IoT solution architecture

Azure IoT
Azure Event Hubs
Azure IoT Hub

Topologically, Azure Internet-of-Things (IoT) solutions are a collection of assets and components divided across IoT devices, the IoT platform, and IoT applications. Events, insights, and actions are data flow and processing pipelines that occur across these structural parts.

A diagram showing the relationship between devices, the IoT platform, and an application.

This article describes IoT device, platform, and application characteristics. The article also discusses IoT Edge gateways, and IoT platform attestation, authentication, protocols, and provisioning.

IoT devices, platform, and applications

IoT devices are the physical or virtual things that send events to and receive commands from IoT applications. The terms thing and device both mean a connected device in an IoT solution.

An IoT device has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Possesses a unique identity that distinguishes it within the solution.
  • Has properties, or a state, that applications can access.
  • Sends events to the IoT platform for applications to act on.
  • Receives commands from applications to execute.

The IoT platform is the collection of services that allow devices and applications to connect and communicate with each other. The Azure IoT platform usually consists of Azure IoT Hub and event routing services like Azure Event Hub.

The IoT platform at least:

  • Brokers secure connectivity, authentication, and communication between devices and trusted applications.
  • Generates contextual insights on incoming events to determine the routing of events to endpoints.

Applications are the collection of scenario-specific services and components that are unique to an IoT solution. IoT applications typically have:

  • A mix of Azure or other services for compute, storage, and event endpoints, combined with unique application business logic.
  • Event workflows to receive and process incoming device events.
  • Action workflows to send commands to devices or other processes.


This article is maintained by Microsoft. It was originally written by the following contributors.

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