CSF117 Module 10 IoT cloud platforms

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Welcome to the IoT cloud platforms module. This module aims to facilitate learning about posting data collected from sensors onto the cloud through an internet connection.
Welcome to the IoT cloud platforms module. In previous modules, we have learned how to obtain sensory information from the environment through sensors. We have also learned how to send data from one IoT device to another. There are cases where it is necessary to send that data to an Internet cloud for purposes of further processing or even monitoring by you or other users from the comfort of your phone. In this module we will try to answer questions such as What is an IoT cloud? Why is it important? How does an IoT cloud work? and What are the challenges of IoT cloud? An IoT cloud can be defined as a massive network that supports IoT devices and applications. It includes standards and services needed to connect, manage and secure several IoT devices. IoT cloud can be seen as a service provided to IoT enthusiasts to have their Arduino devices post data from sensors through the web securely. It also allows mobile apps to connect to the cloud. That creates an opportunity to develop mobile apps that can even remotely monitor and even control IoT devices remotely. IoT clouds are important because they provide IoT enthusiasts who have limited resources with an on-demand, fast, scalable and flexible means to drive their IoTs. That way they do not have to build infrastructure in addition to building the IoTs themselves. When working with an IoT cloud, the IoT devices submit data collected from sensors by connecting to an IoT gateway or some other edge device. Then, that data is sent to the cloud to be analyzed. IoT cloud platforms provide scalability, which enables the processing of large amounts of data. This also allows for analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Examples of IoT cloud platforms include Arduino IoT, Amazon Web Services (AWS) IoT, AWS IoT Core, Azure IoT, Google Cloud IoT, IBM Watson IoT, Oracle IoT Cloud. Collaboration is another big advantage that comes with the IoT cloud. Researchers and enthusiasts can collaborate by authorizing access to their data for common pooled processing and analysis. There are few challenges, however, with the IoT cloud. One is the likelihood of breach of data. Hackers can gain access to unauthorized data if there is a bug in the IoT cloud platform system. Another is that internet connectivity must be available when sending and receiving data by IoTs. Cost can also be a challenge especially if establishing your own IoT cloud. An alternative to IoT cloud that may not have the disadvantages of IoT cloud, is Edge Computing. It is similar to IoT cloud in the sense that data is submitted by IoTs to some node. But the difference is that in edge computing, the node is not on the cloud. Rather it is close to the IoTs and there may not even be need for Internet connectivity for the IoTs to communicate with the edge computing node. It therefore follows that the advantages of edge computing include low latency, privacy and security and high bandwidth.