Friday, July 21st, 2023
It’s time to break up with your IoT platform. What do you do?
EXIT83 Consulting knows the Microsoft Azure stack—and in February, I produced a 15min webinar to share why migration to Microsoft Azure IoT might be a good move for businesses, what should be considered, and how we approach migration with our clients.
Are you thinking about migrating your IoT platform to Azure IoT? Read on.
How you know that it’s time to move on
Sometimes technology solutions just have to come and go. Your IoT platform could be wearing out its welcome for any number of reasons:
- It could be that your business needs have shifted, and your implementation is no longer driving the outcomes you want.
- Perhaps you have a platform you built in-house, but it’s become too limited and costly to maintain and you’re ready to go serverless.
- Or, maybe it’s not your choice to drop your current platform at all: Google, IBM, and others are sunsetting their IoT solutions and you’ll have to move on before end of support.
Look on the bright side: migration is an opportunity!
Migrating from one platform to another may be daunting, but the upside is that it creates an opportunity to deeply consider how your existing platform may or may not be serving your business and what you can do differently to achieve greater results—for both your bottom and top line. It’s important to do more than just go through the motions. Talk with your line of business stakeholders, your end users, your leadership. Home in on your true business drivers and needs and make them the north star that guides every decision you make when you choose your next IoT platform and work out your migration plan.
Thinking about moving to Azure IoT? What you should consider
At EXIT83 we’re Microsoft superfans. In our opinion, Microsoft's SaaS and PaaS offerings are not only compelling but flexible: you can migrate between them, which is great because you’re locked into one approach. From a maintenance and security perspective, the managed services provide valuable ROI.
As of January 2023, Azure IoT Central is available in 12 of 42 regions including N. America, Asia, Europe and Australia and Azure IoT Hub is available in 40 of 42 regions. This global availability not only lets you manage data location and sovereignty, but it also enables Dynamic Device Deployment Scenarios so devices connect with the best and closest datacenter for greater responsiveness.
Microsoft’s broad IoT ecosystem is more than the managed MQTT service other providers have been offering. And Microsoft’s IoT offerings are supported by the entire Azure offering which lets you build your entire solution Web, Mobile, Data Management, AI and ML all on one well managed, well documented, secure platform which is also ready to meet your certification and audit requirements.
And let’s not forget, this is Azure. You have all the power of the Microsoft Cloud. If your business needs to run containerized or VMs of MQTT servers, you can do that too.
So now that I’ve sold you on Azure IoT, here are some common approaches you should consider for your migration strategy:
- Replatform: Will you move EVERYTHING and re-align completely to the new platform? An example here would be choosing IoT Central and leveraging its built-in dashboards for internal visualizations and troubleshooting. You would be choosing to base your product strategy around these technologies and would align your engineering to the approach.
- Rehost: Maybe your deployment today is not tied to any specific cloud provider. You’re using off-the-shelf MQTT, you are deployed in containers or maybe some managed databases, but now you’ve grown, and you want to start to leverage a providers multi-region capability. Or—something we see quite often—maybe you’ve had many iterations and consultants and your infrastructure is spread out, confusing and you want to consolidate. By rehosting, you can “lift and shift” from your current hosting (whether on premises or another cloud provider) to Azure with minimal code impact.
- Refactor and Rearchitect: this is just a combination of the previous two. Some of your services\data etc. can migrate straight across (container, VMs, etc.), some you must refactor to move from your old provider, and some you want to refactor to leverage the new capabilities in Azure. There may be technical or cost reasons to adopt Azure native services, both need to be considered, including the size and capabilities of your team.
There’s much more to consider when preparing for a strategic move to a new IoT platform, Have a listen to get my point of view on the things you absolutely must address before you migrate, from device communication, authentication, and data schema to data management and DevOps.
The EXIT83 approach to IoT platform migration
EXIT83 helps our clients navigate migration to Azure IoT from start to finish, beginning with a proprietary IoT Migration Assessment that helps us understand your business needs and goals first and then make a plan that will achieve your desired outcomes. We work with you for a deep assessment of your current IoT architecture, build a migration plan, and get your Azure tenant ready to go for POCs or production implementation. From there, you can implement on your own, with EXIT83 Engineers, or with your preferred provider.