Inimco @ Microsoft Ignite 2019 – What’s new in IOT ?

Microsoft Ignite is an annual conference for developers and IT professionals hosted by Microsoft; the latest edition of Microsoft Ignite was organized in the week of September 24th, in Orlando.  Inimco was present during this event to talk to product managers, technical specialists and community members.  The number of technical sessions is daunting, so we summarized the most relevant announcements and product releases in this blog article.

Apart from Security,  Artificial Intelligence and more generic Azure updates, Internet of Things and Edge Computing took an important place in this year’s Microsoft Ignite.  The following updates could be interesting for you :

Azure Digital Twins

The concept of Digital Twins has been part of many of our customer implementations; it is a virtual representation of a physical device that brings in data from a variety of sources.  Within our customer base, we often use the dynamic and real-time data from the actual physical device, enriched with static data coming from an ERP system (such as support or warranty information).

Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Digital Twins. Azure Digital Twins is a new platform for digital models and spatially aware solutions that can be applied to any physical environment. Customers can now query data in the context of a space—rather than from disparate sensors—empowering them to build repeatable, scalable experiences that correlate data from digital sources and the physical world.

Azure IoT Central general availability

Azure IoT Central is a fully managed software-as-a-service (SaaS), which provides the necessary building blocks to deploy central components for an IoT solution: customers can run production workloads of all sizes with IoT Central using a host of new capabilities backed with high availability SLAs and built on Azure.  Microsoft launched the public preview in December 2017, and now it is generally available to partners and customers.

New Azure IoT Edge features and capabilities

Azure IOT Edge is an important component in many of our solutions.  As we have blogged before, edge components can help to aggregate data, to provide real-time communication to the physical devices and can even process the collected data locally.

The existing capabilities of Azure IOT Edge, have been enhanced with device restart and device-to-device communication even when disconnected from the cloud. After a one-time sync between the edge device and Azure IoT Hub, the edge device can function in offline mode indefinitely.  This is especially interesting when the devices are running in remote locations with unreliable network connectivity (which is not uncommon for many production plants).

Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service updates

The IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service is a helper service for IoT Hub that enables zero-touch, just-in-time provisioning to the right IoT hub without requiring human intervention, allowing customers to provision millions of devices in a secure and scalable manner.

Microsoft announced some important updates on this popular service:

  • Increased limits (up to 500.000 enrollments)
  • Automated re-provisioning support (if you need to re-assign your devices to a new IoT solution)
  • Enrollment-level allocation rules (more control over how devices are assigned to the proper IoT hub)

Azure IoT Hub message routing update

The Azure IoT Hub Message Routing simplifies the deployment of IOT solutions, as it enables to send messages from your devices to cloud services in an automated, scalable and reliable way.  The service now has a new capability that allows customers to query on device twin tags and properties, in addition to the existing capabilities to query on message properties and message body.

Azure Sphere public preview

Inimco already blogged  about Azure Sphere at its initial launch, but now it is available for public review: it is a security initiative started by Microsoft, which starts with secured microcontrollers and extends to a cloud service that will protect every Azure Sphere device.

 

Microsoft Ignite 2018 brought some important product releases with respect to Internet of Things.  If you want to learn more on any of these announcements, do not hesitate to get in touch with us !