Aruba partners with Microsoft, reelyActive to speed IoT workload migration into Microsoft Azure

Aruba is partnering with reelyActive in announcing a new open-source data convertor for Microsoft Azure that allows Internet of Things (IoT) device data that are securely streamed from Aruba Wi-Fi access points (APs) to be used by Microsoft Power BI and additional Azure applications.

Various IoT devices describe the same data in different ways and transmit it using different protocols, making it difficult for the data to be combined meaningfully and used. The collaboration between Aruba and reelyActive provides the technology to easily convert that data into a single format so it can be loaded into Azure and processed.

reelyActive’s Pareto Anywhere for Azure and Aruba’s IoT Transport for Azure are being combined to help channel partners and end customers transmit and reformat data and units of measurement, such as temperature and power, to be compatible with Azure applications without the need for custom engineering. The companies say that this solution decreases the cost and time required compared to using conventional integration methods, while sidestepping typical security vulnerabilities and challenges.

The companies explained in their announcement that there are many challenges when it comes to converting data for Azure. There are multiple IoT protocols and non-interoperable physical layers to take on, and it is cost prohibitive to replace or retrofit legacy devices with new cloud-native software. 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 a pricey gateway. Once the data is 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 all over. 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 are addressing these problems with the new solution. Aruba added IoT radios to its Wi-Fi APs to simultaneously serve IT mobility needs and act as IoT gateways. Aruba and Microsoft are jointly developing 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.”

Aruba IoT Transport for Azure is available as part of Aruba Edge Services Platform.

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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