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Amazon Pushes AWS Greengrass To IoT Connected Devices

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

AWS Cloud now available on intelligent IoT devices after general availability of AWS Greengrass

Amazon is pushing Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Internet of Things (IoT) devices with the general availability of AWS Greengrass.

AWS Greengrass is designed to allow customers to run AWS compute, messaging, data caching, and sync capabilities on connected devices.

It comes amid an explosion of intelligence devices that are developing vast sways of new and potentially valuable data across different industries.

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IoT Devices

AWS Greengrass essentially allows connected devices to “run AWS Lambda functions to perform tasks locally, keep device data in sync, and communicate with other devices while leveraging the full processing, analytics, and storage power of the AWS Cloud.”

It should be noted that AWS Lambda is a serverless computing platform and is part of Amazon Web Services. It is a compute service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources required by that code.

As part of the release of AWS Greengrass, Amazon has signed up multiple firms including Intel, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Raspberry Pi, and Samsung, who will integrate AWS Greengrass into their platforms so devices will come with AWS Greengrass built-in.

Amazon points out that with the proliferation of IoT devices, enterprises are increasingly managing infrastructure located outside the data centre. But these devices can sometimes have limited processing power and memory, they have to rely on AWS and the cloud for heavy duty functionality such as processing, analytics, and storage.

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Cloud & IoT

But sometimes this reliance on the cloud can be problematic, for example when dealing with intermittent connectivity or latency issues. But programming IoT devices to perform those heavy weight duties locally, without the cloud, can be complex and problematic.

So here is where AWS Greengrass comes in. It essentially “removes the complexity involved in programming and updating IoT devices by allowing customers to use AWS Lambda to run code locally on connected devices in the same way they do on the AWS Cloud.”

This means that with AWS Greengrass, developers can add AWS Lambda functions to connected devices right from the AWS Management Console. These devices can then execute the code locally, responding to events and taking actions in a near real-time manner.

AWS Greengrass also includes AWS IoT messaging and synching capabilities so devices can send messages to other devices without connecting back to the cloud, says Amazon.

“Many of the world’s largest IoT implementations run on AWS, and customers across industries have asked us whether we could extend AWS’s industry leading cloud capabilities to the edge,” said Dirk Didascalou, VP of IoT at AWS.

“By embedding AWS Lambda and AWS IoT capabilities in connected devices, AWS Greengrass gives customers the flexibility to have devices act locally on the data they generate while using the AWS Cloud for management, analytics, and storage – all using a single, familiar AWS programming model,” he added. “We are excited to make AWS Greengrass available to all AWS customers.”

AWS remains a hugely important service for Amazon, and earlier this month Amazon Lightsail was expanded beyond its US birthplace.

Amazon Lightsail for the uninitiated is an Amazon service that is designed to be a easy and quick way for system admins to launch and manage a virtual private server with AWS.

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