Google Roles Out IoT Services On Its Cloud Platform

Google ventures into one of the biggest cloud-computing needs for the evolving IoT domain with a service that will manage IoT devices and gather the data they generate into applications that can use Google’s other services on its cloud platform. The new IoT service will make it easier for customers to upload large amounts of data from connected devices.

Announced just ahead of the Google I/O developer conference, Google Cloud IoT Core automates a lot of the manual work Google Cloud customers used to have to do a fair amount of configuration work on their own to move data from their connected devices to Google Cloud for processing, but this “fully managed” service now takes care of that, said Antony Passemard, product management lead for IoT at Google.

The IoT service will consists of two parts: a MQTT (message queue telemetry transport) bridge that ingests the data from the devices a customer has out in the wild and delivers them to Google’s Pub/Sub service. Once the data has been processed, the second part — Device Manager — sends the data back to the connected device.

Google wants to target the enterprise with the new IoT service offerings. At one point it seemed like IoT would arrive on the consumer end, with connected homes and products like Google’s Nest thermostat, however much more progress is being made in industrial applications like manufacturing, production and transportation.

Google will have a tough competition from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other established players in the market. Google Cloud IoT Core is coming out in private beta for now, and will be generally available by the end of the year. The good news for enterprises customers is that there are several solutions to IoT already available or taking shape. Couple of weeks back, VMware introduced Pulse IoT Center, the latest broad-based platform for setting up, managing and scaling IoT infrastructure. Cisco Systems, General Electric and Nokia are also in the game with their own set of IoT services. Google claims its cloud services, including Google Cloud Dataflow, Big Query and Cloud Machine Learning Engine, set Cloud IoT Core apart from rival offerings.

The targets for Google’s new service are as industrial as they come, like utilities, shipping and transportation providers, and oil and gas companies. Google has been less present in those kinds of organizations than many other vendors. But Cloud IoT Core includes a suite of capabilities designed for diverse IoT on a global scale. The idea is that Google will use its cloud for device setup and management, plus ingestion of data from those devices through MQTT, a standard machine-to-machine protocol.

The service should give customers new operational insights for tasks like predicting utility customers’ energy use in real time and scheduling maintenance for manufacturing equipment before it breaks to minimize downtime, Google says.

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