Both Microsoft Azure and AWS offer Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms that can be used to gather, store, and analyze IoT data for various applications, including industrial, consumer, and commercial purposes. Both providers are considered to be top options in the industry and can help businesses with their IIoT needs. Choosing between AWS and Azure for industrial IoT solutions can be a daunting task.
Microsoft Azure Overview
Azure IoT platform allows companies to create, deploy, and manage IoT solutions that are compatible with modern industrial devices and infrastructures using OPC Unified Architecture standards. It offers services for building and automating data analytics for IIoT assets through various products including Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Central, Azure IoT Edge and Azure Digital Twins. These IIoT offerings are aimed at helping businesses fulfill modern industrial needs, such as predictive maintenance, condition monitoring and product automation.
AWS IIoT Overview
AWS IIoT provides a variety of services for modern manufacturing to enterprises. It encompasses approximately 12 key IIoT offerings, including AWS IoT Core, AWS IoT Device Management, AWS IoT Greengrass, and AWS IoT ExpressLink. These IIoT service lines assist companies in developing IoT solutions with AI and ML integration, speeding up IoT advancements, securing IoT solutions on the edge and in the cloud, and scaling their IoT products.
Development and Integration
Both Azure and AWS IIoT platforms provide enterprises with tools for developing, monitoring, configuring, and deploying their IoT solutions. However, AWS SDKs are more extensive and support more applications and IoT devices. This can be particularly beneficial for organizations that have a dedicated development team structure, as it can speed up IoT development and integration. In contrast, while Azure also offers a lot in terms of IoT development and integration, it does not have the same level of breadth as AWS in this area.
Both AWS and Azure provide IIoT services with edge capabilities, but which one offers more flexibility? AWS offers FreeRTOS, Greengrass and IoT ExpressLink to assist businesses in building and managing edge devices. These edge features provide a more extensive infrastructure for edge computing capabilities across different use cases. While Azure IoT Edge includes an edge runtime, certified IoT edge hardware, cloud interface, and edge modules, it still lacks the flexibility provided by AWS. However, Azure does offer a free edge runtime, which helps to level the playing field to some extent.
Security is a crucial aspect of any IIoT service provider. Both AWS and Azure provide secure and dependable IoT services, and their IIoT security services include risk-free exchange processes, two-way authentications, and TLS connections, and encryption. Azure uses Azure Sphere, Azure Defender and the OPC Vault microservice within its Azure IoT core to secure and maintain industrial assets. Meanwhile, AWS offers its IIoT security architecture through authorization, authentication, identity and access management, and data protection.
Both AWS and Azure IIoT platforms include features that accelerate the scaling of IIoT applications. However, AWS has more IIoT features, making it easier for enterprises to scale their projects compared to Azure. With recent integrations with Lambda and other services, it is more straightforward to scale a project for new devices on AWS. While Azure does not have as many IIoT features as AWS, it still provides solutions that enable scalability. Azure IoT Central provides organizations with pre-built UX and API surfaces, allowing them to manage and deliver IoT projects at scale.
Both Microsoft Azure and AWS are excellent IIoT solution providers with strong offerings in the IIoT market. If you are looking for a sophisticated and comprehensive IIoT solution that can accommodate any project size, the AWS platform for IIoT may be the better option. On the other hand, if ease of use for your team is a priority, you should consider Microsoft Azure. Additionally, it is worth considering pricing when determining which tool is best for you. Azure offers flexible pricing tiers, with prices determined by use cases, including Standard Tier 0, Standard Tier 1, and Standard Tier 2. AWS also offers flexible pricing and a calculator to help estimate the cost of the service you require.