Picture: Microsoft

Setting up an Azure IoT Hub

The Azure IoT Hub is a highly scalable, secure platform for the bidirectional communication of devices and software components in the sense of IoT - both in the area of industrial IoT (IIoT) and in the simple IoT for devices. In addition to device communication, the Azure IoT Hub can also provide device provisioning.

The Azure IoT Hub is a PaaS-Product

The Azure IoT Hub solution is a PaaS product. This is the middle layer of the cloud model (IaaS - PaaS - SaaS): you don't have to worry about infrastructure, but you are responsible for scaling.

In the case of the IoT Hub, the respective scaling category (Free, Basic, Standard) decides for example how many messages can be processed and which features (Communication, Azure IoT Edge) are available.

The advantage of this scaling is that there is a guaranteed performance, which can be easily calculated. The disadvantage is that you pay for this scaling guarantee, no matter if you use it or not.

So this differs strikingly from the competitor product on AWS: the AWS IoT Core.

AWS IoT Core is a serverless product, meaning that you really only pay for what you use (number of messages, number of devices...). The pricing of the AWS IoT Core, however, is very complex and anything but easy to calculate.

Create Azure IoT Hub

The Azure IoT Hub can be created very easily via the portal.

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The Azure IoT Hub is different from the AWS IoT Core, which is a serverless solution, a PaaS solution.

This means that when setting up the Azure IoT Hub, a scaling must be specified that could cause idle time while providing guaranteed performance. In principle, Azure offers three different scaling categories.

  • Free: free tier, simpliest functionality, very limited messages
  • Basic: Rudimentary functionality from 8 Euro/month, but without IoT Edge functionality and no bidirectional communication
  • Standard: Full functionality from 21 Euro/month

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Anyone who tries to run the IoT Hub productively should use the standard version. Due to functional limitations, the other two variants (Free and Basic) are only recommended for experiments or demonstrations.

The limitations are also clearly displayed in the scaling info.

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Once the creation details have been completed, it only takes a few seconds for the Azure IoT Hub to be ready for use.

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