Smart Spaces

Moving data from the IoT to the Microsoft Azure Cloud

Author: Thomas Frahler, Business Lead Internet of Things, Microsoft
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For Microsoft and many other companies, the Internet of Things (IoT) has already become an important and essential component of building automation concepts. Sensors supply the raw data needed to digitize buildings and processes and to carry out IoT projects based on this data in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Microsoft Azure is a scalable and customizable cloud computing platform for data and applications that comply with the strictest security standards. It can be used to store and manage data and to develop applications. The Microsoft Azure Cloud solution can be accessed via the Windows and Linux operating systems. It not only meets the strictest data security standards, but also enables users to put together the programs and services themselves with the utmost flexibility, so that they can be tailored to a company’s individual business processes.

Data collection via sensors

Self-powered wireless sensors from EnOcean are particularly suitable for the flexible and maintenance-free collection of data needed for an application. With the aid of explicit gateways, this data reaches the Microsoft Azure Cloud quickly and safely, or the user can simply rely on the existing IT infrastructure in the building. For example, WiFi Access Points from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, are ideal for the EnOcean sensors. An EnOcean USB stick, which is simply plugged into a suitable access point, is used to forward the sensor data directly to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Microsoft Moving data from the IoT to the Microsoft Azure Cloud

Complete control over data

To carry out IoT projects in smart buildings, the raw data first needs to be converted to the right format. The EnOcean IoT Connector software is a suitable and time-saving option. The IoT Connector decodes the raw sensor data in the Azure Cloud and translates it into interpreted, ready-to-use data, which can then be used directly for the actual application. As an Azure container, the EnOcean IoT Connector is generally available from the Azure Marketplace at the click of a mouse and accessible to everyone in the Azure Cloud. The data can also be stored in the Microsoft Azure Cloud – for example, to evaluate historic events. The IoT Connector has the great advantage of giving the customer complete control over the data flow. No third party or third-party storage location is involved in the transfer of data from the sensor to the cloud. Customers alone decide what happens to their data, from visualization and deletion to archiving.

Best practices in smart buildings

The EnOcean IoT Connector and the Microsoft Azure Cloud enable IoT projects to be quickly set up and implemented in order to minimize CO2 emissions in buildings, save energy, create a healthy work environment and permit sustainable building use, among other things. In concrete terms, this process could unfold as follows: The data obtained from sensors can be used to determine the period of time in which an office is actually in use and by how many people. On this basis, heating, ventilation and lighting can be adapted in such a way that they are switched on only when needed. This is only one example. Facility managers and system integrators can use the IoT Connector to test all their innovative project ideas.

Microsoft Moving data from the IoT to the Microsoft Azure Cloud

One click for everything

The benefits of Azure Marketplace are plain to see. Not only does it give facility managers and system integrators the software they need, but the latest updates and a step-by-step installation guide are also available. All solutions are simply billed through the Azure customer account.

All these benefits mean that facility managers and system integrators can focus on their essential tasks and do not have to invest unnecessary time in procuring data. The interplay between EnOcean sensors, IoT Connector and the Azure Cloud portfolio provides the ideal solution for IoT projects in smart buildings.

About Perpetuum

Perpetuum is EnOcean's customer magazine focusing on solutions and products for energy harvesting technology. The technology delivers the data for the Internet of Things in a resource-saving, self-powered and maintenance-free way. In doing so, it enables the smart use of buildings, cities and industrial plants. In the categories Internet of Things, Smart Building, Smart Lighting and Smart Home the EnOcean's partners in particular have their say highlighting their expertise.

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