Microsoft simplifies IoT further

The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly becoming a critical aspect of doing business. In the same way that web, mobile and cloud technologies have powered digital transformation, IoT is the next big catalyst.

Yet while IoT brings a new set of benefits for companies that want to keep an edge on their competition, it brings challenges too — IoT solutions can still be complex, and a shortage of skills makes it difficult for everyone to take advantage of this new innovation. To help solve those challenges and simplify IoT, Microsoft is announcing some new technologies and solutions this week.

Announcing Microsoft IoT Central, a new SaaS solution to simplify IoT
Today, Microsoft is announcing Microsoft IoT Central, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that reduces the complexity of IoT solutions. Microsoft IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS offering for customers and partners that enables powerful IoT scenarios without requiring cloud solution expertise.

Built on the Azure cloud, Microsoft IoT Central simplifies the development process and makes it easy and fast for customers to get started, making digital transformation more accessible to everyone.

Microsoft IoT Central will be available along with our existing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, Azure IoT Suite, which enables deep customization and full control. This new IoT SaaS offering has the potential to dramatically increase the speed at which manufacturers can innovate and bring new products to market, as well as lower the barriers to creating IoT solutions that generate new revenue opportunities and better experiences for customers.

Microsoft IoT Central will be rolling out more publicly over the coming months. Check out to sign up for essential content and updates.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite Connected Factory
For customers and partners with cloud solution expertise, Microsoft is continuing to invest in our existing PaaS offering, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite. At the Hannover Messe industrial show next week, Microsoft is introducing a new preconfigured solution in the Azure IoT Suite: Connected Factory, which helps accelerate a customer’s journey to Industrie 4.0 and makes it easy to connect on-premises OPC UA and OPC Classic devices to the Microsoft cloud and get insights to help drive operational efficiencies. In addition, it enables customers to securely browse and configure factory devices from the cloud.

We have partnered with several industry leaders in the OPC UA ecosystem that have built turnkey gateway solutions which have the Azure connectivity used by this solution already built in and require close to zero configuration. These partners include Unified Automation, Softing and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Microsoft Azure Time Series Insights
IoT devices and sensors send data in a time-based fashion, and a critical requirement of IoT solutions is to find anomalies and trends in this data. But until now, companies have had to hire partners or staff experts to mine the data for insights.

Today, Microsoft is announcing a new service: Azure Time Series Insights, a fully managed analytics, storage and visualization service that makes it simple to interactively and instantly explore and analyze billions of events from an IoT solution.

Azure Time Series Insights provides a global view of data across various event sources so companies can quickly validate their IoT solutions and avoid costly downtime of mission-critical devices. It helps organizations discover hidden trends, spot anomalies, and conduct root-cause analysis in near real time, all without writing a single line of code through its simple and intuitive user experience. In addition, it provides rich APIs to enable companies to integrate its powerful capabilities into their existing workflows and applications.

Microsoft IoT Central and the Azure IoT Suite connected factory preconfigured solution both leverage the new Azure Time Series Insights service now available in preview.

Companies and partners like thyssenkrupp Elevator and Codit are already leveraging Time Series Insights to drive cost reduction and meet customer needs. To learn more, read our technical blog and sign up for the Azure Time Series Insights preview today.

Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics on edge devices
Although many developers are already benefiting from connecting IoT devices directly to the cloud, some scenarios require edge intelligence to get the most out of the IoT solution. In 2016, Microsoft launched the Azure IoT Gateway SDK, which enables developers and ISVs to easily build and deploy gateway intelligence tailored to their specific scenario.

Today, Microsoft is announcing the preview of Azure Stream Analytics on edge devices, a new feature of Azure Stream Analytics that extends the benefits of this unique streaming technology from the cloud down to the device level.

Azure Stream Analytics on edge devices has the same unified cloud-managed experience for stream analytics running across edge devices and the cloud. This approach enables organizations to use streaming analytics in scenarios where connectivity to the cloud is limited or inconsistent, but the need for quick insight and proactive actions are essential to run the business.

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning service
Microsoft is continuing our commitment to reducing the complexity and time required to get started with IoT. The new Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning service simplifies the enrollment process, enabling organizations to automatically register and provision their devices to IoT Hub in a secure and scalable way while saving time and resources. Device Provisioning will work with any type of IoT device already supported by Azure IoT Hub.

Devices running Windows 10 IoT operating systems will enable an even easier way to connect to Device Provisioning via a client application that OEMs can include in the device unit. With Windows 10 IoT, customers can get a zero-touch provisioning experience, eliminating configuration and provisioning hassles when onboarding new IoT devices that connect to Azure services.

When combined with Windows 10 IoT support for Azure IoT Hub device management, the entire device lifecycle management is simplified through features that enable device reprovisioning, ownership transfer, secure device management, and device end-of-life management.

Security partners bring silicon to the age of IoT
Microsoft’s commitment to leadership in IoT security continues, and today we are announcing Azure IoT support for a wide variety of hardware and standards to strengthen our commitment to IoT security.

Azure IoT now supports the industrywide security standards Device Identity Composition Engine (DICE) and Hardware Security Module (HSM). The DICE standard enables manufacturers to use silicon gates to create device identification based in hardware, making security hardware part of the DNA of new devices from the ground up. HSMs are the core security technology used to secure device identities and provide advanced functionality such as hardware-based device attestation and zero-touch provisioning.

Microsoft is also announcing partnerships with Micron, STMicro to support various types of silicon leveraging HSM and DICE security technologies and Spyrus to support HSM as part of SD and USB storage devices.

Next week at Hannover Messe, Microsoft will showcase how the device identification and attestation model can be used to protect IoT devices large and small by allowing for automatic device registration and assignment to IoT Hub as soon as the device is turned on — automating an authentication and provisioning process to save time for IoT implementations. Hardware from Micron and STMicro will be on display.

Microsoft at Hannover Messe
Next week at Hannover Messe, Microsoft will showcase how we’re helping to advance digital transformation for customers by simplifying IoT, making it more accessible and easier to implement, as well as continuing to offer the most comprehensive portfolio of IoT solutions.

With Microsoft IoT Central, Microsoft is simplifying IoT so every business can digitally transform through IoT solutions that are more accessible and easier to implement. Microsoft has the most comprehensive IoT portfolio with a wide range of IoT offerings to meet organizations where they are on their IoT journey, including everything businesses need to get started — ranging from operating systems for their devices, cloud services to control them, advanced analytics to gain insights, and business applications to enable intelligent action.

If you’re attending Hannover Messe next week, stop by and see these technologies in action in Hall 7 in Booth #C40.

Source: Microsoft blogs

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