Guide to IoT Device Management and the Best Tools for the Job
You may be familiar with IoT (Internet of Things) devices. They are a network of physical objects often called "things," which enable the devices to connect and share data with other devices and systems through the internet. These devices can be everyday household items to advanced industrial tools.
Given the diversity of these devices, managing them can be easier using software solutions known as IoT device management. In the following sections, we will get deeper into understanding IoT device management along with this year's top software.
Part 1: What Is IoT Device Management?
IoT device management is paramount and it serves as the logistical backbone for successful IoT deployments. The software encompasses various processes and functions. It is used to manage the entire lifecycle of IoT devices and sensors from their initial deployment to their eventual retirement.
Currently, there are more and more devices connecting to the internet. According to a report, there will be 29.3 billion connected devices by 2023. It's almost four connected devices for every person on Earth.
That’s why we need software to manage them. IoT device management helps us do things smarter and more efficient. These include analyzing data and automating tasks. It also supports new business models, such as renting equipment based on data from these devices.
Part 2: How Does IoT Device Management Work?
IoT device management involves a set of tools, processes, and capabilities. It's designed to support IoT solutions at scale. The tool includes the following key components:
- Onboarding and Registration
This is the process of connecting and configuring IoT devices within a network or ecosystem. It ensures that devices are identified and integrated into the IoT solution.
- Monitoring and Maintenance
IoT device management allows for continuous monitoring of device status, performance, and health. It also includes maintenance tasks such as software updates, firmware upgrades, and troubleshooting.
Security is a paramount concern in IoT. Therefore, device management ensures that devices remain secure throughout their lifecycle. It involves implementing authentication, encryption, access control, and the ability to revoke access if needed remotely.
As IoT solutions grow, managing a large number of devices becomes complex. IoT device management platforms provide the ability to manage and control devices at scale. It reduces operational complexity.
Device management allows for remote configuration of IoT devices. It enables changes to settings, behavior, or parameters without physical access to the devices.
It involves the integration of IoT device data with other enterprise applications or systems, allowing for data analysis, automation, and informed decision-making.
In the end, IoT devices may reach the end of their useful life. Device management ensures that they are retired. These include data wiping or disposal according to regulatory guidelines.
Part 3: 5 Best IoT Device Management Tools
As the demand for IoT device management continues to rise, a variety of tools have emerged to streamline the process and enhance efficiency. Here are the top 5 IoT device management tools for 2023:
Portainer is a platform with over 650,000 active users, serving Operational Technology (OT), Security, and Information Technology (IT) teams.
One of its standout features is its vendor-agnostic approach. This means that when you use Portainer for cloud projects, you're not tied to a specific vendor. Portainer is compatible with various technologies, including Docker, Swarm, and Kubernetes.
- One-touch onboarding
- Expressive building blocks
- Leveraging existing connections
- Bulk deployment
Pricing: $149/year - $2995/year
2. Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard
The Cisco IoT Operations Dashboard is a cloud-hosted tool designed to assist operational teams. It deploys, oversees, diagnoses issues, and obtains valuable insights from industrial network devices and connected assets on a large scale.
This dashboard offers support for various functionalities. They include cybersecurity measures, application management, Secure Equipment Access, and seamless integration with Cisco Meraki.
- Streamline scalable connectivity
- Use data insights
- Enhance cybersecurity measures
- Secure remote accessibility
Pricing: $1,137.99 (3 years, 1 device)
3. Azure IoT Hub
Azure IoT Device Management empowers you to handle and oversee countless IoT devices with diverse operating systems and communication methods. You can enhance security by providing each device with specific credentials for communication. This ensures safe and dependable two-way communication, even if devices are connected.
You can also gather data, coordinate device management, and issue commands for your IoT projects.
- Full control over your solution's services, including the ability to manage and scale them according to your needs.
- Customize and control every aspect of your device to suit your business requirements.
- Adjust services to optimize and manage your overall expenses effectively.
Pricing: Starts from $10/month for 400,000 messages/day per IoT Hub unit.
Particle provides an IoT Platform-as-a-Service (IoT PaaS) solution that offers secure, dependable, and customizable IoT software, hardware, and connectivity services. It also serves as a remote IoT device platform.
This platform assists businesses in establishing connections, managing operations, and deploying software applications to connected devices. It encompasses edge-to-cloud functionality.
- Expand IoT products by adding more service blocks whenever needed
- Centralized control within organizations
- Intelligent OTA updates
- Fleet Health overview
Pricing: Starts from $299/month.
5. Google Cloud IoT
Google Cloud offers various partner-backed solutions built on Google Cloud to serve the needs of IoT customers. These solutions are developed in collaboration with partners. It enables customers to create custom IoT solutions that match their specific requirements.
- Device Manager
- Protocol bridge
- End-to-end security
- Single global system
Pricing: Free for the first 250 MB, then $0.0045 per MB.
From the features provided, Portainer appears to be a robust choice for IoT management. It offers a comprehensive set of features, flexibility, and competitive pricing. However, if you're new to IoT device management, Google's IoT management service is worth considering. It offers a free trial, allowing you to explore its capabilities without any initial cost for the first 250 MB.
Part 4. IoT Device Management Alternative: Mobile Device Management
IoT projects often pose complexities. That's why when it only comes to overseeing mobile devices, most people opt for Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.
As you know, IoT device monitoring and control is for a broad spectrum of IoT devices. Meanwhile, MDM specializes in managing and securing mobile devices used by employees or individuals. It focuses on data protection, application deployment, and access control.
If you encountered the "Remote Management" on your screen while using your device, this notification results from Mobile Device Management. It asks you to give your credentials to access the device.
Unlock iPhone/iPad Lock Screen Without Hassle.
- Unlock MDM with simple, click-through, process.
- No tech knowledge required, everybody can handle it.
- Supports the latest iOS version fully!
To bypass this feature, you can do it by using the Dr.Fone MDM Unlock feature. Here's how:
Begin by opening Wondershare Dr.Fone on your computer. Go to Toolbox > Screen Unlock > iOS.
Within Dr.Fone, locate and select the Unlock MDM iPhone function to unlock the MDM lock on your device.
On the next screen, choose the Bypass MDM option. Then, click "Get Started" and "Start" to begin the MDM bypass process.
You'll be prompted to turn off the Find My feature on your iPhone or iPad. To do this, go to Settings, select your name at the top, then choose iCloud, and turn off the Find My feature. Click "OK" on your computer once this is done.
Now, the tool will begin bypassing the remote MDM lock. You can track its progress on the next screen.
Once the process is complete, a message will confirm the successful bypass. Click "Done" to close the window.
IoT Device Management is the linchpin of successful IoT deployments in this interconnected world. As the number of IoT devices continues to surge, efficient management becomes imperative. They ensure the devices' seamless operation, security, and longevity.
The multifaceted processes encompassed by IoT Device Management, from onboarding to retirement, enable organizations to harness the full potential of these devices while mitigating the complexities and security risks they pose.
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