AWS Takes Deep Dive Into Internet Of Things

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Enter AWS IoT, Amazon's new platform to simplify the work of connecting, managing and securing devices sending data to Amazon's cloud.

Available for beta testing in two regions, the platform extends IoT functionality directly into devices with new SDKs. It also incorporates networking and security capabilities that make it easier to access the AWS features that store, analyze and trigger actions on data.

Matt Wood, Amazon's general manager for product strategy for AWS, took the stage to introduce an AWS IoT feature called Device Gateway -- a fully managed portal through which those SDK-enabled devices can access AWS over MQTT, a messaging protocol that's long in the tooth, but has found new life in the context of IoT because of its efficiency and fault tolerance. Once through the gateway, data can be loaded into databases, saved in object storage, send push notifications, trigger Lambda functions, or stream.

Device Gateway is paired with a scalable rules engine that directs those AWS features, he said.

All communications are secured by the TLS protocol, with roles and policies mapped to individual certificates, making it easy to authorize or revoke access to devices, Wood said.

To make the system more robust, AWS has even developed functionality to communicate with devices that are offline -- another new feature of AWS IoT called Device Shadows.  

Developers can program "against the shadow," Wood explained, allowing them to read the last reported state of the device, or set a desired future state.

Aater Suleman, CEO of Flux7 Labs, an AWS partner that's investing in its IoT practice, told CRN the technology is winning over customers rapidly. Flux7 is implementing the IoT solution for John Deere agricultural equipment showcased in the keynote.

Suleman told CRN he's seeing many traditional businesses like John Deere actively pursuing IoT, recognizing that the technology represents "a great way to connect the physical world to the virtual world."

"The market is growing faster than pretty much anything we've seen in recent years," Suleman told CRN.

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