Microsoft is adding a new cloud service to Azure for managing machine-generated data from sensors and devices.
The Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service is designed to make the “Internet of Things” more manageable by giving a way to securely connect to, manage and capture machine-generated data from sensors and devices.
This video from Telnet shows how the new service, which is still in limited preview, it is being used, on a large scale, for the London Underground:
The new service was announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who said that the service could be used to manage devices running a range of operating systems, not just Windows-based devices. The service will then make the data accessible to data-analysis tools such as HD Insight, the Microsoft Azure Hadoop service, and Power BI, Microsoft’s business intelligence system. A second new product, Analytics Platform System, APS, has also been announced. This combines SQL Server and Hadoop as a single service, which Microsoft says provides ‘big data in a box’.
Microsoft says the advantage offered by the Azure service is that the support for heterogeneous operating systems and protocols means you can analyze data from many sources, including legacy LoB (line of business) systems. This is faster, easier and more secure than finding separate ways to make the information available.
Discussing the new service on the Microsoft blog Nadella explains how it heralds the era of "ambient intelligence":
“As computing becomes ubiquitous, engineers and developers are creating new form factors and cloud services that fit into all the nooks and crannies of everyday life. Car dashboards, light switches, HVAC systems, sneakers, etc. Nearly all interactions and experiences between humans, humans and computers and between computers get digitized. The opportunity we have in this new world is to find a way of catalyzing this data exhaust from ubiquitous computing and converting it into fuel for ambient intelligence. This fuel will power improved experiences, understanding and interactions.”
If you’re interested in the preview of the new service or want to be notified when the full public preview is available, there are sign up links on the Intelligent Systems Service page.