AWS IoT Platform

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AWS IoT is a managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. AWS IoT can support billions of devices and trillions of messages, and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely.

AWS IoT provides secure, bi-directional communication between Internet-connected devices such as sensors, actuators, embedded micro-controllers, or smart appliances and the AWS Cloud. This enables you to collect telemetry data from multiple devices, and store and analyze the data. You can also create applications that enable your users to control these devices from their phones or tablets.

AWS IoT is a managed cloud platform that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices. AWS IoT can support billions of devices and trillions of messages, and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely. With AWS IoT, your applications can keep track of and communicate with all your devices, all the time, even when they aren’t connected.

AWS IoT makes it easy to use AWS services like AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudWatch, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service with built-in Kibana integration, to build IoT applications that gather, process, analyze and act on data generated by connected devices, without having to manage any infrastructure.

AWS IoT consists of the following components:

Device gateway
Enables devices to securely and efficiently communicate with AWS IoT.

Message broker
Provides a secure mechanism for devices and AWS IoT applications to publish and receive messages from each other. You can use either the MQTT protocol directly or MQTT over WebSocket to publish and subscribe. You can use the HTTP REST interface to publish.

Rules engine
Provides message processing and integration with other AWS services. You can use an SQL-based language to select data from message payloads, and then process and send the data to other services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, and AWS Lambda. You can also use the message broker to republish messages to other subscribers.

Security and Identity service
Provides shared responsibility for security in the AWS Cloud. Your devices must keep their credentials safe in order to securely send data to the message broker. The message broker and rules engine use AWS security features to send data securely to devices or other AWS services.

Registry
Organizes the resources associated with each device in the AWS Cloud. You register your devices and associate up to three custom attributes with each one. You can also associate certificates and MQTT client IDs with each device to improve your ability to manage and troubleshoot them.

Group registry
Groups allow you to manage several devices at once by categorizing them into groups. Groups can also contain groups—you can build a hierarchy of groups. Any action you perform on a parent group will apply to its child groups, and to all the devices in it and in all of its child groups as well. Permissions given to a group will apply to all devices in the group and in all of its child groups.

Device shadow
A JSON document used to store and retrieve current state information for a device.

Device Shadow service
Provides persistent representations of your devices in the AWS Cloud. You can publish updated state information to a device’s shadow, and your device can synchronize its state when it connects. Your devices can also publish their current state to a shadow for use by applications or other devices.

Device Provisioning service
Allows you to provision devices using a template that describes the resources required for your device: a thing, a certificate, and one or more policies. A thing is an entry in the registry that contains attributes that describe a device. Devices use certificates to authenticate with AWS IoT. Policies determine which operations a device can perform in AWS IoT.

The templates contain variables that are replaced by values in a dictionary (map). You can use the same template to provision multiple devices just by passing in different values for the template variables in the dictionary.

Custom Authentication service
You can define custom authorizers that allow you to manage your own authentication and authorization strategy using a custom authentication service and a Lambda function. Custom authorizers allow AWS IoT to authenticate your devices and authorize operations using bearer token authentication and authorization strategies.
Custom authorizers can implement various authentication strategies (for example, JSON Web Token verification, OAuth provider callout, and so on) and must return policy documents that are used by the device gateway to authorize MQTT operations.

Jobs service
Allows you to define a set of remote operations that are sent to and executed on one or more devices connected to AWS IoT. For example, you can define a job that instructs a set of devices to download and install application or firmware updates, reboot, rotate certificates, or perform remote troubleshooting operations.

To create a job, you specify a description of the remote operations to be performed and a list of targets that should perform them. The targets can be individual devices, groups or both.

Connect and manage your devices:
AWS IoT allows you to easily connect devices to the cloud and to other devices. AWS IoT supports HTTP, WebSockets, and MQTT, a lightweight communication protocol specifically designed to tolerate intermittent connections, minimize the code footprint on devices, and reduce network bandwidth requirements. AWS IoT also supports other industry-standard and custom protocols, and devices can communicate with each other even if they are using different protocols.

Secure device connections and data:
AWS IoT provides authentication and end-to-end encryption throughout all points of connection, so that data is never exchanged between devices and AWS IoT without proven identity. In addition, you can secure access to your devices and applications by applying policies with granular permissions.

Process and act upon device data:
With AWS IoT, you can filter, transform, and act upon device data on the fly, based on business rules you define. You can update your rules to implement new device and application features at any time. AWS IoT makes it easy to use AWS services like AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudWatch, and Amazon Elasticsearch Service for even more powerful IoT applications.

Read and set device state at any time:
AWS IoT stores the latest state of a device so that it can be read or set at anytime, making the device appear to your applications as if it were online all the time. This means that your application can read a device’s state even when it is disconnected, and also allows you to set a device state and have it implemented when the device reconnects.

Accessing AWS IoT
AWS IoT provides the following interfaces to create and interact with your devices:

AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI)—Run commands for AWS IoT on Windows, macOS, and Linux. These commands allow you to create and manage things, certificates, rules, and policies. To get started, see the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide. For more information about the commands for AWS IoT.

AWS IoT API—Build your IoT applications using HTTP or HTTPS requests. These API actions allow you to programmatically create and manage things, certificates, rules, and policies.

AWS SDKs—Build your IoT applications using language-specific APIs. These SDKs wrap the HTTP/HTTPS API and allow you to program in any of the supported languages.

AWS IoT Device SDKs—Build applications that run on devices that send messages to and receive messages from AWS IoT.

 

How AWS IoT Works?

AWS IoT enables Internet-connected devices to connect to the AWS Cloud and lets applications in the cloud interact with Internet-connected devices. Common IoT applications either collect and process telemetry from devices or enable users to control a device remotely.

Devices report their state by publishing messages, in JSON format, on MQTT topics. Each MQTT topic has a hierarchical name that identifies the device whose state is being updated. When a message is published on an MQTT topic, the message is sent to the AWS IoT MQTT message broker, which is responsible for sending all messages published on an MQTT topic to all clients subscribed to that topic.

Communication between a device and AWS IoT is protected through the use of X.509 certificates. AWS IoT can generate a certificate for you or you can use your own. In either case, the certificate must be registered and activated with AWS IoT, and then copied onto your device. When your device communicates with AWS IoT, it presents the certificate to AWS IoT as a credential.

Recommended is that all devices that connect to AWS IoT have an entry in the registry. The registry stores information about a device and the certificates that are used by the device to secure communication with AWS IoT.

You can create rules that define one or more actions to perform based on the data in a message. For example, you can insert, update, or query a DynamoDB table or invoke a Lambda function. Rules use expressions to filter messages. When a rule matches a message, the rules engine invokes the action using the selected properties. Rules also contain an IAM role that grants AWS IoT permission to the AWS resources used to perform the action.

AWS IoT Device SDK

The AWS IoT Device SDK helps you to easily and quickly connect your hardware device to AWS IoT. It provides enhanced features so that your hardware device can seamlessly and securely work with the Device Gateway and Device Shadow provided by AWS IoT.
The AWS IoT Device SDK includes open source libraries, the developer guide with samples, and the porting guide so that you can build innovative IoT products or solutions on your choice of hardware platforms.

 

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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