Aruba Collaborates with Microsoft and reelyActive to Speed the Migration of IoT Workloads to Microsoft Azure without Custom Engineering

Aruba Collaborates with Microsoft and reelyActive to Speed the Migration of IoT Workloads to Microsoft Azure without Custom Engineering

March 14, 2023 0 By Hoofer
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Aruba and reelyActive announced a new open-source data converter for Microsoft Azure that enables IoT device data that is securely streamed from Aruba Wi-Fi access points (APs) to be used by Microsoft Power BI and other Azure applications. Used in conjunction with Aruba’s IoT Transport for Microsoft Azure, reelyActive’s Pareto Anywhere for Azure open-source converter reformats data and units of measurement like temperature and power to be compatible with Azure applications without custom engineering, significantly lowering the cost and time required using conventional integration methods.

Integrating data from legacy IoT devices with IoT cloud services can entail months of custom engineering. There are dozens of IoT protocols and non-interoperable physical layers with which to contend, and it is cost prohibitive to replace or retrofit legacy devices with new cloud-native software. This is because data from non-IP based IoT devices need to be securely streamed and terminated in a form optimized for use with Azure IoT applications, a task that may require an expensive gateway. Once received at the Azure IoT Hub, all of the IoT payloads need to be separately formatted for use by Azure IoT applications. If, at a later date, another IoT protocol needs to be supported, then the process starts anew. The integration process can take months, and the cost, complexity, and security vulnerability of hardware gateways can make the economics challenging.

Aruba, Microsoft, and reelyActive have addressed these issues. Aruba added IoT radios to its Wi-Fi APs to simultaneously serve IT mobility needs and act as IoT gateways. Next, Aruba and Microsoft jointly developed Aruba IoT Transport for Azure, which when activated by Aruba Central cloud management will encode IoT device data from Aruba Wi-Fi APs into an Azure IoT Hub compatible format, specifically a base64 string that is encapsulated in a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

“IoT Transport for Microsoft Azure transforms any Aruba IT network into a secure Azure gateway that lands at the Azure IoT Hub,” said Michael Tennefoss, Aruba’s Vice President of IoT and Strategic Partnerships. “The beauty of the design is that customers can send BLE, EnOcean Alliance, and similar data from legacy or new IoT devices directly to Azure, without adding any gateway hardware or parallel network infrastructure. If business needs change tomorrow, or next year, then new IoT devices can be incorporated, additively, without ripping or replacing any IT infrastructure.”

To complete the migration, reelyActive’s new Pareto Anywhere for Azure open-source converter quickly and efficiently decodes the base64 strings, including units of measurement. Pareto Anywhere for Azure abstracts the original data format so that the data seen by applications are intelligible, consistent streams of immediately consumable data in recognizable units of measurement. The converter’s abstraction function allows customers to deploy hybrid IoT systems, consisting of different IoT device types and protocols, because all of the data appear in a homogeneous format regardless of their origin.

“The expertise we’ve embedded into this solution allows organizations to achieve in an hour what often required months of custom engineering,” said Jeffrey Dungen, reelyActive’s co-founder and CEO. “Pareto Anywhere for Microsoft Azure can be deployed from GitHub in a few simple steps to process the data stream from IoT Transport for Azure, which itself can be enabled on-the-fly. Beyond that, customers can tap into our expertise to further accelerate adoption and application towards their specific objectives, leveraging the reelyActive team on-demand as an extension of their own, through a convenient subscription model.”

IoT Transport for Azure and Pareto Anywhere for Azure are intended for use by resellers, system integrators, and end customers that want to quickly, easily, and cost effectively migrate workloads to Azure. The solution is horizontally applicable across a broad range of use cases and vertical markets, and not limited to one application or locale. Furthermore, since Pareto Anywhere for Azure is open-source software, reseller and customer engineers can add new device types and functionality to the benefit of the Azure community.

“Used in tandem, IoT Transport for Microsoft Azure and Pareto Anywhere for Azure will significantly cut the time required to migrate IoT workloads to Azure,” said Tony Shakib, Microsoft’s General Manager Azure Light Edge and IoT. “Equally important, they provide the foundation for a new class of pre-built Azure Marketplace visualization, control, monitoring, predictive maintenance, and alerting applications that customers will subscribe to on-demand as easily as they buy Microsoft 365 today.”