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AWS IoT Platform for the Internet of Things: Benefits & Examples

When a company works on an IoT project, their team has to handle many devices, tools, and security specifications. This is where IoT platforms enter the game, allowing for tracking of data storage, communication, safety, and collaborate across different teams.

The undeniable leader among IoT platforms is Amazon AWS IoT Services — a cloud service designed specifically for IoT software development and supported by Amazon Web Services. In this article, we will take a look at the main features of the platform, its benefits, and some use cases.

AWS IoT Services is a cloud platform that works with thousands of connected devices and is capable of processing trillions of requests simultaneously. To store communication files and enable features, AWS IoT Services offers cloud infrastructure — the information is stored on Amazon Web Services servers.

The Amazon Internet of Things platform essentially connects IoT devices to the Cloud. Each device transfers its information to the device shadow. The shadow service will respond to requests and work with the app’s functionality.

X.509 certificates project the communications between the actual device and its shadow service. This is a basic idea behind the AWS IoT platform — let’s take a closer look at its leading solutions.

  • IoT Device Management: a service that allows registering, organizing, securing, monitoring, and managing remotely connected devices and sensors. The service provides real-time statistics on the application’s performance and allows uploading multiple devices in one go.
  • IoT Device Defender: Amazon IoT platform makes sure to collect security reports from all connected devices — these metrics are sent to the Device defender, which audits whether metrics show abnormalities. If there’s a strange access attempt or unnatural behavior, Defender updates AWS Cloud Watch, IoT Console, and Device Management.
  • AWS Lambda: a software development environment where developers can write and edit code, aggregate projects from other AWS services (including IoT), and run code as soon as it's written. It’s a platform for continuous deployment — developers can release code to the service one at a time, avoiding tech debt and bug cluttering.
  • AWS IoT Greengrass: physical devices that generate information (equipment, transport, etc.) are connected to the Greengrass Connectors. The data from connectors is sent to Lambda and device shadows by the Greengrass Core. This is how the data from the outside world makes its way to the software.
  • AWS IoT Analytics: the service creates analytics of IoT data. It’s responsible for the collection, processing, storage, real-time machine learning analytics, and code-based reports.

AWS IoT Services is an ambitious IoT management platform with dozens of features. If we were to focus on the complete functionality, you’d be reading a 40-page ebook right now. To keep the guide brief, we highlighted the vital AWS IoT services that are essential to most IoT projects.

  • Device Gateway: all devices in Amazon Web Services for IoT are connected to the Gateway. The service is responsible for maintaining connections between devices and a server even in low-latency conditions. The Device Gateway is the entrance to using the AWS IoT platform.
  • Message Broker: this service enables connected devices to exchange messages with each other and an application server. This tool is responsible for connectivity — it can process, store, and organize thousands of messages simultaneously.
  • Device Shadow: all AWS IoT devices in the AWS IoT platform has a virtual version — a shadow. It stores information on the state of physical equipment that you can access remotely. Here, you set the performance parameters for IoT devices, and even plan the settings a year in advance.
  • Rules Engine: this tool puts restrictions and imposes guidelines on data usage. The rule defines how devices process data. For instance, you can specify a threshold and set a standard for values that are above the limit. AWS IoT rules will trigger the execution of a certain functionality from AWS Lambda, connecting hardware updates with software reactions.

The primary purpose of Amazon and IoT services is to connect IoT hardware and software code. The platform creates an environment for secure data exchange, organization, and management. Changes in the state of the device are saved to the system, where rules can trigger changes in code.

The AWS IoT Platform makes IoT development faster: the code is available in AWS Lambda, where it can be executed right away, the hardware is managed in shadows, etc. This is not the only advantage — a lot of benefits come into play after the product release.

  • Device management: solutions responsible for device management, data organization, and cloud integration, make it easy for developers and project managers to track changes in the product.
  • Data security and connection safety: AWS has strict access control algorithms — you can set up multi-step authentication and define user roles. The system continually monitors the software performance and detects suspicious patterns. You’ll get an alert if something seems unusual.
  • Improved data processing: Amazon IoT platform uses AI to set up models of data storing and processing. You can set up scenarios that will be automatically executed in the cloud. Data processing can improve its efficiency and speed with Machine Learning add-ons.
  • Scaling of IoT projects: AWS IoT is connected to a productive Amazon Web Services infrastructure. The service acts together with robust services, which allows you to add new features. If you want to add machine learning to your IoT, use Amazon SageMaker. To increase data storage, you have Amazon S3. The fact that the Amazon IoT Platform is a part of a significant infrastructure is an advantage because you will not have to migrate to another service to add a new feature.

Corporations and startups alike use the AWS IoT platform for its universality and efficiency. For small businesses, it’s a way to control their budget better — in AWS, you only pay for what you spend. For big companies, it’s possible to accommodate their ever-growing needs and facilitate support, because AWS offers a lot of additional services.

  • LG IoT platform: LG used AWS IoT to build its ThinQ brand — a line for IoT services and products that communicate with each other via WiFi chips. The company migrated 1,000 servers to AWS, connected to Amazon Cloud for IoT and Amazon S3. They compute their code with AWS Lambda — it assures the connection between hardware and software.
  • Miovision: this transportation company that creates smart traffic systems for cities heavily relies on IoT — it enables the communication between vehicles. The reason behind switching to AWS IoT was typical — the company wanted to focus on innovation rather than management. Having everything stored in one platform makes it more accessible.
  • Siemens IoT Healthcare: a sizable manufacturing company switched to AWS IoT to be able to control its progress in real-time. They use IoT to manufacture faster and for power maintenance, automation, and production digitalization. AWS brings all connected devices to the same platform, making management a lot easier.
  • Etergo — an industrial electrical company that produces smart vehicles with intuitive communication, safety, and user interface. TechMagic helped Etergo to switch their IoT vehicles devices and software projects to AWS infrastructure — we shorted time to market and improved the team’s efficiency.
  • Hiber — a satellite tech startup uses IoT to connect smart satellites and manage them remotely. The company offers an alternative to traditional GSM providers that only use IoT for 10% of satellites, aiming to make connectivity a standard practice. The company used the AWS IoT platform to manage its network of IoT devices and software.
  • Voyance — a data network platform that uses AI to detect vulnerabilities in enterprise data storage. The service analyzes 17 million devices regularly. To accommodate around 300 petabytes of data, the startup switched to AWS IoT Infrastructure.

In TechMagic, we help our clients to migrate to the AWS IoT Platform, prepare their infrastructure for Cloud development, and build a sustainable IoT infrastructure. Our goal is to shorten time to market, enable simple documentation, and make sure that post-release maintenance is fast and transparent.

Building IoT projects with the AWS IoT platform provides us with access to AWS server storage, additional services, room for implementing innovation (AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain), and scaling opportunities. We help our clients with adapting infrastructure to their needs and create a stable and sustainable IoT development project.

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TechMagic is a software and web development company from Lviv, Ukraine that builds dedicated teams skilled in JavaScript, Node.js, Angular, React, AWS, Serverless, and Salesforce.
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