Before Google Released Cloud IoT Core, Its Customers Relied On A Channel Partner Product To Communicate With Devices In The Field

The Internet of Things service Google introduced this week will make it easier to securely connect devices and sensors deployed in the field to Google's cloud infrastructure. But before that product came to fruition, many Google IoT customers relied on a predecessor built by one of Google's channel partners.

Agosto, an IoT specialist based in Minneapolis, developed the MQTT broker that powered Google Cloud's IoT services since last year. Google introduced similar technology Tuesday as a component of Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service that evens the playing field with competitors Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Aric Bandy, president of Agosto, said his company initially developed its own messaging software to meet customer demand because Google didn't yet offer that service natively. MQTT is an industry standard messaging protocol for sensors and mobile devices.

[Related: Google Shows Its IoT Smarts With Launch Of Android Things Operating System]

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When Google realized it needed to facilitate connections to field devices to be competitive in the IoT market, the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant turned to its partner, demonstrating the evolving relationship between cloud providers and their channel.

Google insisted the messaging broker it hired Agosto to build last year be open source so the entire community could benefit from it, Bandy said. Agosto released the service on GitHub and later Google Cloud Launcher.

Cloud IoT Core, launched in private beta, in addition to the new MQTT broker enables managing edge devices in the wild – be they installed in oil fields, farms, manufacturing facilities or hospitals – once they're connected and data is ingested.

Microsoft developed similar technology for Azure, and Amazon obtained an MQTT broker in 2015 by acquiring a company called 2lemetry.

Cloud IoT Core removes barriers at the device level that kept partners from leveraging Google Cloud's advanced capabilities for IoT projects. The new service frees Google Cloud implementers to use "Google's secret sauce" around machine learning and data analytics tools like BigQuery, Bandy said.

"The fact that Google offers this now as a standard package just makes it that much easier for us to do the IoT projects we do," Bandy told CRN. "This is more of a gateway to get to these IoT things to leverage those tools."

Cloud IoT Core is designed to integrate IoT devices as unified global services that can be managed from behind a single pane of glass, said Indranil Chakraborty, a product manager at Google Cloud, in a company blog post. It implements standard security protocols and allows for identity management for devices through Google Cloud IAM.

"Cloud IoT Core is designed to help resolve these problems by removing risk, complexity and data silos from the device monitoring and management process. Instead, it offers you the ability to more securely connect and manage all your devices as a single global system," Chakraborty said.

Partners can use the service to connect millions of devices from around the world into a unified cloud back end that ingests data smoothly and securely using the MQTT broker developed by Agosto.

Cloud IoT Core is billed by usage and doesn't require provisioning and managing infrastructure.

Simon Margolis, director of Google Cloud Platform at SADA Systems, a Google partner based in Los Angeles, said IoT Core will make it easier for enterprises to adopt cloud technologies.

"The new solution is essentially a bridge between IoT devices and Google Cloud, allowing users to leverage Google's powerful data tools with even less effort," Margolis told CRN.

Similar to what Google AppEngine did for developing applications in the cloud, Cloud IoT Core simplifies ingesting and managing fleets of IoT devices, Margolis said, "making it easier for users to work with the underlying data."