The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never before seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities, with management consulting firm McKinsey predicting the IoT market reaching up to $581 billion of ICT spend alone in 2020. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that minimize time to market while integrating with other technologies (including artificial intelligence), and that’s where AWS fits in.
AWS re:Invent 2018 painted a clear picture on Tuesday with a flood of IoT announcements: AWS is committed to providing the best environment to support your IoT deployments. The announcements include several new services and important updates to existing services tools in the AWS IoT ecosystem. This blog digests everything and frames it in the context of AWS’ IoT offering.
The AWS IoT Ecosystem
AWS has been competing in the IoT market since 2015 when it announced its IoT core service. Quoting AWS:
“AWS IoT Core is a platform that enables you to connect devices to AWS Services and other devices, secure data and interactions, process and act upon device data, and enable applications to interact with devices even when they are offline”
IoT Core is where it all began and many subsequently released IoT services are integrated with IoT Core. Try out AWS IoT Core for yourself in our Hands-on Lab that teaches you how to use IoT core to manage two virtual smart devices:
The following table describes all of the AWS IoT services along with when they were released, including the recently announced services that will be described in more detail later:
|IoT Core||re:Invent Nov. 2015||Managed platform for connecting IoT devices|
|IoT Greengrass||re:Invent Nov. 2016||Use AWS (e.g. Lambda) on IoT devices without internet connectivity|
|IoT 1-Click||re:Invent Nov. 2017||Use simple devices to trigger Lambda functions|
|IoT Analytics||re:Invent Nov. 2017||Cleanse, process, enrich, store, and analyze IoT data at scale|
|IoT Device Defender||re:Invent Nov. 2017||Helps you secure your fleet of IoT devices|
|IoT Device Management||re:Invent Nov. 2017||Securely onboard, organize, monitor, and remotely manage your IoT devices at scale|
|Amazon FreeRTOS||re:Invent Nov. 2017||Real-time operating system to securely connect IoT devices to AWS cloud services|
|IoT Events||New – re:Invent Nov. 2018||Easily detect and respond to events from IoT sensors and applications|
|IoT SiteWise||New – re:Invent Nov. 2018||Easily collect and organize your data from industrial equipment at scale|
|IoT Things Graph||New – re:Invent Nov. 2018||Visually connect devices and web services to build IoT applications|
re:Invent 2018 New IoT Services
There have been three new IoT services announced at re:Invent so far. Each one promises to simplify the way of doing things to further improve customers’ ability to quickly deploy enterprise-grade IoT solutions.
AWS IoT Events makes it easy to detect and respond to system-wide events without the need to build custom applications. The events are interpreted from patterns in the streams of sensor data coming from your fleet of devices. These events could indicate anything from equipment slowdowns to mechanical failures in an industrial setting. IoT events automatically triggers alerts and actions based on logic you define.
AWS IoT SiteWise removes the challenges associated with gathering and monitoring Industrial IoT (IIoT) data. Conventionally, industrial sensor data is locked into proprietary systems on-premises and requires expert knowledge to retrieve and format in a searchable format. IoT SiteWise is software that runs on a gateway in your facility and automatically collects, organizes, and sends it to the AWS Cloud where it can be stored and analyzed. The gateway interfaces with servers storing IIoT data that could be coming from assembly lines or manufacturing robots, for example. The gateway can be an AWS Snowball Edge gateway or one of several popular third-party industrial gateways that are likely to be found in your facility. IoT SiteWise lets you focus on optimizing your operations rather than worrying about data collection and managing applications.
AWS IoT Things Graph allows you to develop IoT applications using a visual drag-and-drop interface that connects devices and services together. IoT Things Graph uses reusable, pre-built models that expose underlying state of devices and services. This saves you from writing custom glue logic to make devices and services interact with one another given the lack of any widely adopted standards. You connect devices and services together to define multi-step automation applications. IoT Things Graph applications are deployed on IoT Greengrass-compatible devices. The number of pre-built models will grow over time and you are always able to define your own models when you need to.
In addition to the new IoT services, there were several re:Invent announcements improving existing IoT and IoT-related services.
To start, there were a cluster of AWS IoT Greengrass announcements. Greengrass extends AWS cloud services onto devices to run locally on devices that have sufficient compute power. The announcements included:
- Connectors to connect to AWS services, on-prem services, or third-party applications without writing code
- The ability to use hardware root of trust private key security storage as hardware security modules (HSMs) to improve your Greengrass deployment security posturing
- New isolation configurations to run Greengrass in new scenarios, such as on devices without elevated privileges
AWS IoT Device Tester is a cross-platform test automation tool for IoT devices. With AWS IoT Device Tester, you can easily perform testing to determine if your devices will run AWS IoT Greengrass or Amazon FreeRTOS and interoperate with AWS IoT services.
Speaking of Amazon FreeRTOS, there was also some more love for it. You can now connect devices running Amazon FreeRTOS to AWS through local network Android and iOS devices over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
Amazon Timestream is a new service that can be used with IoT data. As the name suggests, Timestream is a managed database service that is purpose-built for time-series data, just like the streams of data that IoT sensors report. By considering how fast time-series data arrives, AWS has created a database that is 1,000X faster than relational databases and is only 1/10th the cost.
re:Invent 2018 has been good to the IoT community. The new services all tend to focus on making it easier to achieve different IoT objectives. You may have struggled with achieving some of the objectives yourself or maybe you are pre-production and not sure what platform is going to be the best for your needs. One thing is for sure, AWS has shown their commitment to supporting IoT workloads for the year ahead and have earned your consideration for deploying your IoT solutions. If you’re interested in getting started, check out our introductory IoT and AWS IoT courses.
Are you at Amazon re:Invent this week? Visit Booth #1809 to chat with our team and see how we can transform your cloud training.
New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More
Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...
Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more
Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you. Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...
Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...
New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level
Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...
New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...
Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration
What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...
6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year
In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...
AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around
The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...
Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer
What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...
Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture
What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...
Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud
Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...
AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know
The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...