Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Microsoft and Cisco bring edge-to-cloud IoT

Steve Rogerson
March 11, 2020



Microsoft and Cisco are working together to provide a pre-integrated Cisco Edge to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub.
 
“We have decided to team up to share the availability of an integrated Azure IoT, that provides the necessary software, hardware and cloud services that businesses need to rapidly launch IoT initiatives and quickly realise business value,” said Tony Shakib, IoT business acceleration leader for Microsoft Azure, in a blog post.
 
Using software-based intelligence pre-loaded onto Cisco IoT network devices, telemetry data pipelines from standard protocols such as OPC-Unified Architecture (OPC-UA) and Modbus can be established using a friendly UI directly into Azure IoT Hub.
 
Services such as Azure stream analytics, machine learning and notification hub can be used to build IoT applications for the enterprise. Additional telemetry processing is also supported by Cisco through local scripts developed in Microsoft Visual Studio, where filtered data can also be uploaded directly into Azure IoT Hub.
 
This collaboration provides users with full integration that will give access to design tools, global connectivity, analytics and cognitive services for analysing IoT data.
 
These capabilities can help illuminate business opportunities across many industries. Using Cisco Edge Intelligence software to connect to Azure IoT Hub and device provisioning services enable simple device provisioning and management at scale, without the headache of a complex setup.
 
“This partnership between Cisco and Azure IoT will significantly simplify customer deployments,” said Vikas Butaney, Cisco IoT VP of product management. “Customers can now securely connect their assets, and simply ingest and send IoT data to the cloud. Our IoT gateways will now be pre-integrated to take advantage of the latest in cloud technology from Azure. Cisco and Microsoft are happy to help our customers realise the value of their IoT projects faster than ever before.”
 
An early field customer, Voestalpine, is benefiting from this integration as it digitises operations to improve production planning and operational efficiencies.
 
“At Voestalpine, we are going through a digital journey to rethink and innovate manufacturing processes to bring increased operational efficiency,” said Stefan Pöchtrager, enterprise architect at Voestalpine. “We face challenges to consistently and securely extract data from these machines and deliver the right data to our analytics applications. We are validating Cisco’s next-generation edge data software, Cisco Edge Intelligence along with Azure IoT services for our cloud software development. Cisco’s out-of-the-box edge with Azure IoT services helps us accelerate our digital journey.”
 
By enabling Azure IoT with Cisco IoT network devices infrastructure, IT and operations teams can take advantage of a wide variety of hardware and scalable telemetry collection from connected assets to kickstart their Azure IoT application development.
 
“Our customers can now augment their existing Cisco networks with Azure IoT ready gateways across multiple industries and use cases, without compromising the ability to implement data control and security that both Microsoft and Cisco are known for,” said Shakib.