The tech giant Google has officially declared: “Google Cloud IoT Core services” will be discontinued from 16th August 2023! Users will be able to access the IoT core Device Manager’s APIs only till 15th August 2023. From 16th August 2023, no device can be connected to Google Cloud IoT Core MQQT as well as the HTTP bridges. All the existing connections are going to shut down beyond that date.”
Ever since this announcement made the headlines, there are several questions that crop up in our minds. Two of the most crucial questions are: How is it going to affect the Google Cloud Core IoT users? What is the best piece of advice for the existing users?
Well, users have no other option than to migrate to other alternative IoT Core services. In this regard, Google has advised that users can seek assistance from the Google Cloud account manager if they have any queries regarding migration. But, the decision-making and execution are quite challenging for Google Core IoT users. This post discusses the Google IoT core verdict in detail and provides advice to users regarding migration to alternative IoT Core services.
Google IoT Core Services: An Overview
IoT Core service was started by Google Cloud in the year 2017. It is a fully managed service that promises high-grade security. Users can effortlessly connect, ingest, and manage data from innumerable devices that are dispersed globally. Thereafter, users can use the Google Cloud Platform for ingesting data and get this data processed further.
This service aimed to simplify the task of data exchange between a firm’s cloud-based environment and connected devices. With IoT Core, companies could define the configuration settings of their connected devices that were newly deployed. IoT Core, when integrated with other Google Cloud services, forms a complete solution that helped companies to boost their operational efficiency. This solution enables users to collect data, process it, and then, analyse the data. Thereafter, the IoT data gets visualized in real-time.
Reasons why Google decided to deprecate IoT Core Services
As a reason for this big decision, the Google team stated that its network partners could serve IoT consumers better as these IoT Core service providers specialize in delivering advanced IoT apps and services.
But, there are rumours that Google was finding it challenging to compete with its two big competitors offering similar services. Google Cloud’s key competitors in this arena are Microsoft and AWS (Amazon Web Services). Microsoft’s Azure comes with IoT Hub while AWS provides IoT Core service.
Unlike its competitors, Google Cloud IoT Core has failed to comply with the standard security protocols of the modern day. Google was also unable to effectively update its Cloud IoT Core services with the latest features. It has been noticed that only a few updates were rolled out since the launch of this service in 2017. As such, Google Cloud IoT Core came across problems like the lack of innovation in the IoT Cloud domain and lower consumer adoption of their services as compared to its hyper-scale Cloud IoT Core service-providing competitors.
Alternative to Google IoT Core Services
Check out the alternative services that Google IoT Core users may opt for.
Microsoft Azure IoT Hub
This Cloud-based service is an excellent option for secure and scalable IoT device and data management. Bidirectional messaging communication takes place between IoT devices. The data contained in cloud IoT devices get processed in real-time via ‘Azure Functions’ and ‘Azure Stream Analytics.’ Users enjoy secure and rapid access to IoT devices across the globe due to the global availability of Azure IoT Hub. The platform ensures top-grade security as the communication between the Cloud and IoT devices takes place via a ‘per-device authentication’ protocol and highly encrypted communication channels are used. Azure Functions and Azure Stream Analytics process IoT devices’ data in real time. The platform can be integrated with other Microsoft Azure services including Azure Time Series Insights, Azure Machine Learning, and Azure Maps.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
AWS IoT Core is a managed Cloud service. It allows effortless interaction between users’ connected devices and Cloud apps or other devices. Take a look at the key offerings. APIs and SDKs are available for several programming languages. Users can manage connected devices while ensuring security and scalability. A secure messaging service (message broker) is there; it’s for communication between Cloud and IoT devices.
“Device shadows,” represent a device’s state virtually, allowing interaction between devices in the offline mode. “Rules engine” defines rules for routing messages between the Cloud and other devices and automatically executes those rules. AWS IoT Core can be integrated with other AWS services like Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, and AWS Lambda to facilitate the development of end-to-end IoT products. This service also offers secure authorization and authentication of services, devices, and users.
This is an edge computing platform using which a device can run AWS Lambda functions locally. It also enables one to sync the device data with the Cloud. AWS Greengrass offers APIs that help IoT App Developers to design apps that will function locally on Greengrass-enabled devices. Greengrass-enabled devices can be run on local applications and communicate with other IoT devices. The platform provides security features to secure the communication happening between the cloud and IoT devices. It organizes resources and devices for tasks like management and deployment. Users can discover resources and devices on the local Cloud network and manage their Cloud connection.
IBM Watson IoT Platform
This is a cloud-based platform for registering IoT devices. It also manages and updates IoT devices and data. IBM Watson IoT Platform combines IoT with other technologies like AI, industrial robotics, or digital twins for asset optimization and modernizing industry operations. It integrates IoT data with Machine Learning algorithms for gaining real-time insights. Some of the key offerings are predictive maintenance and telematics abilities, vehicle speed management capabilities, and equipment failure prediction. This platform can also be integrated with other IBM services and also third-party services.
This is an open-source IoT platform that facilitates managing devices, collecting IoT data, processing the data, and visualizing it. It supports on-premise as well as Cloud deployments. Rich server-side APIs are used to offer a secure way of monitoring, provisioning, and controlling IoT entities. ThingsBoard allows defining relations between various entities like devices, assets, customers, etc. effortlessly.
ThingsBoard establishes IoT device connectivity through industry-grade protocols for IoT applications and services like HTTP, CoAP, and MQTT. This platform comes with offerings like quality performance, and scalability. It also ensures fault tolerance and users are least likely to lose their data.
This is a Cloud-based IoT platform that is ideal for small-scale and medium-sized businesses as it promises Cloud software at affordable rates. The platform merges the data of physical sensors with digital data analytics for IoT development projects. Ubidots comes with loads of offerings that simplify the business tasks of optimization and environment management. Some examples include user management tools, a synthetic variable machine to compute & retrieve data, global events & variables, a complex & conditional ‘Events Engine,’ Organizational Tokens, UbiParsers, and many more.
Migrating from Google IoT Core Services to a New Service: Advice
Analysis & Considerations
Thoroughly evaluate the aspects of your Google Cloud IoT Core usage to figure out which are the specific services that are essential for your use case requirement. Then, you’ll understand what functionalities to look for in the new service. The new service you pick should also be scalable and compatible with your existing IoT devices and ecosystem. Do not forget to check the security offerings of the new IoT Core service and the expenses you need to incur.
Now it’s time to prepare your IoT devices for migration. Update the firmware of the devices for supporting the new service, if required. Then, set up the new IoT Core service. Create new devices, configure any integration that is necessary, and set up the access control mechanism.
Export all your data from Google IoT core to the new service. Thereafter, thoroughly test the newly-created setup to check that the service is functioning as expected and your IoT devices are able to accurately communicate with the new IoT Core service. Now, migrate your devices to the new service by decommissioning the setup of Google IoT core.
Google Cloud IoT core users have multiple alternative IoT Core service options to choose from. However, one needs to pick the new service provider wisely after weighing all the offerings and checking whether those offerings are best suited for their specific IoT use case. Also, the migration process should be carried out properly following all standard protocols for smooth and successful execution. You must strictly adhere to the practices mentioned in the documentation offered by Google as well as the new service provider to avoid any errors.
If you lack technical expertise, you might end up messing up the migration process, leading to costly rework. So, I would recommend you seek assistance from a professional IoT App Development Company that would advise you on selecting the most suitable alternative to IoT Core service based on the unique requirements of your IoT solution. Professional services will also provide you with a dedicated team of technical resources who will help you execute the migration process correctly and as per standard practices.