Category Archives : Internet of Things

26

May

Cloud and edge computing are coming together as never before, leading to huge opportunities for developers and organizations around the world. Digital twins, mixed reality, and autonomous systems are at the core of a massive wave of innovation from which our customers already benefit.

From the outside, it’s not always apparent how this technology converges or the benefits that can be harnessed by bringing these capabilities together. This is why at Microsoft Build we talk about the possibilities this convergence creates, how customers are already benefitting, and our journey to making this technology easier to use and within reach of every developer and organization.

The possibilities of connected environments

Imagine taking any complex environment and applying the power of technology to create awe-inspiring experiences and reach new business heights that were previously unimaginable. The possibilities are endless: A retail store where the shopping experience is optimized in real-time and shelves are always stocked. A supply chain that tracks and reduces carbon emissions. A process manufacturing line that adjusts for variations in natural ingredients and automatically detects and compensates for operational bottlenecks. A city plan that simulates various growth proposals to ensure they’re making the best use of energy sources.

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10

May

In 2021, each month there will be a monthly blog covering the webinar of the month for the low-code application development (LCAD) on Azure solution. LCAD on Azure is a solution to demonstrate the robust development capabilities of integrating low-code Microsoft Power Apps and the Azure products you may be familiar with.  

This month’s webinar is “Unlock the Future of Azure IoT through Power Platform.” In this blog, I will briefly recap LCAD on Azure, provide an overview of IoT on Azure and Azure Functions, how to pull an Azure Function into Microsoft Power Automate, and how to integrate your Power Automate flow into Power Apps.

What is LCAD on Azure? 

LCAD on Azure was created to help developers build business applications faster with less code. Utilizing Microsoft Power Platform, and more specifically Power Apps, helps developers scale and extend their Power Apps with Azure services. For example, a pro developer who works for a manufacturing company would need to build a line-of-business (LOB) application to help warehouse employees track incoming inventory. That application would take months to build, test, and deploy. Using Power Apps, it can take only hours to build—saving time and resources. 

However, say the warehouse

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13

Apr

The 2020 IoT Signals Report reveals 95 percent of IoT projects fail at proof of concept (PoC), with a significant portion due to the inability to scale despite the existence of many claims touting zero-touch provisioning. Imagine the following winning alternative instead: an IoT solution builder receives a batch of devices from its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and all they do is power them to get the following:

Automatic and secure onboarding to a production certificates provider. Receipt of device operational certificate credentials. Automatic provisioning to cloud application services. Automation of credentials renewal and lifecycle management.

More so, this seamless process is the same for all devices, whether in PoC or the millionth in production, and the best part is that setup requires only three simple one-time non-engineering actions by the solution builder. This is exactly what we’ve accomplished with partners and now present how as a blueprint.

Figure 1: Seamlessly and securely deploy at scale from a one-time setup in three simple steps—a solution blueprint to zero-touch provisioning

For this ease, all the solution builder does for setup is create an account with the managed credential provider, deliver device customization instructions to the OEM, and

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11

Apr

The manufacturing industry continues to rapidly adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology to optimize productivity, gain efficiencies, increase uptime, and meet sustainability goals. As organizations look to harness IoT across their ecosystems of connected devices, security and compliance continue to be at the forefront of conversations.

Our commitment is to simplify IoT for mainstream adoption. As such, we are announcing the general availability of nesting capabilities for Microsoft Azure IoT Edge that conforms to ANSI/ISA-95 standard for network isolation. This IoT Edge solution adds to other significant advancements that make it easier for companies to benefit from IoT, including Azure Defender for IoT, Azure IoT Edge security enclaves, Device Update for IoT Hub, and Azure Digital Twins.

Unlocking value with nested Azure IoT Edge devices

Smart manufacturing faces a dilemma: manufacturers want to improve operational excellence by using modern cloud-scale solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI)-powered predictive maintenance. Yet, they often cannot easily connect industrial systems to the internet due to security and safety concerns. For years, network segregation within a facility has been a security principle recommended by the ANSI/ISA-95 standard, which is widely adopted across industries with high-security requirements to prevent potentially dangerous breaches. But that meant on-premises

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08

Apr

The manufacturing industry’s digital transformation is accelerating as companies increase their use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to improve efficiency and address common factory challenges. But even if your company makes high-tech products and has a sizable IT team, designing and deploying an IoT solution that creates real improvements in your processes or services isn’t a small undertaking. 

To assist, we’re launching the What I Wish I Knew video series, in which manufacturing business leaders share firsthand insights about best practices and common pitfalls to avoid while navigating the setup and deployment of successful IoT solutions—and how they’ve used Microsoft Azure IoT technology to simplify the process. 

Adding IoT technology to your manufacturing or industrial operation and expecting immediate results doesn’t just happen without thorough planning. In the words of Scott Gravelle, CEO and chief technology officer of Attabotics, pulling together specific expertise and then integrating the right technology into your operation takes “complexity of orchestration.” Below business leaders share their insights on the possibilities that exist for using IoT in manufacturing, as well as advice for navigating common challenges through proper research, decision-making, and technical expertise. 

Emerging trends in manufacturing IoT

IoT is increasingly seen by

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30

Mar

Forrester has named Microsoft as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Function-As-A-Service Platforms, Q1 2021 based on their evaluation of Azure Functions with recognition for upping its developer experience game and stateful capabilities.

Development experience

Azure Functions is fully integrated with other Azure services and development tools. Its end-to-end development experience allows you to build and debug your functions locally on any major platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux), as well as deploy and monitor them in the cloud. You can build functions using multitude of programming languages: C#, Node.js, Python, JavaScript, Java, and PowerShell.

In their report, Forrester recognized Azure Functions investments in “onboarding, developer tools support, and support for the development and debugging on local machines.”

Stateful workloads in a serverless compute environment

There are some use cases of serverless that need to be stateful—such as long-running workflows, human approved processes, and e-commerce shopping cart applications. Durable Functions, an extension to the Azure Functions runtime that brings stateful and orchestration capabilities to serverless functions. Durable Functions stands alone in the serverless space, providing stateful functions and a way to define serverless workflows programmatically.

Forrester mentioned specifically in the report that “Durable Functions provides stateful capabilities and bindings for

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23

Feb

As the Azure engineering team continues to deliver a rapid pace of innovation for defense customers, we’re also continuing to support Department of Defense (DoD) customers and partners in delivering new capabilities to serve mission needs.

In many cases, accelerating mission workloads means forging a faster and more secure way for teams to build, ship, and authorize new applications. For the broad range of suppliers providing goods and services to the DoD, including the Defense Industrial Base (DIB), this also means navigating evolving compliance requirements.

Navigating the new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) from the DoD is one imminent challenge for customers and partners in the defense ecosystem. Our CMMC Acceleration Program is designed to help DIB customers both achieve a higher level of sustained cybersecurity and prepare for assessments. In addition, we’re delivering a host of new services at DoD Impact Level 5 and a range of partner programs to address the varied needs of our customers and partners from every angle.

Extensive IaaS and PaaS capabilities at DoD IL5

Mission owners choosing Azure Government can now access an even broader range of IaaS and Paas capabilities to drive initiatives forward using the 120 Azure Government services now

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23

Nov

Earlier this year, we made a commitment to shift to 100 percent renewable energy supply in our buildings and datacenters by 2025. On this journey, we recognize that how we track our progress is just as important as how we get there.

Today, we are announcing that Microsoft will be the first hyperscale cloud provider to track hourly energy consumption and renewable energy matching in a commercial product using the Vattenfall 24/7 Matching solution for our new datacenter regions in Sweden, which will be available in 2021.

Vattenfall and Microsoft are also announcing that the 24/7 hourly matching solution—the first commercial product of its kind—is now generally available. Vattenfall is a leading European energy company with a strong commitment to make fossil-free living possible within one generation. The solution is built using Microsoft’s Azure services, including Azure IoT Central and Microsoft Power BI.

Today’s announcement builds on last year’s partnership announcement with Vattenfall when the 24/7 Matching solution was first introduced. Since then, the solution has been in pilot in Vattenfall headquarters in Solna and the new Microsoft headquarters in Stockholm, which has seen 94 percent of the total office building energy consumption matched with Swedish wind and 6

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16

Nov

As urbanization continues to take hold and cities face challenges to become more sustainable and livable, urban planning and operations strategies must adapt. The current pandemic has changed the way we live, accelerating cities’ future vision as a necessity of the present and what it means to live in a connected and resilient urban environment. Now more than ever, public and private organizations are coming together to push transformative solutions and change the way we plan and operate infrastructure and urban environments for all.

Microsoft, along with its partner ecosystem, continues to be deeply engaged with cities and communities around the world by providing capabilities and solutions that span the intelligent cloud and edge, advancing of AI driven by ethical principles, and continuing commitment to trust and security. Earlier this year, IDC MarketScape recognized Microsoft as the leading worldwide IoT application platform for Smart Cities, highlighting its secure, mature, and capable Azure IoT, AI, and Digital Twins services. In addition to IDC, Guidehouse Insights also recognized Microsoft as the leader in its leaderboard for Smart Cities platform suppliers, highlighting Azure’s ability to support a broad portfolio of smart city solutions using common platform technologies. Last year we also shared

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29

Oct

Embracing digital transformation in Industrial IoT requires companies to rethink and shift business models and operations. Doing so, however, has become more difficult in the past six months due to production slowdowns, restrictions on employee movement with social distancing, and rapidly shifting market demands. Yet for many companies, the industry disruptions caused by COVID-19 have actually accelerated integral transformation in emerging technology directly linked to IoT, such as AI and edge computing. Manufacturers preparing for the future are rapidly building their operations around a digital core and actively integrating their value chain to the whole supply chain, doing so to increase efficiency and production capacity.

This why we are sharing that Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms.

A strong global ecosystem

Our vision is to support customers to connect, monitor, and manage their operations whether they want to build and manage their own IoT solutions with Microsoft Azure platform services such as Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, or Microsoft Azure Time Series Insights, or purchase solutions directly from Microsoft Azure Marketplace. As a founding member of the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP),

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