The IoT market is growing rapidly despite having security risks and implementation issues. Gartner predicts that by 2019, the number of Internet Connected Devices will reach 14.2 billion and the highest will reach 25 billion.
The IoT cloud is a platform for storing and processing data from the “Things” on the internet. The platform is designed to capture and process the massive amounts of data generated by internet-connected devices, sensors, web sites, customers and other connected applications.
An IoT cloud platform mainly includes features like connectivity, network management, device management, data acquisition, processing analysis and visualization, application enablement, integration, and storage. The cloud for IoT can be used in three ways that are infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS).
It can be difficult to figure out which IoT platform would be suitable for your application. There are many different IoT cloud platform is available in the market, making the choice for customers even more confusing. Choosing the best Internet of Things platform mainly depends on hardware, budget, development capabilities, business model requirements, and other various parameters.
Let’s have a look at few Top IoT cloud Platforms mainly used in IoT based applications.
1. Amazon Web Services IoT Platform
AWS IoT Core is the IoT product suite from Amazon. With AWS IoT Device Management and AWS IoT Defender, you can safely manage and monitor your devices online. AWS shines with its Edge software that is AWS FreeRTOS and AWS Greengrass. FreeRTOS is an open-source microcontroller operating system that makes it easy to program, deploy, back up, connect, and manage small, low power edge devices. With AWS IoT Greengrass, connected devices can perform AWS lambda functions, make predictions based on machine learning models, keep device data in sync, and communicate securely with other devices even when disconnected from the Internet.
- AWS IoT Device SDK lets you quickly and easily connect your hardware device or mobile application to the AWS IoT Core.
- Device Gateway manages all active device connections and applies semantics to multiple protocols to ensure devices can communicate securely and efficiently with the AWS IoT core.
- Message Broker is a high-throughput pub/sub message broker that securely transmits low-latency messages from all your IoT devices and applications.
- Authentication and Authorization so there will be no exchange of data between the data and AWS IoT Core without a proven identity.
- Rule Engine can be used to create IoT applications that can collect, process, analyze, and process data from globally connected devices without having to manage infrastructure.
2. Google Cloud IoT Platform
The Google Cloud IoT platform is a complete set of tools for connecting, processing, storing and analyzing data on the cloud. The platform includes scalability and fully managed cloud services.
The platform supports a variety of embedded operating systems that work with Debian Linux OS, providing immediate turnkey support for leading device manufacturers such as Intel and Microchip. Cloud features also trigger automated changes based on real-time events through workflows.
- Predictive maintenance to make the prediction automatically when the equipment needs servicing.
- Real-time tracking of assets tracks valuable assets in real-time and performs complex analysis and machine learning of captured data.
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management Fleet management, inventory tracking, cargo integrity monitoring.
- Provides integration with other Google services.
3. IBM Watson IoT Platform
IBM Watson platform is one of the best IoT platforms in terms of security and compatibility. IBM Watson offers a comprehensive set of integrated and additional tools to make your business line rich, augmented and ultimately to gain insights from data simply and intuitively. It enables the Internet of Things (IoT) and assets to validate and approve events in a reliable, unchanging directory.
IBM Watson is a high-performance platform supported by the IBM development platforms Bluemix and Hybrid Cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service). By providing simple sample applications and interfaces for IoT services, they make them accessible to beginners. You can just try the example to see how it works, we have also used IBM Watson with Raspberry Pi and ESP32, check out all the IBM Watson based IoT Applications here.
- It provides data sensors and weather data services.
- Real-time data streaming for supported external data stores.
- Secure real-time messaging for connected devices, gateways, and applications via MQTT.
- It offers an extendable data model that supports third-party service extensions.
- Embedded rules engine that allows you to respond to status changes in your device with multiple notification strategies.
4. Microsoft Azure IoT Cloud Platform
Microsoft Azure IoT solution was developed for various industry requirements. Azure IoT is built on decades of experience with Microsoft companies. It offers solutions for remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, smart areas, and connected products. It offers secure and scalable third party services.
Whatever your industry or the size of your business or whether you're working with a partner or alone, Azure IoT has all the tools, devices, data analytics, and security you need to meet your IoT goals.
- It provides Extensive integration with SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, WebSphere, etc.
- It offers Condition Monitoring that Monitor key device parameters to detect anomalies.
- Facility Management that Optimizes energy use, space utilization and employee productivity in your factory.
- Asset Tracking identifies your assets, tools, and devices used in multiple locations with the Azure IoT Remote Monitoring Solution Accelerator.
- Optimize device performance for your Azure IoT Solution Accelerator operation to increase the efficiency of factory-connected devices.
5. Salesforce IoT Cloud
Salesforce IoT Cloud is a SaaS product provided by Salesforce, a leading CRM vendor. A Salesforce CRM cloud can communicate directly with the Salesforce CRM system and trigger context-based alerts and actions. Salesforce IoT is a non-linear workflow engine that uses events, rules, actions, conditions, and orchestrations.
The tool is designed so that any company, even without a large IT department, can use IoT for its needs. The configuration is based on visual logic, so users without programming skills can create orchestration rules and conditions and trigger events by simply clicking on the items.
Because Salesforce IoT Cloud uses the RESTful API, data can be collected from any connected source system, including complex networks managed by Amazon Web Services or simpler wearable. The features of the tool support complete data processing, including filtering, merging and exporting to JSON, CSV, or TSV file formats.
- Traffic View: Visualize all your IoT devices in one place easily.
- Partnering with other key IoT innovators such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cisco Systems will help prevent a digestive disorder.
- Orchestration rules: create rules for IoT engagement with clicks, not code.
- Perform a transformation with the data formats JSON, CSV, and TSV.
- Import data from any source using the Salesforce IoT Cloud RESTful API.
There are no fixed prices for Salesforce IoT. The actual cost of implementation depends solely on the use cases and therefore you need to request a quote for correct pricing.
6. CISCO IoT Cloud Connect
Cisco IoT Cloud Connect provides network, security and data management and updates at all network levels. It provides a complete solution to provide exceptional IoT experience for mobile operators.
With Cisco IoT Cloud Connect, you can find new ways to earn money while fully optimizing and leveraging your network. Cisco provides detailed, real-time visibility and updates across all levels of the network. For IoT security, it has systems for protecting against malware, intruders, and other kinds of attacks.
- Network connectivity including specially designed routing, switching, and wireless products.
- Fog computing, which allows customers to analyze and manage data locally.
- It provides Security that integrates cyber and physical security to achieve operational benefits.
- Data Analysis provides a custom infrastructure for implementing analytics and using actionable data.
- It offers the application Enabling Platform.
7. ThingWorx 8 IoT Platform
ThingWorx is a platform for the rapid development and deployment of intelligent networked devices. Integrated IoT development tools support connectivity, analysis, production and other aspects of IoT development.
It provides Vuforia for augmented reality development and the implementation of Kepware for industrial connectivity. ThingWorx requires very little programming. Users connect devices, set data sources, set device behaviour, and create an interface without coding. Thingworx provides several important tools for creating applications. These tools include composer, mashup builder, memory, a search engine, collaboration, and connectivity.
- Composer provides a modeling environment for design testing.
- Mashup Builder delivers easy dashboard building through common components.
- Search engine SQUEAL in analyzing and filtering data, and searching records.
- It provides Pre-built widgets for the dashboard.
- It enables Easy connectivity with electronic devices, like sensors and RFIDs.
8. ThingSpeak IoT Platform
ThingSpeak is an IoT analytics platform service that lets you aggregate, visualize, and analyze live data streams in the cloud. It also offers an app to analyze and visualize your data in Matlab. You can use Arduino, Raspberry Pi to send sensor data. You can also create a separate channel for storing data. We have built many IoT based applications using ThingSpeak with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 and other hardware.
ThingSpeak has built-in support for MathWorks' MATLAB numerical computer software, which allows ThingSpeak users to analyze and visualize uploaded data with Matlab without having to purchase a Matlab license from Mathworks. Using MATLAB analysis in ThingSpeak, you can write and execute MATLAB code to perform pre-processing, visualization, and analysis. You can follow this MATLAB ThingSpeak link to learn more.
With ThingSpeak, engineers and scientists can prototype and create IoT systems without setting up servers or developing web software. Your device or application can communicate with ThingSpeak through a RESTful API, and you can either keep your data private or public.
- MATLAB analysis and visualization apps enable you to explore and view your channel data.
- Event schedule to act at a specific time or on a regular schedule.
- App integration.
- Restful and MQTT APIs.
- Share data with public channels.
ThingSpeak is available as a free service for non-commercial small projects (<3 million messages/year or ~ 8,200 messages/day). For large projects or commercial applications, four different types of annual licenses are there: Standard, Academic, Student, and Home. You can check all the plans on their pricing page.
9. Oracle IoT Platform
Oracle's IoT platform helps in creating real-time IoT enterprise solutions. It leverages powerful, innovative edge analytics and robust security features to easily build integrated solutions with existing enterprise applications. Oracle's IoT platform leverages the Oracle cloud infrastructure for optimized performance while reducing costs and time-to-market.
Oracle provides real-time Internet of Things data analysis, endpoint management, and high-speed messaging that allows users to receive real-time notifications directly on their devices.
Oracle IoT Cloud also enables REST API-based integration. Oracle’s open and integrated end-to-end IoT platform allows collecting and integrating IoT data from a variety of sources, securely and reliably.
- Business ready SaaS applications.
- Open and integrated IoT platform.
- End-to-end security.
- Comprehensive IoT device and Protocol Support.
- Built-in machine learning.
10. SAP Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud Platform connects the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable scalable capture of sensor data. This service is offered in the cloud and provided as Software as a Service (SaaS) so you can access your software from any web browser. With the SAP Cloud Platform Internet of Things service, you can use a variety of IoT services and protocols to manage the device lifecycle from onboarding to retirement.
SAP IoT platform Protect your data with sophisticated encryption. It also provides policy-based access and control for multiple users.
- IoT device and integration services bridge the gap between legacy and IoT protocols and Integrate with other service delivery platforms.
- Secure and scalable data ingestion- Enable end-to-end enterprise-grade security and Provide policy-based access and control for multiple users.
- Flexible and reliable message processing- Handle incoming messages based on your specific use case.
- Build Protocol Adapters and Interceptors - Use the SAP Cloud SDK to create communication protocol adapters and interceptors.
All the IoT cloud platforms are popular and the selection of one depends upon the requirement of the application. ThingWorx and Microsoft Azure are the most promising platforms for IoT solutions compared to others. Google Cloud Platform is popular with Compute Engine, App Engine, and Container Engine. IBM Watson is known for its powerful app creation, management and supports third-party APIs and services. The ThingWorx IoT platform is popular for its full IoT solution creation, third-party device cloud capabilities, Open API, and Always On features. Microsoft Azure provides network functions and capabilities. ThingSpeak mainly provides data analysis and visualization tools.
The choice completely depends upon the requirement and scope of the application.