Getting started with IoT: what do you do with all that data?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about generating data, helping organizations discover new insights about their operations from that data, and identifying opportunities to become more productive and innovative. In the first post in this series, we introduced Getting started with IoT: how to connect, secure, and manage your “things". But once your IoT devices are deployed, secured, and provisioned through Azure IoT Hub, the question remains: where do you send all of the data?

Information such as the telemetry data generated by your devices and sensors is time-sensitive. Other information isn’t. The role of Azure IoT Hub is to determine how each data packet needs to be prioritized and where to send it. These messages fall into four general categories:

  • IoT Hub message routing: Includes alerts and time sensitive telemetry data
  • File uploads: Media files and large batches of telemetry data that are uploaded by intermittently connected devices, or compressed to conserve bandwidth
  • Device Twin reported properties: Device state information such as capabilities and conditions, or the status of workflows like firmware or configuration updates
  • IoT Hub integration with Event Grid: An alternative to message routing, Event Grid integrates IoT Hub Events into Azure and non-Azure services. These events could include such things as the creation or deletion of an IoT device.

Message Routing versus Event Grid

Message Routing and Event Grid both have similar capabilities, so it can be difficult to know when you should choose one over the other. While both are designed to be resilient and ensure that messages get through, they are each designed for different scenarios.

Azure Message Routing

  • Supports limited endpoints, but you can build connectors to other endpoints (out of the box, it connects to Event Hub, Storage Hub, Service Bus Queue, and Service Bus topics)
  • Designed for:
    • Sending telemetry data to other services
    • Communicating back and forth between the device and back-end
    • Routing messages to custom endpoints based on what’s in the header or body of a message

Event Grid

  • Supports more endpoints and can be extended outside the Azure ecosystem to connect with third-party business apps
  • Can send alerts about an event to multiple endpoints
  • Though it can’t guarantee the order in which events are sent, it can include time stamps to help preserve a chronological record
  • Designed for:
    • Creating serverless computing applications
    • Automating IT operations
    • Integrating with business apps to trigger an action whenever a particular event takes place, such as the creation of a new virtual machine. 

Knowing how to handle the information you generate, and where to route it, can be a challenge. But once you start establishing connections, you can begin to comprehend the potential of IoT to transform business.

Learn more about building out your IoT capabilities and see how easy it is to get started with your first deployment. Download the Azure IoT developer guide and learn more about incorporating IoT into your business.

Source: IoT

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