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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Features of IoT Cloud Platform
3.
IoT Cloud and Traditional Cloud
4.
Various Cloud IoT Platforms
4.1.
Thingworx 8 IoT Platform
4.2.
Amazon Web Services IoT Platform
4.3.
Microsoft Azure IoT Suite
4.4.
Google Cloud’s IoT Platform
4.5.
IBM Watson IoT Platform
4.6.
Salesforce IoT Cloud
4.7.
Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
4.8.
Thingspeak IoT Platform
5.
Which Platform to prefer?
6.
FAQs
6.1.
Is it costly to invest in IoT platforms?
6.2.
Enlist and explain some good IoT cloud platforms?
6.3.
What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
6.4.
What were the different types of sensors in IoT?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Cloud Services for IoT

Author Ankit Mishra
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Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

IoT cloud platforms combine the capabilities of IoT devices with cloud computing to provide an end-to-end service. Other names for them are Cloud Service IoT Platform. Nowadays, when billions of devices are connected to the Internet, we see an expanding opportunity to tap massive data generated from these devices and process it efficiently through various apps. IoT devices have several sensors linked to the cloud, often via gateways. Multiple IoT Cloud Platforms are available on the market today, provided by various service providers and hosting a diverse range of applications. These can also be expanded to services that use powerful machine learning algorithms for predictive analysis, such as disaster prevention and recovery planning, which use data from edge devices.

Features of IoT Cloud Platform

An IoT cloud platform can be created on top of generic clouds from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, or IBM. Network operators AT&T, Vodafone, and Verizon, may offer their IoT platforms that emphasize network connectivity. Vertically integrated platforms could be developed for specific industries such as oil and gas, logistics and transportation, etc. Device makers such as Samsung (ARTIK Cloud) have their own IoT cloud platforms.

Connectivity and network administration, device management, data collecting, processing analysis and visualization, application enablement, integration, and storage are all common aspects. The cloud for IoT can be used in three ways: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are all terms for cloud computing (SaaS). PaaS examples include GE Predix, Honeywell Sentience, Siemens MindSphere, Cumulocity, Bosch IoT, and Carriots. PaaS allows developers to deploy, configure, and manage their apps. The prefix is developed on the Microsoft Azure platform (PaaS). Similarly, MindSphere is built on SAP Cloud (PaaS). Siemens' Industrial Machinery Catalyst on the Cloud is an example of SaaS, which is a ready-to-use app that requires very little maintenance.

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IoT Cloud and Traditional Cloud

The traditional cloud infrastructure focuses on a model of cloud computing where a shared pool of hardware and software resources are made available for on-demand access to the cloud so that they can easily and rapidly be provisioned and released with minimal effort. IoT Cloud Platform extends this capability to more user-centric resources, which increases the count and scale of data and devices. The cloud platform services can process big data from a more comprehensive set of IoT devices and provide a smart way to provision and efficiently manage each of them. This also includes fine-grained control, configuration, and management of IoT devices.

Let's discuss various platforms used as Cloud in IoT.

Various Cloud IoT Platforms

Thingworx 8 IoT Platform

Thingworx is a major IoT platform for industrial organizations that enables device connectivity. It allows for the experience of today's connected world. Thingworx 8 is a smarter, quicker, and easier platform that allows you to design, distribute, and enhance industrial projects and apps.

PTC Thingworx is an IoT platform designed for enterprise app development. It includes fundamental features such as:

  1. Simple interconnection with electronic equipment such as sensors and RFIDs
  2. Once you've completed the setup, you'll be able to work remotely.
  3. Pre-built widgets for the dashboard
  4. Remove the project's complexity.
  5. Machine learning that is integrated


Advantages:

  • Customers might benefit from simple web page designs.
  • Devices that are simple to manage
  • Solutions for simple connectivity


Disadvantages:

  • Difficult to utilize with C# custom programs.
  • Complex systems are difficult to handle.
  • The inability to deploy the edge application on a customized platform.

Amazon Web Services IoT Platform

Amazon has a monopoly on the consumer cloud market. Back in 2004, they were the first to commercialize cloud computing truly.

Since then, they've made significant investments in innovation and feature development, and they now have the most comprehensive set of tools that are accessible.

It's a massively scalable platform that claims to be capable of supporting billions of devices and trillions of interactions between them.

AWS IoT charges are dependent on the basis of the number of messages delivered and received. Each IoT transaction can be viewed as a message exchanged between a device and a server.

Amazon charges a fee based on the number of messages transmitted or received between the endpoints.

Amazon has made it easier for developers to acquire data from sensors and Internet-connected devices. They assist you in collecting and sending data to the cloud and analyzing that data to provide the capacity to manage devices.

Even if the gadgets are not connected to the Internet, you can easily communicate with them.

The following are the primary characteristics of the AWS IoT platform:

  1. Device administration
  2. Device security gateway
  3. Encryption and authentication
  4. Shadow of a device


Advantages:

  • Excellent integration with the Laas product.
  • Over the period of the last six years, the price has decreased.
  • Open and adaptable


Disadvantages:

  • AWS has a steep learning curve.
  • Three outages have occurred in the last two years.
  • It is not safe to host important enterprise applications on this server.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite

Microsoft Azure offers a variety of services for developing IoT solutions. It boosts your profitability and productivity by utilizing pre-built connected solutions. It examines untapped data to help businesses transform. This provides answers for a tiny Proof of Concept (PoC) for rolling out your ideas. Azure Suite can easily analyze and act on new data. It takes its cloud services for the Internet of Things very seriously. They offer services such as cloud storage, machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) services and have even created their operating system for IoT devices. This implies that they aspire to become a full-service provider of IoT solutions. Pricing is divided into four tiers based on the amount of IoT data generated by your devices. Less than 8,000 SMS per unit per day are free. Things start getting a little more complicated when you start integrating with other Microsoft services, but they have a great cost calculator to help you out. Like Amazon, Google, Oracle, and IBM, Microsoft has several more fascinating services that you can use on their cloud platforms. These include machine learning data analytics, allowing you to create some genuinely cutting-edge apps.

Azure IoT Suite includes capabilities such as:

  1. Simple Device Registration.
  2. Integration with SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, WebSphere, and other systems is extensive.
  3. Visualization and dashboards
  4. Streaming in real-time


Advantages:

  • Provides third-party services
  • Scalable and secure
  • High level of availability


Disadvantages:

  • Management is required.
  • Expensive
  • There is no bug support.

Google Cloud’s IoT Platform

Google, the search engine titan, also takes the Internet of Things very seriously. They claim that the "Google Cloud IoT Platform is the perfect place to launch IoT initiatives, using Google's heritage of web-scale computing, analytics, and machine intelligence."

Google's platform is one of the greatest we have right now. Google offers a complete platform for Internet-of-Things solutions. It makes it simple to connect, store, and manage IoT data. This platform assists us in growing our business.

Their primary goal is to make things quick and straightforward. Google Cloud pricing is done per minute, which is less expensive than competing platforms.

Google Cloud's IoT platform includes the following features:

  1. It offers a lot of storage
  2. Reduces server maintenance costs by utilizing a completely secure, intelligent, and responsive IoT data platform.
  3. Scalable and efficient
  4. Examine large amounts of data


Advantages:

  • The most rapid input/output
  • Access time is reduced.
  • Integrates with other Google services.


Disadvantage:

  • Most of the components are Google technologies, with only a few programming languages available.

IBM Watson IoT Platform

IBM is yet another IT giant attempting to establish itself as an IoT platform authority. They are trying to make their cloud services as user-friendly as possible by using simple apps and interfaces.

IBM Watson is a sophisticated platform supported by IBM's Bluemix and hybrid cloud PaaS (platform as a service) development platforms. They make IoT services more accessible to beginners by providing simple sample apps and interfaces. Because you can quickly try out their sample to see how it works, it distinguishes itself from other platforms.

The following functionalities are available to users:

  1. Data exchange in real-time
  2. Secure communication
  3. Cognitive systems
  4. Data sensor and weather data service was recently added.


Advantages:

  • Utilize untapped data
  • Handle massive amounts of data and
  • Improve customer service


Disadvantages:

  • A lot of upkeep is required.
  • Allow enough time for Watson integration.
  • Switching costs are high.

Salesforce IoT Cloud

Salesforce is a company that is specialized in customer relationship management. Thunder is focused on high-speed, real-time decision-making in the cloud, which powers the Salesforce IoT cloud platform. The goal is to develop more meaningful encounters with customers. Their simple point-and-click interface is intended to link you with your clients successfully.

Salesforce IoT Cloud's key features include:

  1. Improved data collecting
  2. Enhanced customer involvement
  3. Event processing in real-time
  4. Improvements in technology


Advantages:

  • Increase the number of connecting devices and messages to billions.
  • Simple user interface designs for connecting with customers.


Disadvantages:

  • Liability for security
  • Flexibility constraints

Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

Cisco Internet of Things accelerates digital transformation and data-driven actions. Cisco IoT Cloud Connect is a cloud-based mobile suite. It provides solutions for mobile operators to create an outstanding IoT experience. It allows you to deploy your devices in a variety of ways. Popular Cisco IoT Cloud Connect use cases include home security, healthcare, predictive maintenance, payment solutions, etc.

The Cisco Cloud Connect's key feature is:

  1. Connectivity for data and voice
  2. Report on device and IP session
  3. The billing system is adaptable.
  4. Options for flexible deployment


Advantages:

  • Operational savings are driven by data that reduce inventory, downtime, and time to market.
  • It has increased the ability to support company evolution based on a dependable, transparent technology foundation compatible with future technology releases.
  • New revenue streams and business opportunities
  • Risk is reduced due to a more holistic, easily managed security approach to both physical and cyber risks.
  • Through informed prioritization, you can make faster and better decisions.


Disadvantages:

  • Complex systems are difficult to handle.
  • The inability to deploy the edge application on a customized platform.

Thingspeak IoT Platform

Thingspeak is an open-source platform for collecting and storing sensor data in the cloud. It includes an app for analyzing and visualizing data in Matlab. Sensor data can be sent via Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Beaglebone. You can save data in a different channel.

Thingspeak has the following characteristics:

  1. Data should be collected using private means.
  2. App integration Event planning
  3. Analytics and visualization in MATLAB


Advantages:

  • Channel hosting is provided for free.
  • Simple visualization
  • Added new functionality to Ruby, Node.js, and Python.


Disadvantages:

  • API data posting is restricted.
  • ThingSpeak API can be complex for newcomers.

Which Platform to prefer?

There is no optimum IoT cloud platform; eventually, it will be determined by your company's individual needs.

Amazon is currently the most established in this industry, with over 200 fully-featured cloud services APIs available through data centres located across the world. It may, however, be a pricey alternative for small to medium-sized organizations.

Moving to the FAQs Section now,

FAQs

Is it costly to invest in IoT platforms?

Because cloud IoT platforms are becoming increasingly popular among organizations, there are a plethora of them accessible today. Cloud infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular due to large amounts of data and the need for a high processing capacity to analyze it efficiently. Most cloud service providers provide a variety of plans. You can begin with small packages and progressively expand your cloud resources.

Enlist and explain some good IoT cloud platforms?

A strong IoT cloud platform aids in the optimization of corporate operations, the reduction of unexpected downtime, the collection of performance data, the provision of on-demand scalability, and so on. Amazon's AWS(Amazon Web Services) and Microsoft's Azure IoT Hub are two examples of available services, tools, and templates.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Internet of Things means taking all the machines in the world, previously dumb objects, and connecting them to the Internet to transmit data, monitor the data, and perform tasks based on the data. 

What were the different types of sensors in IoT?

Sensors for measuring temperature, Sensors of pressure, Sensors for motion detection, Sensor for gas, Sensor of proximity, Infrared sensors, and Smoke detectors.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed various IoT Cloud platforms that are majorly used and their advantages and disadvantages. Later, we concluded with what platform we should prefer over all these available platforms.

To read more about the Internet of things, you can read hereProject in IoTBosch IoT innovation Challenge. What is arduino uno

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