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Internet of Things

Latest AWS IoT Services to Address Device Management and Security

New AWS IoT services aim to help enterprises expand and manage their IoT products for customers using the flexibility of the cloud.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is adding a myriad of new cloud-based internet of things services and support to help enterprises better manage and scale the expanding use of IoT products in homes, businesses, communities, factories and other locations. 

The AWS IoT announcements, which were unveiled Nov. 29 at the company's AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, include services from IoT device management to IoT device security, as well as IoT analytics, simplified IoT system organizational tools and an AWS-customized FreeRTOS open source operating system that can be used to connect and control large numbers of low-power IoT devices.

The company's move into the new IoT services comes due to the rapid interest and expansion in IoT products and offerings that's coming from a growing number of enterprises and end users, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said in his keynote address at the conference. "We're now just entering a world where the growth in the number of [connected] devices is going to be exponential.”

The new AWS IoT services include:

  • AWS IoT 1-Click, which will allow users to easily get started with IoT devices using one click to enable various simple functions. This could include single-button devices that could call technical support, reorder goods and services or track asset locations using the 1-Click function. Users could enable a device using an AWS Lambda function, which lets users run code without provisioning or managing servers. AWS IoT 1-Click, which is available in preview form immediately, comes with pre-built AWS Lambda code for common actions like sending an SMS or email, while users can also easily author and upload any other Lambda functions.
  • AWS IoT Device Management, which provides capabilities to securely onboard, organize, monitor and remotely manage IoT devices at scale from deployment through end-of-use. Using this tool, users can log into the AWS IoT Console to register devices, individually or in bulk, and then upload attributes, certificates, and access policies. The tools then allow users to group and track devices, while also allowing them to find devices quickly, troubleshoot device functionality, remotely update device software, and remotely reboot, reset, patch, and restore devices to factory settings. The device management services are available immediately.
  • AWS IoT Device Defender, which is designed to continuously audit security policies associated with devices to make sure that they comply with security best practices, and to alert customers when non-compliant devices are detected. Scheduled to be available in 2018, AWS IoT Device Defender also will be able to monitor the activities of fleets of devices, identifying abnormal behavior that might indicate potential security issues.
  • AWS IoT Analytics, which is a fully managed analytics service that cleans, processes, stores, and analyzes IoT device data at scale. Available immediately in a preview version, users will be able to identify the device data they wish to analyze and gather a wide range of information on their IoT deployments. Users will also be able to enrich the device data with IoT-specific metadata, such as device type and location, by using the AWS IoT Device Registry and other public data sources. The service will also be capable of more sophisticated analytics, such as statistical inference, enabling customers to understand the performance of devices, predict device failure and perform time-series analysis.
  • The Amazon FreeRTOS operating system, which allows users to control small, low-power IoT devices, such as lightbulbs and conveyor belts, that use microcontrollers instead of larger CPUs. Amazon FreeRTOS is a customized version of the open source FreeRTOS operating system, allowing it to be massaged to work specifically with IoT products and services. Amazon FreeRTOS extends FreeRTOS with software libraries that make it easy to securely connect small, low-power devices to AWS cloud services.
  • AWS Greengrass ML, which will let IoT application developers add machine learning capabilities to their devices without requiring any machine learning skills with the new AWS Greengrass ML cloud inference, customers can build and train their machine learning models in the cloud and then use the AWS Greengrass console to transfer the models to their devices. The AWS Greengrass ML capabilities are available in preview form immediately.

"These new AWS IoT services will allow customers to simply and quickly operationalize, secure, and scale entire fleets of devices, and then act on the large volumes of data they generate with new analytics capabilities specifically designed for IoT," Dirk Didascalou, the vice president of AWS, said in a statement. "With Amazon FreeRTOS, we're making it easy for customers to bring AWS IoT functionality to countless numbers of small, microcontroller-based devices. And, customers have also told us they want to execute machine learning models on the connected devices themselves, so we're excited to deliver that with AWS Greengrass ML Inference."

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