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Google is positioning its Cloud IoT Core platform for success by adding new features that ensure secure device connectivity and manageability at scale for end users.
The company Wednesday launched the public beta release of its Cloud IoT Core, a fully managed service, which was first unveiled in private beta in May as a tool that manages connected edge devices ingesting data.
"Cloud IoT Core is now publicly available to all users in beta, and we have introduced a new set of features in this release. With Cloud IoT Core, you can easily connect and centrally manage millions of globally dispersed IoT devices," Indranil Chakraborty, product manager at Google Cloud, told CRN. "We're very excited for this announcement … the goal is to make sure that the platform is a win-win situation for partners and enterprise customers."
Cloud IoT Core has an array of new security features on the device side so that private beta users can verify the ownership of their device keys.
Customers can now bring their own device key signed by a Certificate Authority, and Cloud IoT Core can verify that signature using this certificate during the authentication process – giving them more device visibility and management.
Google also has added secure connectivity over HTTP, in addition to the standard MQTT protocol, to help customers securely connect existing IoT devices and gateways to the IoT platform at scale.
Google has added other features to its platform as well – Cloud IoT Core now has logical device representation, which gives customers further visibility into their IoT devices' state and properties – even when the devices are not connected.
Customers will get a logical representation of a physical IoT device through APIs for their applications to retrieve and update the device properties.
Google partner Agosto, an IoT specialist based in Minneapolis, praised Google's initiatives in the IoT space as helping it keep pace with competitors Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
"We think Google is really competitive in IoT because they have a model of being open and providing access to commodity services in a way that doesn't lock customers in but gives direct access to the lowest cost use," said Rick Erickson, co-founder and executive vice president of business development at Agosto. "Google is the right partner in this space because of the way they think about the market and how they deliver their services to the market."
To better keep up with the massive amount of data exchanged on IoT Core, Google also unveiled a "simple pricing plan" where customers can register as many IoT devices as they want and pay only when those devices connect to and exchange data with Cloud IoT Core.
The pricing plan includes a free tier that lets users try the service at no cost for the first 250 MB of data volume of the month.
After that, Google offers three standard tiers of pricing – including a tier that allows 250 MB to 250 GB monthly that will cost a little less than a half-cent per MB; a tier that enables 250 GB to 5 TB per month that will cost 20 cents per MB; and a tier that is for 5TB of data or above per month that costs 45 cents per MB.
Google's Chakraborty said customers across vertical markets such as transportation, oil and gas, utilities, health care and ride-sharing are using Google's IoT service.
Moving forward, he said Google plans to build out key partnerships on the hardware and device side and the application side.
"We want to continue working with partners because at the end of the day, for any enterprise customer [building] a complex solution they need to work with companies on the hardware side, with ISVs, and with cloud platforms – you need all the ingredients," he said.