In an effort to simplify the customer journey, address ongoing security challenges and ease the adoption of technology, Microsoft unveiled new capabilities to its burgeoning IoT portfolio. These new capabilities will enable the delivery of highly secure IoT solutions from the cloud to the edge.
Unleashed at IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona, the new features are part of Microsoft’s US$5 billion commitment, which was announced in April 2018, to IoT and edge computing. The new updates revolve around identifying and thwarting equipment failures, optimizing smart buildings for space utilization and energy management, enhancing patient outcomes and worker safety, and tracking assets across a supply chain that is continually being optimized.
In a statement, corporate VP of Azure IoT at Microsoft, Sam George said “At Microsoft, we are committed to building a trusted, easy-to-use platform that allows our customers and partners to build seamless, smart, secure solutions, regardless of where they are in the IoT journey.”
Last year, the company released over 100 new services and features in its IoT platform that makes IoT solutions more secure and scalable, minimize complexity, and make opportunities in new market areas.
Streamlining Azure IoT Central
Furthering the delivery of highly secured IoT solutions, Microsoft’s newly added features to its Azure IoT Central include 11 new industry-focused application templates that promise to simplify IoT deployments across retail, healthcare, government and energy; API support for extending IoT Central with other solutions, including API support for device modelling, provisioning, lifecycle management, operations and data querying.
Other improvements are IoT Edge support, including management for edge devices and IoT Edge module deployments for customers to deploy cloud workloads, along with AI, directly to connected devices; IoT Plug and Play support for rapid device development and connectivity; the ability to save & load applications to enable application reusability; more data export options for continually exporting data to other Azure PaaS services, such as storage for rich analytics.
Also, multitenancy support for building and managing a single application with multiple tenants, each with their own isolated data, devices, users and roles; custom user roles for fine-grained access control to data, actions and configurations in the system, and New pricing model for early 2020, designed to assist customers and partners.
Powering Azure Time Series Insights
The company further announced new capabilities for Azure Time Series Insights, a fully managed analytics, storage, and virtualization service that enables users to explore and assess billions of IoT events at the same time. The new features to the platform include multi-layered storage for fast access to frequently accessed data, cold storage for historical data, and rich analytics.
Additional capabilities are Enterprise-grade scale for scaling and performance improvements at all layers, and Extensibility and integration.
Strengthening IoT Security
Microsoft also introduced its Azure Sphere IoT security platform that will come out in February 2020. Azure Sphere is a Linux-based OS developed for IoT applications that is taking a holistic approach to safeguarding the intelligent edge and IoT from the silicon to the cloud in a way that provides customers flexibility and control.