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What is Azure IoT Hub ?

This article gives a brief introduction on the Azure IoT Hub, and how and where to get started, so let’s dive right into it…

Pre-requisite Knowledge

Before we start with the understanding of Azure IoT Hub, we should know-

  1. Azure Cloud
  2. The generic term IoT (Internet of Things)

Introduction of Azure IoT Hub

Okay, so let’s get started with the actual topic, i.e. Azure IoT Hub, so we’ll first understand that was is it and then why one should use it.

Azure IoT Hub is a service hosted in Azure (a cloud platform by Microsoft) which basically manages the IoT devices registered with it by the developers. As it is a Hub, hence it also acts as a Central unit for communication between the devices/ IoT itself.

So in simple tern, it can be like a central platform that helps manage the connected devices and also moderates in the communication between the devices as well. So whenever there is a question of authorization, like who’s the boss devices or the IoT Hub, then it is the IoT hub only.

Feature of Azure IoT Hub:

  • It is meant for a far high number of devices, so it can be scaled to millions of devices.
  • It supports millions of events per second for IoT tasks.
  • There are always various pricing tiers as per the need of an individual to the Business entity.
  • Supports bi-directional mode of communication.
  • Can be easily integrated with various Azure services like:
  • Language Support for Azure IoT SDKs:
    • C
    • C#
    • Java
    • Python
    • JS

If you’ve heard about Event Hub, then there might be a question that if we have Events Hub, then why we need Azure IoT Hub?

Well, the answer is simply given by Microsoft, by the below table extracted from here:

 
IoT Capability IoT Hub standard tier IoT Hub basic tier Event Hubs
Device-to-cloud messaging
Protocols: HTTPS, AMQP, AMQP over WebSockets
Protocols: MQTT, MQTT over WebSockets  
Per-device identity  
File upload from devices  
Device Provisioning Service  
Cloud-to-device messaging    
Device twin and device management    
Device streams (preview)    
IoT Edge    

Conclusion - In this article, we have learned about:

  1. Azure IoT Hub
  2. How to get started with it

Soon, we’ll see how we can actually set up a development environment for Azure IoT Edge. Stay tuned