IOT Core is Google Cloud’s Entrance in the Enterprise IOT Space
Internet of things(IOT) services are an important capability of lead platform as a service stacks such as AWS, Azure or Bluemix. IBM has made its Watson IOT platform a core component of its “strategic imperatives” driving its transformation strategy. Similarly, Microsoft and Amazon have been aggressively pushing their Azure IOT Suite (IOT Bundle) and AWS IOT stacks respectively. Surprisingly, IOT has been missing from the Google Cloud platform, but that’s about to change.
Google IOT Core is Google Cloud’s first attempt to provide a comprehensive strategy for linking Google Cloud capabilities and IOT devices. IOT Core enables the management of IOT devices that leverage Google Cloud services. The platform takes advantage of native Google Cloud services such as Cloud Functions and Pub/Sub to manage and distribute updates to devices. Specifically, Pub/Sub plays a central role in IOT Core as the main messaging hub to distribute data between IOT devices and Google Cloud endpoints.
IOT Core actively leverages Google Cloud’s advanced portfolio of data services integrating technologies such as BigTable and BigQuery to enable data storage capabilities, DataFlow to power data aggregation models against data produced by IOT devices as well as DataStudio and DataLab to enable advanced analytics in IOT topologies. that combination of capabilities enables IOT Core to power the implementation of highly sophisticated IOT scenarios.
With IOT Core, Google is bringing along chip manufacturers such as ARM or Intel which are becoming increasingly relevant for IOT devices. Similarly, we should see other IOT device manufacturers join and support Google IOT Core’s efforts.
How About the Competition?
By providing IOT-specific services, Google IOT Core certainly addresses one of the biggest limitations of Google Cloud. However, the current feature set of IOT Core is still relatively limited in a highly competitive field. In addition to the IOT platforms in PaaS stacks such as Azure IOT Suite, AWS IOT or Watson IOT, Google faces competition from industrial powerhouses such as GE (Predix) and PTC (ThingWorx) as well as from innovative IOT startups such as C3IOT or Xively. Despite these challenges, Google has very unique assets that can become a differentiator for the IOT Core platform.
Google Cloud’s impressive artificial intelligence(AI) services portfolio can become incredibly relevant in IOT scenarios. Android is also a unique asset that Google can leverage to streamline the adoption of IOT Core. Other divisions of Alphabet such as Waymo (self-driving cars) or Nest( home automation) can become unique distribution channels for Google IOT Core.
A Short-Term Roadmap for Google IOT Core
Below, I’ve listed some ideas that I would like to see in Google IOT Core in order to bridge the gap with the competition and become a more viable platform for the implementation of IOT solutions:
1 — Stream analytics: Processing and executing SQL queries against continuous streams of data generated by IOT devices should be a high priority in Google IOT Core’s roadmap. Azure Stream Analytics or AWS Kinesis Analytics are great examples of this type of technology.
2 — Edge Computing Services: Enabling Google Cloud services such as Cloud Functions or Cloud ML to execute in IOT device runtimes will help to leverage the IOT Core platform in highly sophisticated IOT scenarios.
3 — Device State Management: Backing up and restoring the state of IOT devices would be another welcomed capability for Google IOT Core. AWS IOT Device Shadows is a good reference point for this type of technology.
4 — Time-Series Storage & Stream Simulation: Time-Series optimized databases and stream replay and simulation will improve the testing and maintenance of IOT solutions built on the Google IOT Core platform. Microsoft recently released Azure TimeSeries DB as a new component of its IOT capabilities.