Cloud platform engineers looking to integrate internet of things to their industrial systems will soon realize that there is a wide variety of cloud platforms to choose from.
The cloud platforms provide storage and computational backbone for the Industrial IoT. Because of this, every decision in the very core of an IoT implementation will be affected.
The challenge IoT implementation teams are facing is that the time to become a leader in cloud platforms is limited. Predictions by Gartner indicate that 30 billion connected devices will storm the market by the year 2020.
By all these devices storming the market, organizations which haven’t rolled out IoT implementation plans will not survive. In other words, cloud platform engineers should develop implementation plans for the IoT cloud platform or risk exiting the industry.
However, this has other challenges. With this boom in IoT development, Gartner also predicts a boom in IoT PaaS, which is a fundamental part of an IoT cloud platform.
Gartner also said by 2020 that more over half of the applications built on PaaS would be focused on the IoT. In other words, the boom in IoT device and cloud platform will complicate the selection of the right tools for the job.
How does an IoT cloud platform function?
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said that the cloud is the most important trend that shapes the future of smart, connected world. It means that every activity can be captured as a piece of data in real-time and accessible from any location.
Software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service are the three basic tools in IoT cloud platform. Security-as-a-service which includes all security services entrenched in your cloud platform to protect breaches is not included in these basic functions.
Infrastructure-as-a-service is the part that connects and keeps IoT system together. This includes the storage, networks, provision processing and the basic computational capabilities.
It’s actually what makes the deployment of SaaS and PaaS and other software possible. Clients can only access the servers and storage and operate a virtual data center in the cloud but cannot manage or control the IaaS.
PaaS is used mainly to develop, test and run applications in IoT device over the cloud. Engineers don’t control much of the infrastructure in the PaaS platform; however, they can determine which applications run on the infrastructure.
The engineers are also able to monitor the environment for app hosting configuration.
SaaS is the final piece of the IoT computing puzzle.
This system allows a client to use a web browser to access the applications which control their IoT system. The advantage of SaaS is that it saves time and money and simplifies the maintenance and support since you are not required to run or install a specific application on individual PCs.
Consumer vs. Industial IoT cloud platforms
Consumer IoT platform focuses mainly on applications that talk to a general end user; like glucometers and step meters.
Industrial IoT platform talks to the engineer running an industrial system. The platform focuses more on operational and predictive maintenance technology.
Industrial IoT platforms are specifically designed to collect data during the entire manufacturing production processes so as to improve performance as well mitigate production failures. So engineers who develop industrial IoT systems are likely to omit several IoT cloud platforms options from your shortlist.
Aspects of Industrial-IoT cloud platform
There are two aspects in the forefront of implementing IoT cloud platform. These are integrity and data security. According to Joshua Greenbaum, a security analyst, Cyber security is considered to be a cat and mouse game, where the mouse gets more vicious and bigger each day.
He further said the reason why companies of all sizes are running to the cloud is that data security threats cannot be minimized or mitigated.