Connected device architectures on Google Cloud

Last reviewed 2023-01-26 UTC

To maximize the value of data from their connected devices, organizations need to be able to perform data analysis. There are many ways for organizations to connect their devices to their analytics applications, and the benefits of specific connected device architectures can vary depending on the use case of your organization. To help guide you, this document describes a set of connected device architectures on Google Cloud. These architectures address a broad range of use cases and requirements for connected devices.

This document is part of a series of documents that provide information about IoT architectures on Google Cloud and about migrating from IoT Core. The other documents in this series include the following:

Connected device architectures summary

This document groups connected device use cases into three categories, based on the following dimensions that you need to consider when you plan a connected device architecture:

  • Number of devices: It's important to consider how many devices are directly connected to your application. If your application has many end devices (such as machines, sensors, or cameras), and if these devices are connected to an intermediate gateway or other device (such as a mobile phone), it's important to identify whether those end devices must be represented and managed in your application. In some cases you might need to represent each individual device; in other cases, only the intermediate device might need to be represented.

  • Fleet management: Consider whether you need capabilities like device status monitoring, software and firmware updates, configuration management, and other fleet management features. These requirements help to determine your choice of application architecture.

  • Inter-device messaging: Device communication through your application architecture is an important factor. For example, some applications depend on communication between the connected devices through your application architecture. Other applications have data flows that occur strictly between each device and your application, with no messaging between devices.

Summary table

Understanding the characteristics of your application can help you to choose the best architecture for your use case. To help guide your choice, the following table summarizes the support that each of the connected architectures that are described in this series offers:

Device support limits Inter-device messaging Fleet management support
MQTT Broker Millions Recommended Not supported
IoT platform Millions Some support Recommended
Device to Pub/Sub Hundreds Some support Not supported

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