Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service. It had been created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It offers software as a service (Saas), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many various programming languages, systems.
Azure, announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008, glided by the interior project codename “Project Red Dog”, and was formally released in February 2010, as Windows Azure before being renamed to Microsoft Azure on annunciation,2014. Azure cloud computing technology was launched at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in 2008. Azure uses large-scale virtualization at Microsoft’s +50 data centers worldwide and it offers quite 600 software, AI, IoT, machine learning technologies. virtual machine infrastructure as a service (LaaS) allows users to launch general-purpose Microsoft Windows and Linux virtual machines, also as pre-configured machine images for popular software packages.
Microsoft Azure role in enabling Industrial Internet of Things
With the increasing digitization, manufacturers have started adopting industry 4.0 and IIoT solutions for optimizing their resources and increasing their revenue. Cloud Services provides like Microsoft Azure help industries in developing digital and connected industrial ecosystems at minimal cost, time, and effort. Read on to seek out how Microsoft Azure enables the industrial internet of things.
Digital transformation with industry 4.0
With the industry 4.0 adoption, machines and devices are often connected, and legacy devices are often monitored with the newest sensors and transducers within the market. These connected devices and sensor data provide the advantage of HMI (Human-machine interface). Both embedded and stand-alone HMIs help improve the working and monitoring of the general manufacturing unit. Another advantage of the industry 4.0 concept i=s it enables predictive maintenance. This simply means a machine shouldn’t be repaired too late (after reducing maintenance costs, sensors are often integrated with machines to constantly monitor the assembly machinery.
How Microsoft Azure Enables IIoT
Microsoft Azure features a host of IoT applications and accelerators that enable a fully customizable connected ecosystem and Industry 4.0 solutions with different capabilities.
- The Azure IoT Solution Accelerator brings flexibility to attach IoT devices and machines with authentication. It uses a standard preconfigured solution to accelerate the event cycle and reduce the time-to-market. Additionally, it enhances the safety aspects of the system in terms of hardware security, software security, and data security. Azure IIoT System ingests bursts of knowledge from devices and sensors using the Service bus, IoT Hub, or the Event hub as per the necessity of a specific solution. For bursts of knowledge, Azure Event Hubs are preferred because it offers high throughput data ingestion with low latency. Then, ingested data got to be processed for real-time insight and maybe funneled to Azure Stream Analytics for real-time analytics.
- On the opposite hand, Azure IoT Hub connects many devices and supports high-volume telemetry data ingestion to the cloud. In other words, it enables bidirectional communication between devices and the cloud. It sends the command and notification to the IoT devices and tracks message delivery status with an acknowledgment receipt. The Azure IoT Hub provides support for the AMQP/MQTT for cloud communication.
- The OPC UA collects data from industrial devices via PROFIBUS. Then, using the Modbus protocol, these data are often rerouted to the Azure IoT Gateway, and eventually, this data is often transferred to the Azure IoT Hub via AMQP/MOTT protocol. Another benefit that the manufacturing industry can avail of from the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is Device shadowing. They will create a persistent, virtual version, or Device Shadow of every device. This includes the device’s latest state in order that the applications and other devices can read and interact with the device while it’s offline. The Device Shadow persists in the last reported state and a desired future state of every device even when the device is offline. A corporation can retrieve the last reported state of a tool or set a desired future state through the API or using the principles engine. In and plant, there is much critical or complex machinery, which needs endless supervision.
- The info that’s generated by these machines should be analyzed on priority due to its criticality. During this scenario, Azure IoT Edge provides a complicated Edge Analytics capability to the whole IIoT system. It enables a high-security interface from physical security to attack the network. IoT edge also allows developers to deploy complex event processing, machine learning, image recognition, and other high-value AI.
- The Azure IoT Edge consists of an equivalent programming model as of Azure IoT Service, so it helps developers in early and straightforward development, as they are doing not get to start programming it from the scratch. In terms of database maintenance, Azure provides a NoSQL, globally accessible database referred to as Azure Cosmo DB. These are often accessed from multiple locations with 99.9999% high availability, 99th percentile latency also as guaranteed scalable throughput, and consistency.