Amazon AWS boosts IoT clout with slew of new services, products
The new services offer a range of capabilities designed to make getting started with IoT easier, enable customers to rapidly onboard and easily manage large fleets of IoT devices, audit and enforce consistent security policies, and analyze IoT device data at scale. The new services and products include AWS IoT 1-Click, AWS IoT Device Management, AWS IoT Device Defender, AWS IoT Analytics, Amazon FreeRTOS (based on the most popular open source embedded operating system), and AWS Greengrass ML Inference.
“The explosive growth in the number and diversity of connected devices has led to equally explosive growth in the number and scale of IoT applications. Today, many of the world’s largest IoT implementations run on AWS, and the next phase of IoT is all about scale as we’ll see customers exponentially expand their fleet of connected devices,” says Dirk Didascalou, VP IoT, AWS. “These new AWS IoT services will allow customers to simply and quickly operationalize, secure, and scale entire fleets of devices, and then act on the large volumes of data they generate with new analytics capabilities specifically designed for IoT.”
The new products include Amazon FreeRTOS, an operating system that extends the functionality of AWS IoT to devices with very low computing power, such as lightbulbs, smoke detectors, and conveyor belts. AWS Greengrass ML Inference is a new capability for AWS Greengrass – software that enables local compute, messaging, data caching, sync, and machine learning (ML) inference capabilities for connected devices – that allows machine learning models to be deployed directly to devices, where they can run machine learning inference to make decisions quickly, even when devices are not connected to the cloud.
“With Amazon FreeRTOS, we’re making it easy for customers to bring AWS IoT functionality to countless numbers of small, microcontroller-based devices,” says Didascalou. “And, customers have also told us they want to execute machine learning models on the connected devices themselves, so we’re excited to deliver that with AWS Greengrass ML Inference.”
AWS IoT 1-Click is designed to make it easy for users to enable a device with an AWS Lambda function simply by downloading the mobile app, registering and selecting an AWS IoT 1-Click enabled device, and – with a single click – associating an AWS Lambda function. AWS IoT 1-Click comes with pre-built AWS Lambda code for common actions like sending an SMS or email, and customers can also author and upload any other Lambda function.
Designed to reduce the cost and effort of managing large IoT device deployments, AWS IoT Device Management securely onboards, organizes, monitors, and remotely manages IoT devices at scale throughout their lifecycle — from initial setup, through software updates, to retirement. To start, customers simply log into the AWS IoT Console to register devices, individually or in bulk, and then upload attributes, certificates, and access policies. Once devices are in service, users can easily group and track devices, quickly find any device in near real-time, troubleshoot device functionality, remotely update device software, and remotely reboot, reset, patch, and restore devices to factory settings.
Coming in the first half of 2018, AWS IoT Device Defender continuously audits security policies associated with devices to make sure that they aren’t deviating from security best practices, and alerts customers when non-compliant devices are detected. For example, a customer can use AWS IoT Device Defender to define which ports should be open on a device, where the device should connect from, and how much data the device should send or receive. If an anomaly is detected – such as traffic from a device to an unknown IP address – AWS IoT Device Defender alerts the customer.
Finally, AWS IoT Analytics (available in preview) is a fully managed analytics service that cleans, processes, stores, and analyzes IoT device data at scale. Once a user identifies the device data they wish to analyze, they can optionally choose to enrich the device data with IoT-specific metadata, such as device type and location, by using the AWS IoT Device Registry and other public data sources. AWS IoT Analytics also features more sophisticated analytics, like statistical inference, enabling customers to understand the performance of devices, predict device failure, and perform time-series analysis.
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