The Infrastructure of An IoT Platform
As more and more companies adopt IoT, the task of building and deploying an IoT project is getting tougher. Challenges are a plenty, but with a sound understanding of the IoT platform and its infrastructure, you can increase your chances of making a successful transition. Here is the infrastructure of an IoT platform explained.
There are five pillars making up an IoT infrastructure and they include platforms, access technologies, data storage & processing, data analytics, and security. An essential part of any internet-connected device, these five pillars are what enable growth for future IoT solutions. While all five pillars of the IoT infrastructure are important, we’re only interested in the IoT platform and its infrastructure. So, let’s get to it.
Understanding IoT Platform
Often referred to as middleware solutions, internet of Things (IoT) platforms are a combination of function from multiple vendors, which include the following:
- Sensors or controllers
- Software to analyze and interpret the data
- A gateway device to amass and transfer data back and forth to the data network
- A communication network to send data
- The end application services creating much of the value
Collectively, the above solutions are referred to as the value chain of IoT. One of the main objectives of IoT is connecting devices with each other. An IoT platform ensures this by providing the basic layer of services with interoperability between nodes, cloud services as well as basic IP networking, security, application layer and device management. This also ensures high level IoT application development. Put simply, an IoT platform provides all the key ingredients to build secure and efficient IoT applications.
Choosing the Right IoT Platform
You must first understand what a fully integrated IoT platform can provide you. This will ensure that you have everything required to connect and deploy an IoT device. Following are some of the things to look for in an IoT platform:
As the number of connected devices grows, the intricacy of handling data increases. Therefore you need to think about scalability when choosing an IoT platform. Even if you don’t have many connected devices when you first implement IoT, you need to ensure that the IoT platform you choose can tackle increased data load as you connect more devices. The right IoT platform will support millions of devices with different technological requirements, providing continuous insights from the collected data without compromising efficiency.
In today’s data-driven and the increasingly connected world, data security is a major concern. Whether it is due to a natural disaster or a cyber-attack, your IoT platform should be able to handle any IT infrastructure outage. Ensure that the IoT platform comes with a disaster recovery plan and can vide failover clusters to take over the workload in case of any downtime.
Intelligent Edge Devices and Cloud Infrastructure
Your IoT platform should provide edge intelligence capabilities to extend the power of the cloud to your mobile and IoT devices. This will facilitate an intelligent edge that can bring computing power, data, applications, and intelligence to all the places where your data already exists. This will allow your edge devices to take decisions based on the local data that they generate, while enabling them to leverage the benefits of cloud to configure and manage those devices.
Compared to the singular approach, hybrid cloud approach can ensure more benefits. The hybrid cloud combines the best of both worlds, by giving the ease of accessibility of private cloud and scaling capabilities of public cloud. With an IoT platform that provides hybrid cloud, you can retain all the business-critical information on-premises, while storing the less critical information in the public cloud. This will reduce the latency and access time significantly.
Communication Protocols and Standards
All IoT platforms must directly or indirectly offer protocol translation. Some of the protocols that your IoT platform must be able to support include CoAP, AMQP, HTTP and MQTT. Also ensure the scope to implement a custom protocol and the ability to handle it from the backend.