Discussing a Variety of Internet of Things Platform

internet of things platform

Discussing a Variety of Internet of Things Platform

What is an IoT platform?

From a technical standpoint, the task of any IoT device is to connect with other IoT devices and cloud based applications to communicate information through the Internet.

The gap between the physical object’s device sensors and data network is bridged by an Internet of Things Platform. The platform connects the sensor’s data to the IoT network and uses back end applications to translate the data into insights so we humans can make sense of the data generated by a plethora of sensors.

In light of the possibilities, developers have started capitalizing on the Internet of Things. There are many IoT platforms accessible now that enable users to create internet of things applications on the go.

While there are lots of companies and startups entering IoT platform development, players like Amazon, Google and Microsoft dominate the competition.

IoT Cloud Platforms/ Internet of Things Platform

The Internet of Things is defined as a web of interconnected physical objects that are provided with sensors to read data and have the ability to transfer that data over a network without requiring human interaction. These physical objects can range from computing devices, digital machines, and home appliances to even organic things like plants, animals and people.

Unlike the traditional Internet that we know of, the input of data in the IoT is not by people but rather by these physical objects. The “thing”, in the Internet of Things, can be a car that has built-in sensors to alert the owner of a theft, a thermostat that lets you control temperatures from your phone, a person with a heart monitor implant, a cow with an ID chip implant,  or any other natural or man-made object that can be assigned an IP address and provided with the capability to transfer data over the Internet.  For more on the Internet, visit www.xyzies.com.

As these devices start to become connected online, we need virtual storage space and memory to store, send, and compute all of the information gathered. Setting up your own in-house system isn’t practical as well as the cost of maintaining, upgrading and securing a system is just too high.

In comes the cloud platform which allows you to store send and compute all the information on a remote server via Internet. There are already plenty of cloud services available for your personal information, like Google Drive or Dropbox.

These companies are trying to position themselves as front runners in the Internet of Things revolution. Over the next decade, we will witness a fierce fight for market share.

So which is the best Internet of things platform? As with every tech service, each provider has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a comparison of the 10 major players, to get an idea of the variety of IoT platforms out there.

  1. AMAZON WEB SERVICES IOT PLATFORM

Amazon leads the consumer cloud market. Way back 2004, they were the first to really invest in cloud computing and turn it into a commodity. Since then they’ve been focusing on building new features, innovations and probably have the most inclusive set of tools available for cloud computing and hosting.

 It’s a very expandable platform, claiming to be capable to support billions of IoT devices, and the trillions of interactions between the devices. Every IoT interaction can act as a message between the device and the Amazon server.

Amazon charges per million messages sent or received by Amazon Web Services IoT. There are no minimum fees, and you need not pay for messages to the following AWS services: Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon SNS, and Amazon SQS.

They also provide a software development kit (SDK) to guide developers in building applications compatible to run on Amazon Web Services. While Amazon probably has the most comprehensive facilities of all the Internet of Things platforms, it can also be quite expensive.

  1. MICROSOFT AZURE IOT HUB

Microsoft sure is taking their Internet of Things cloud services very seriously. They have cloud storage, IoT services, machine learning and even their own operating system for IoT devices. This means they intend to be a complete IoT solution provider.

The cost of hosting is done in 4 tiers base on how much data your devices will generate. 8,000 messages per unit and less, per day is free of charge. It does get complex when you start integrating the other Microsoft Azure services, but they have a great pricing calculator online to calculate for you.

Like Google, Amazon, IBM and Oracle, Microsoft also has other facilities you can use on their cloud platform. These machine learning, a data analytics algorithm which you can use to build your own applications.

  1. IBM WATSON IOT PLATFORM

IBM is another IT conglomerate aiming to set itself up as an Internet of Things platform expert. With easy apps and interfaces, IBM tries to make their cloud platform as manageable as possible to beginners. You can test out their sample apps to familiarize with how it works. You can also store your information for a specific period of time. This is to get historical data from your devices.

Pricing works on three key metrics: Data Exchanged, Data Analyzed and Edge Data Analyzed. You’ll also get 100 MB of each for free every month as a basic service.

IBM Watson also offers some new IoT security prospects based on machine learning algorithms and data science. Such is significant in cyber security for the IoT.

  1. GOOGLE CLOUD PLATFORM

Search giant Google is also a fierce contender in the Internet of Things platform market. They assert that “Google’s legacy of machine intelligence, web scale processing and analytics makes Cloud Platform the best place to build IoT initiatives”.

Their concentration is on making delivery easy and fast for your business, where instant information is expected. They also offer Google Grade security using their private global fiber network.

Fees on Google Cloud are charged on a per-minute basis. It is usually cheaper than Amazon Web Services but doesn’t have the same comprehensive tools and documentation. Like Microsoft, Google also has its own Internet of Things operating system based on Android.

  1. HP’s UNIVERSAL OF THINGS PLATFORM

HPE Universal of Things Platform has been successfully used in the automobile industry and in the creation of smart cities. Hewlett Packard’s Universal of Things platform offers its customers scalability by offering IoT solutions to their major problems. The platform provides support that can be arranged locally or over the cloud.

Some of the services the platform offers are: Data Analytics: Analyses the data collection from devices for business expansion. Secure Monetization: HPE is accountable for the data monetization of several enterprises. Application Designer: Built in application designer enables users to create new applications and IoT facilities on the go.

  1. SALESFORCE

The target customer for Salesforce is customer service and relations management. Their service is designed to create more meaningful customer interactions. Also they have an easy point-and-click interface which  intends to connect you with your customers. And their cloud platform’s power comes from Thunder. Which focuses on real-time, high-speed decision making in the cloud.

Pricing is at a quote basis or a fixed price of $4000 per month.

  1. BOSCH

German based IT Company Bosch has recently launched their own cloud Internet of Things platform to compete with the likes of Google and Amazon. Their platform is open source and flexible. They center on efficiency and security.

Bosch’s slogan boasts to offer all the tools for the online world from one single source. Their Bosch IoT Cloud is the final dressing that completes their software service. They are now an all-around provider for the Internet of Things and device connectivity.

To compute the increasingly prices is will be base on usage. Which means the more you utilize, the higher the charge.

  1. CISCO IOT CLOUD CONNECT

Cisco is a worldwide leader in information technology services, helping businesses “seize the opportunities of tomorrow”. They strongly believe that the cloud holds the opportunities of tomorrow and so have established their new Mobile Cloud Software Suite.

Cisco’s IoT platform is for mobile operators. They offer Voice and data connectivity, SIM lifecycle management, IP session control and Customizable billing and reporting.

  1. GENERAL ELECTRICS PREDIX

Manufacturing GE’s Predix is for mainstream sectors like transportation, healthcare, energy and aviation. Their design aids in development for IoT applications that can process real-time operational data aiding better decision making insights real time.

Working on a two-tier system, Predix has Digital Twins for introducing small patches on the network and a Predix Machine that offers a communications layer for IoT; conveying together analytics, controllers, sensors, and cloud.

GE also partnered with Verizon, Cisco and Intel to introduce Predix compatible devices for organizations.

  1. ORACLE

Oracle is an IoT platform provider that specializes on logistics and manufacturing operations in industries. They aim to help enterprises get their products to the market faster.

They calculate the fees for Oracle per device. There is a specific number of messages per device per month, with an additional charge if you go over this set number.

WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

There is no supreme IoT cloud platform, and the bottom line is your choice will rely on the specific needs of your business. Right now Amazon is the most reputable in this field if you’re willing to pay for their rates.

If you just want to test out your ideas first, choose a provider that offers a free tier. You’ll be able to experience how it works, the ins-and-outs, the pros and cons, and what features you might need in the future to upgrade your business.

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