Device communication using Azure IoT Hub

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INTRODUCTION

Azure IoT Hub endorses monitoring and it also helps you to track your device connections, creations, and failures. It enables organizations across various industries to enhance their business to accomplish their IoT goals. It provides us with a cloud-hosted solution back-end to connect to any possible device virtually.

Azure IoT Hub is a coagulated form of cloud services that are further managed by Microsoft for monitoring, pertaining and regulating the assets of the Internet of Things.

DEVICE COMMUNICATION: Azure IoT Hub

Communication in IoT devices acts as a connection between devices and back-end services. Azure IoT hub helps us to connect, manage as well as scale your IoT device for safe communication along with back-end services in both directions.

Some examples are –

Sending temperature from a mobile refrigeration truck in regular intervals of 5 minutes to an IoT hub.

It is on the back-end service to ask the device to send telemetry more frequently to help identify an issue.

The device can also send alerts based on the values read from the sensors. For instance, while monitoring a batch reactor in a chemical plant, you might want to send an alert when the temperature exceeds a particular value.

What role do these devices play?

IoT devices have a sensor attached to them and it transmits data from one object to another with the internet’s help, just like pressure sensors on a remote oil pump, temperature and humidity sensors in an air-conditioning unit or accelerometers in an elevator. They are attached to an object which further operates through the internet and enables the transfer of data among objects and people conveniently without any sort of human intervention.

Needless to say, these devices can even communicate through a Wi-Fi chip.

What are Back-end Services?

Functions like analyzing the telemetry to provide insights, either in real-time or after the fact, controlling which devices can connect to your infrastructure, or sending commands from the cloud to a specific device are usually performed by back-end services. It also controls the state of your devices and monitors their activities.

Back-end services also perform the function of provisioning devices and controlling the devices that connect to your infrastructure.

BASIC OF MQTT

MQTT is short for – “Message Queuing Telemetry Transport”, which is the fundamental thing that one needs to be aware of about MQTT. It’s a communications standard created exclusively for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Andy Stanford-Clark and Arlen Nipper worked at IBM’s Cambridge software lab. They were the hands behind the creation of MQTT.

It uses a publish-and-subscribe architecture; The protocol has become particularly popular with the Internet of Things as it makes it simple and convenient to link or connect several devices or sensors. Under the OASIS standard, the MQTT protocol is based on TCP/IP.

HOW ARE MQTT AND AZURE IoT HUB MUTUALLY RELATED?

One of the best advances in Internet of Things applications is MQTT. It is one of the simplest protocols and has been extensively used in recent years in IoT. It’s a free and open standard that may be used on any type of hardware or software. Client libraries for all major programming languages are available, making it simple to create IoT applications utilizing MQTT.

This protocol allows the implementation of very scalable projects. It links many IoT devices in one system. With the help of the bidirectional connectivity offered by MQTT, you can send messages to an endless number of devices at a time. It has many authentication and data security features. One of the most popular cloud environments today is Microsoft Azure Cloud. It offers many ready-to-use services via the Azure Portal. It can be instantly integrated. The final components are connected to construct cloud apps. The IoT Hub is one of these components, and it acts as the primary bidirectional connectivity for external data sources and IoT devices.

The OPC Router connects the IoT Hub. As a result of this, the Azure Cloud allows data to be written to the Cloud as well as it assists data to be obtained from the Cloud at the field level. With the OPC Router MQTT Client Plug-in, the IoT Hub can also be connected. The OPC Router’s different plug-ins are put in use to implement data transmission at the field level, as mentioned earlier.

CONCLUSION

Azure IoT Hub allows safe and secure communications. It also gives the access to control the use of per-device security keys. It gives us heavy monitoring for connectivity of devices and device identity management as well. It is inclusive of device libraries. This is for popular platforms as well as languages. It assists communication among devices in a virtual fashion.