Whether you’re looking to design a new device or retrofitting an existing device for the IoT, you will need to consider IoT provisioning which brings IoT devices online to cloud services. IoT provisioning design requires decisions to be made that impact user experience and security for both network commissioning and credential provisioning mechanisms which configure digital identities, cloud end-points, and network credentials so that devices can securely connect to the cloud.
To perform IoT provisioning at scale, customers often build and maintain custom-built tools and software applications that can push required credentials over protocols supported by their devices that spans multiple problem domains. The IoT provisioning domains include:
- Network commissioning, which provides mechanisms for customers to define context specific parameters;
- Credential provisioning, which assigns credentials and configuration to physical devices; and
- Cloud provisioning, which sets the cloud-side configuration data that enables authentication, authorization, and device management.
All three of these provisioning domains must work in harmony for a spectacular customer user experience.
For example, a mobile operator provisions configuration data and policy settings when a mobile phone user connects for the first time. This is a simple and well-understood process that does not take much time for the mobile device user where the SIM card represents device identity. The situation becomes very different and challenging for customers, especially original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who try to provision millions of IoT devices.
Throughout this article, you will be able to learn how to avoid or mitigate the risks associated with your own IoT deployment as well as understand, through brief examples, how an IoT service provided through cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) helps you achieve your IoT provisioning goals.
Richard Elberger is an IoT Principal Technologist at Amazon Web Services. As a speaker, periodic writer, and tireless embedded technology addict, he creates content and builds community for IoT and Cloud practitioners globally. Richard maintains and contributes to multiple IoT-related open source projects (FreeRTOS, meta-aws, ThingPress) which helps customers build and deliver amazing IoT solutions on AWS.