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Cloud IoT Core Service in Google Cloud Platform Is Now Generally Available

| by Steef-Jan Wiggers Follow 7 Followers on Feb 26, 2018. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Google announced the general availability of its Cloud IoT Core, a managed service to help enterprises connect and manage millions of connected devices. The Cloud IoT Core will offer its users a system for controlling the connection of the internet of things (IoT) devices with Google's Cloud Platform (GPC) and a pipeline for getting data to and from those devices.

In September 2017 Google released the Cloud IoT Core in public beta, positioning this service as the capability that works together with the Google Cloud IoT solution, as it can integrate with other analytics services like Google Cloud Pub/Sub, Google Cloud Dataflow, Google Cloud Bigtable, Google BigQuery, and Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine. Moreover, through BigQuery data users can create visualizations, transforms and machine learning models using the Google Cloud Lab and Data Studio. 


Image source: https://cloud.google.com/iot-core/

Since the beta, some customers have tested the Cloud IoT Core public beta. One of them is a New Zealand-based Smart Parking, who built out a smart city platform, helping direct traffic, parking, and city services. Their CTO John Heard said on the Google blog about the release:

Using Google Cloud IoT Core, we have been able to completely redefine how we manage the deployment, activation, and administration of sensors and devices. Previously, we needed to individually set up each sensor/device. Now we allocate manufactured batches of devices into IoT Core for site deployments and then, using a simple activation smartphone app, the onsite installation technician can activate the sensor or device in moments. Job done!

Based on feedback from customers beta testing the IoT Core, Google added several more features to the release. For instance, users can now publish data streams from the IoT Core protocol bridge to multiple Cloud Pub/Sub topics, which results in the benefit of not having to separate the data into different categories after publishing. Furthermore, the billing of the service will depend upon the number of megabytes of data transferred to and from devices connected to the IoT Core every month. However, discounts will apply when consumption increases from 250 GB and up.

There is competition for Google in the IoT services space, as both Microsoft and Amazon offer an IoT service portfolio. Microsoft offers Azure IoT Suite, consisting of several services including IoT hub, and more recently launched IoT Central, a SaaS solution for connecting, managing, and monitoring IoT assets. Amazon has AWS IoT Core, a service also allowing their customers to connect devices and leverage other services on the platform like AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, and Amazon Machine Learning. Both Amazon and Microsoft currently have a market share lead over Google. Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research Inc, said in a recent article at siliconangle.com:

More important is that this release demonstrates Google's determination to "fill the gap in IoT," in areas where it currently trails behind its public cloud rivals Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s Azure.

With the recent acquisition of LogMeIn Inc.'s Xively IoT platform, which provides advanced device management and messaging features for IoT devices, Google hopes to catch up with Amazon and Microsoft by integrating Xively's capabilities into the Cloud IoT Core service.

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