An In-Depth Comparison of the Best Free Open Source and Commercial IoT Platforms That You Should Watch Out in 2021:
What is an IoT Platform?
A multi-layer technology which is used to manage and automate the connected devices is known as the IoT platform. In other words, it is a service which helps you in bringing the physical objects online. This platform will provide you with the services to connect the devices for a machine to machine communication.
Internet of Things (IoT) is a software that connects the edge hardware, access points, and data networks to the other end which is usually the end-user application.
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What You Will Learn:
- IoT Architecture
- Most Popular IoT Platforms In 2021
The below image will show you the four-stage architecture of the IoT system.
In the first stage, data is collected and converted into useful data. In the second stage, data is converted from an analog form to the digital form. In the third stage, Edge IT system does more analysis of data.
At stage four, data which requires more processing and doesn’t need immediate processing will be passed on to the data center or cloud-based systems.
Examples of IoT:
- Smart home systems are examples of an IoT application. Amazon Echo is the most popular one.
- Smartwatches which allow text messages and phone calls are also an example of IoT applications.
- Fitbit is also an example of IoT devices.
Types of Internet of Things Platforms:
- End to end
Some facts about these platforms:
- The primary function of the IoT platform is to act as middleware or as plumbing to connect devices or applications to another end. IoT contains a mixture of functions like Sensors & controllers, a gateway device, communication network, data analyzing & translating software, and end application service.
- IoT cloud platform can handle huge data volume from devices, customers, applications, websites, and sensors and take actions to give a real-time response.
- How to select the best Internet of Things platform depends on the requirements of a company for hardware, real-time access, custom reports, budget, development skills, and the business model.
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Most Popular IoT Platforms In 2021
Below is a list and comparison of the most popular open source Internet of Things Platforms.
IoT Platform Comparison
Here is the comparison chart of the top best platforms.
|IoT platform||Services||Device management platform||Price|
|Google Cloud Platform||Organizing, managing, and sharing documents.|
Solutions for smart cities and buildings, and real-time asset tracking.
|Yes||Price starts at $1758 per month.|
|OpenRemote||100% Open source IoT platform for e.g. smart energy and smart buildings, including Edge Gateway, Rules Engine, and relevant protocols.||Yes||Open source, Free|
|IRI Voracity||Runtime aggregation on the edge, and/or analytics in hub.||No||Affordable annual or perpetual (wide range).|
|Particle||Hardware, Connectivity, Device Cloud, and Apps.||Yes||Wi-Fi: Starts at $25 per device.
Cellular: Starts at $49 per device.
Mesh: Starts at $15 per device.
|ThingWorx||End-to-end Industrial IoT platform.||Yes||Contact them.|
|IBM Watson IoT||Connection Service, Analytics Service, Blockchain Service.||Yes||Starts at $500 per instance/month.|
|IoT Platform||Pricing policy|
|Pricing is based on the data volume. It provides free data up to 250 MB per month.|
|OpenRemote||100% Open source and licensed under AGPLv3. Therefore completely free for use of default version.|
|IRI Voracity||Pricing is based on the number of hostnames performing work (transforming and/or reporting on device data).|
|AWS||Pricing is based on the connectivity, messaging, rules engine, and device shadow usage.|
|IBM||Pricing is based on the data exchanged, data analyzed, and data analyzed at the edge.|
|Microsoft||Pricing is based on the number of messages per day.|
#1) Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud provides a multi-layered secure infrastructure.
It helps in improving operational efficiency. It provides predictive maintenance for equipment, solutions for smart cities & buildings, and real-time asset tracking.
- Machine learning capabilities for any IoT need.
- Real-time business insights for globally dispersed devices.
- AI capabilities.
- Provides support for a wide range of embedded operating systems.
- Location intelligence.
Cost: Price starts at $1758 per month.
Verdict: Organizing, managing, and sharing documents is easy. It works with all operating systems. Overall it provides good features and functionalities and ease of use.
Website: Google Cloud Platform
OpenRemote is a 100% open-source IoT platform to create a wide range of applications. They are adopted in larger professional IoT applications for e.g. energy management, crowd management.
- IoT-based protocols like HTTP, TCP, UDP, Websocket or MQTT, to connect your IoT devices, gateways, or data services or build a missing vendor-specific API.
- Other protocols such as KNX or Modbus
- Rules engine with a Flow editor, a WHEN-THEN, and a Groovy UI.
- Dashboard for provisioning, automating, controlling, and monitoring your application as well as Web UI components to build project-specific apps.
- Mobile app for Android and iOS, including the option to use geofencing and push notifications.
- Edge Gateway solution to connect multiple instances with a central management instance.
- Ability to create multi-realms combined with account management and identity service.
Costs: Completely free under open source license.
Verdict: Not as feature-rich as it is paid for big services, but very impressive as it contains all you need, it’s free and seems to be trusted by larger users.
#3) IRI Voracity
Voracity is a fast, affordable platform for data discovery, integration, migration, governance, and analytics that can transform, report, and anonymize device data streaming through Kafka or MQTT. For example, in huge log files or database tables.
Voracity has a small footprint data manipulation engine for fast aggregation on the edge, plus a full-stack Eclipse IDE for metadata-driven, graphical data integration, and analytics.
- Connects to and integrates sensor, log, and many other data sources.
- Consolidated (same I/O) data filtering, transformation, cleansing, masking, and reporting.
- Runs on a wide range of Linux, Unix, and Windows platforms, from a Rasberry Pi to a z/Linux mainframe.
- Migrates, replicates, subsets, and otherwise leverages IoT data for archival, data lakes, analytics, and playbooks (E.g. Splunk Phantom).
- Fit-for-purpose data-wrangling node to aggregate and anonymize IoT data and feed IOT mining and machine learning nodes.
- App, add-on, and Universal Forwarder options for fast preparation and direct indexing of Splunk for cloud analytics and action on IoT data.
Cost: 3-5 figures per hostname per year; depending on the components and volumes needed.
Verdict: Very versatile, high-speed data manipulation engine and platform to integrate, govern, and analyze IoT data, on the edge or in the hub.
Particle provides the IoT solutions for hardware, connectivity, device cloud, and apps.
For connectivity, it provides three products i.e. Cellular, Wi-Fi, and Mesh. As an IoT software, it provides Device OS, Device Cloud, IoT Rules Engine, and developer tools. Particle is used by the Opti for training its weather casting product.
- It will provide a robust and reliable infrastructure.
- This platform can be used by anyone. No need for expertise.
- It provides the firewall-protected cloud.
- It can work with data even if it is on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud etc.
- For data, it can be integrated with anything using REST API.
- It provides an all-in-one solution for the hardware, software, and connectivity. There will be no need to invest time again in integrating.
For Wi-Fi: Price starts at $25 per device.
For Cellular: Price starts at $49 per device.
For Mesh: Price starts at $15 per device.
Verdict: It is user-friendly and easy to learn. Good community support is available for Particle.
It helps in managing the development lifecycle for IoT applications.
It provides flexibility to access data and IoT from on-premise, off-premise, and from the hybrid environment. Use of ThingWorx will give you increased uptime, reduced costs, role-based visibility & control, and improved compliance.
- Connect devices.
- Analyze data.
- Build and deploy solutions.
- Industrial IoT and application data is accessible from on-premise web servers, off-premise cloud applications and as hybrid environments.
Cost: Contact them for pricing details.
Verdict: It is a good solution for industrial IoT. With the help of ThingWorx, you can create an industrial IoT application fast. There is no need to write too many lines of code.
#6) IBM Watson IoT
This platform will help you to capture and investigate the data for devices, machines, equipment and find out the understandings for better decisions.
This platform will allow you to optimize operations and resource. By providing the correct business insights and bidirectional communication facility, it will help in increasing the revenue to a great extent.
- AI and Analytics.
- Domain expertise.
- Provides flexible solutions.
- Provides security.
- Captures real-time data.
- Provides analytics service as an add-on.
Cost: Starts at $500 per instance/month.
Verdict: Platform provides good features and functionalities at an affordable price.
Website: IBM Watson IoT
#7) Amazon AWS IoT Core
AWS IoT Core will help you to connect devices to the cloud.
It is a managed cloud service. AWS IoT Core will allow devices to connect with the cloud and interact with the other devices and cloud applications. It provides support for HTTP, lightweight communication protocol, and MQTT.
- It can process a huge amount of messages.
- It is a reliable and secure platform to route the messages to AWS endpoints and other devices.
- Your applications will track and communicate even when not connected.
- You will be able to use other AWS services like AWS Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, and Amazon QuickSight etc.
- It allows secure access to your devices.
Cost: Contact for more pricing details. 12 months free trial period is also available.
Verdict: You can start in just three simple steps. Signup, learn from tutorials and start building. Tutorials are provided as a learning material. AWS IoT provides good integration options with other services. The platform is pricey when compared to others.
Website: Amazon AWS IoT Core
#8) Microsoft Azure IoT Suite
This IoT solution is designed for different industry needs. It can be used from manufacturing to transportation to retail. It provides solutions for remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, smart spaces, and connected products.
- It provides you with an open platform to build a robust application.
- It can be used by beginners as well as experts.
- There are two solutions to start with, as an IoT SaaS and with open source IoT Templates.
Cost: Contact them for pricing details.
Verdict: A free guide is provided on how to create IoT applications. The platform provides a good number of features and functionalities and it is easily scalable too.
Website: Microsoft Azure IoT Suite
#9) Oracle IoT
With the help of Oracle IoT cloud, you can connect your devices to the cloud, perform analysis of data from these devices in real time, and perform integration of data with enterprise applications or web services. It supports integration with Oracle and non-oracle applications and IoT devices using REST API.
- It will help you to extend the supply chain, ERP, HR, and customer experience applications.
- Operational efficiency and worker productivity will be improved.
- It provides features like device virtualization, high-speed messaging, and endpoint management to connect.
- To analyze the data, it provides features like stream processing and data enrichment.
- Using REST API, integration can be done with Oracle and non-oracle applications and IoT devices.
Cost: Price starts at $2.2513 OCPU per hour on a monthly basis. These prices are for Universal Credit services. For non-metered services, the prices start at $2500.
Verdict: It is a cloud-based service and is easy to use. It provides an integration option with Oracle and non-Oracle applications.
Website: Oracle IoT
#10) Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
Cisco IoT cloud connect is a mobility cloud-based software suite. This IoT solution is for mobile operators. It will fully optimize and utilize the network. Cisco provides IoT solutions for networking, security, and data management.
- Granular and real-time visibility.
- It provides updates for every level of the network.
- For IoT security, it provides benefits of protecting the control system from human errors & attacks, increased visibility & control by defending malware and intrusion, and centralized security controls.
Cost: Contact for the pricing details.
Verdict: Cisco IoT cloud connect is for networking, security, and data management and provides updates at every level of the network.
#11) Altair SmartWorks
Altair SmartWorks provides an end-to-end IoT platform. It provides a platform as a service.
It will help you to connect devices, collect data, manage devices and data, and build and run the app. It provides functionalities like device management, Listeners, rules, custom alarms, triggers, and data export etc.
- Using SmartWorks you can connect with any devices like sensors, gateways, machines, etc.
- Using REST API, you can send XML or JSON data.
- It has an open architecture.
Cost: Free for two devices. For more details contact them.
Verdict: Platform is easy to use and provides good features and functionalities.
#12) Salesforce IoT Cloud
Salesforce IoT cloud will help you to transform all data which is generated by the customers, partners, devices, and sensors into relevant actions. It has partner connectors like AWS, Cisco Systems, etc.
- It allows you to test business ideas without programming.
- It will provide you the real data about the product usage and performance.
- It can work with the data from any device.
- You can create device profiles for customer context data in CRM and for streaming data from the connected devices.
- Using RESTful API, you can import data from any source.
- No need of CS degree while creating and managing orchestration rules.
- Real-time traffic view.
Cost: Contact for the pricing details.
Verdict: Tool provides a good interface, ease of use etc. CRM in the cloud will allow people to work from anywhere.
Website: Salesforce IoT Cloud
To conclude the article on the Best IoT Platforms, we can say that the Google Cloud platform, Particle, and Salesforce IoT cloud are easy to use.
Particle really has good community support. ThingWorx is a good industrial IoT solution. AWS IoT provides good integration options but is a little bit pricey.
Hope this article on the Best IoT Platforms was much useful to you!