Starting today, on February 4th, Microsoft has made their Azure IoT Hub available to the general public. This product enhances their existing Azure IoT suite by enabling customers to connect, provision, and manage their Internet of Things smart devices. Azure IoT Hub will act as a bridge between connected devices and the cloud solutions that utilize that data, allowing Azure customers to analyze and act on device data in real time.
Microsoft is focusing heavily on the security aspects of their Azure cloud solutions in their announcement, likely due to the increased scrutiny on cloud-connected devices and the security issues they can cause in an organization. The service supports widely used IoT protocols such as MQTT, HTTPS and AMQPS. It is worth nothing that the MQTT protocol does support insecure connections and it is recommended that customers only use it if absolutely required.
As with many of the new projects that Microsoft is releasing, especially as they relate to integrated cloud solutions, many components of the Azure IoT Hub are available as Open Source projects on GitHub. This is more proof of the new direction the software giant has started along, allowing for more integration with the tools being used in today's enterprise as well as starting to change the perception that many in IT have of them.