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Microsoft, Cisco Integrate Their Cloud and IoT Services

Microsoft and Cisco this week announced the "seamless integration" of the two companies' Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud products, enabling more edge computing scenarios.

According to a blog post Tuesday by Tony Shakib, an IoT business acceleration leader for Microsoft Azure, the integration will be beneficial for IT and operations personnel who are trying to set up various edge computing activities.

"By enabling Azure IoT with Cisco IoT network devices infrastructure, IT, and operations teams can quickly take advantage of a wide variety of hardware and easily scalable telemetry collection from connected assets, to kickstart their Azure IoT application development," Shakib wrote. "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."

The main idea is that Cisco's Edge Intelligence software, announced back in January, can connect with Microsoft's Azure IoT Hub service, as well as the Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service. Cisco Edge Intelligence is used to extract and transform data for use with various cloud-based services. Cisco pre-integrates its solution with various IoT platforms to facilitate data sharing.

The Azure IoT Hub service, released four years ago, is used for bidirectional messaging between IoT applications and devices. It supports the multiple protocols used by IoT devices.

The IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service offers "zero-touch" provisioning for IoT devices, according to Microsoft. It validates devices, registers them with an IoT hub and adds "256-bit AES encryption" for data at rest.

Cisco's IoT Gateways are now pre-integrated to work with Azure cloud-based solutions, according to Vikas Butaney, Cisco's IoT vice president of product management.

The integration opens up access by IoT devices to various Azure services, such as Stream Analytics, Machine Learning and Notification Hubs, which "can be used to quickly build IoT applications for the enterprise," Microsoft's announcement added.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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