing overall maintenance expenditure.

Key Differentiators

  • Any asset can be connected over any network, allowing you to deliver insights to your customer service center.
  • The IoT platform automatically detects abnormalities and faults, so you can arrange necessary service resources and keep the asset functioning.
  • The business value of your customer service center can be enhanced by leveraging built-in key performance indicators (KPIs) for workers, incidents, and projects.
  • Incidents are automatically created from connected asset data using Oracle Service, based on your predefined conditions and thresholds.
  • Oracle Service automatically resolves high-risk and known issues by directly sending commands to assets.
  • Users can monitor assets and push events remotely from the customer service center.
  • Advanced machine learning-enhanced analytics allows users to predict asset behavior and detect complex patterns in incident data.

Pricing: Contact an Oracle sales specialist for product pricing information.

How to Choose an IoT Platform

The IoT platform market is still growing – rapidly – with dominant players yet to take over. Given the numerous IoT applications across industries, there are a variety of IoT platforms on the market that address different needs.

Therefore, when choosing an IoT device management platform, it is important to consider your business use case. Compare features, flexibility, scalability, and pricing models to narrow down your choices, and choose a solution that best meets your business requirements. In particular: 

  • To what extent does the IoT platform integrate with your cloud deployment?
  • What is the security focus? Clearly, IoT is full of security challenges. How does the vendor address this?
  • Is the platform scalable? By its very nature, an IoT platform should scale to a highly advanced form factor.
  • Realize that the IoT market is still very nascent. Will the vendor work with your company as you grow?

What is an IoT Platform?

IoT platforms are a crucial component of the IoT sphere and a rapidly-growing market. According to research, the global IoT platform market will be worth over $21 billion in 2030.

When it comes to building IoT systems, IoT platforms provide built-in tools and capabilities to make IoT simpler and more cost-effective for organizations, developers, and users. IoT platforms provide immense value to organizations, enabling them to streamline processes, accelerate launch, and lower development costs.

How Do IoT Platforms Work?

IoT platforms help facilitate the functionality, device management, data flow, and communication of applications. Essentially, IoT platforms help:

  • Connect hardware, such as devices and sensors.
  • Handle varying software and hardware communication protocols.
  • Provide authentication and security for users and devices.
  • Gather, visualize, and analyze data the devices and sensors collect.
  • Integrate each of the above with current business processes and other web services.
Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh
Surajdeep Singh has been working as an IT and blockchain journalist since 2018. He is a contributor to publications including IT Business Edge, Enterprise Networking Planet & Smart Billions and works as a consultant at Drofa Communications Agency.

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