The Migration Journey from Azure Event Hubs to Azure IoT Hub

Download the Whitepaper at

As an emerging technology IoT has brought great potential to how enterprises can better connect their assets and access previously unexplored insights. If not long ago IoT-related projects were being approached as isolated initiatives within organisations, now they have become one of the strongest influencers of their digital transformation.

When we think of a connected industry, we think of enterprises wired with IoT capabilities powerful enough to build and sustain a smart, large-scale network of devices.

This whitepaper describes the migration journey of our IoT solution from Microsoft’s Azure Event Hubs platform to the new IoT Hub. It explores the reasons behind the decision to migrate, the process with its challenges and a few “a-ha moments,” and the positive impact companies can expect.

Below you’ll find snippets of the whitepaper and the link to access the full content.

The use of smart, connected devices and machine-to-machine communication has many facets, starting from wearables and personalised medicine in Life Sciences and remote servicing in Manufacturing to connected cars in Automotive and adaptive network control in Transportation. From all emerging technologies that are believed to have a significant impact on businesses already, organisations place IoT on top of the list.

Enterprises deal with a massive amount of valuable assets, most of them critical for both their business and their clients, which makes data privacy crucial in this ecosystem and one of the main concerns.[1] And with rapidly evolving digital channels, it is only natural to look for solutions that can cover both system efficiency and data security.

While Azure Event Hubs is a service capable of connecting massive amounts of data and bring them together ready to be transformed into real-time insights, the market dynamics asked for a more advanced solution that could ensure a more complex device communication. We decided to migrate the current architecture to Azure IoT Hub, the new Azure service that brings stronger communication capabilities within a large-scale IoT device network.

The Anatomy of Azure Event Hubs

Azure Event Hubs is a scalable telemetry ingestion platform that acts as a “front door” for an event pipeline, capable of processing millions of events and stream them into multiple applications. Designed around messaging systems, it captures all the information produced by various applications that later serves as valuable input for analytics or real-time monitoring.[2] We used the Azure Event Hubs platform for building an IoT solution ready to communicate with a set of devices through the delivery of various messages and commands.

Being highly sophisticated, the solution turned out complex. Here’s one reason why.

A custom solution built on the Azure Event Hubs containing multiple services that work together can be flexible, but it is still not an out-of-the-box solution. This implies that non-functional requirements, such as availability or consistency, are difficult to maintain when you orchestrate multiple services. And there are plenty of Azure Services linked to the end-to-end solution which creates noise for the support and operation team, especially when tracking the source of an issue.

Why Migrate to Azure IoT Hub

The migration to Azure IoT Hub came out of the need for a more comprehensive platform regarding scalability, device management, security, and communication. Azure IoT Hub is a fully managed service that enables reliable and secure bidirectional communication between millions of IoT devices and a solution backend.[3] Similar to Azure Event Hubs, IoT Hub is an event processing service, but with a more exhaustive suite of IoT-specific features.

There were a couple of things about the Azure IoT Hub potential that helped us make the decision towards the migration.

Per-device authentication
Bidirectional communication, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-device messaging
Out-of-the-box device identity management

The Migration Process

Our expectations regarding the migration process revolved around the vast amount of custom logic that would’ve been necessary to implement, to find that the real impact of the overall solution was relatively small and isolated. The biggest changes left a footprint in 3 main areas:

  1. At the communication layer of the device
  2. In the backend component that sends messages to devices
  3. In the configuration flow

The Benefits

Migrating the platform from Event Hubs to IoT Hub brought a collection of advantages which are reflected mainly into the reliability and the security of the communication process between the existing assets.

The main benefits of this migration can be found in:

  • Increased Availability and SLAs
  • Decreased Overall Complexity
  • Scalability
  • Reduced Operations and Maintenance Costs
  • Easy Connectivity
  • Improved Quality

The Internet of Things has already begun to change the way companies manage their assets and interact with their customers.

Yes, digitalisation does not come easy on most industries, but we believe that IoT is a vital contributor to their potential to thrive in the digital ecosystem. Using IoT technologies, organisations can bring intelligence to their resources and increase their operational efficiency, optimise costs and strengthen their service and product quality.[4]

You can access the Full Whitepaper here.

[1] “How Providers Can Succeed in the Internet of Things”, Bain

[2] Azure Event Hubs overview”, Microsoft

[3] “What is Azure IoT Hub?”, Microsoft

[4] “Internet of Things Insights and Opportunities”, CompTIA