If you have been following our blog for a while or have been exploring IoT platforms available in the market, you may know that the Google Cloud Platform combined with the Google IoT Core is a frequently used combination in the industry. Google has recently announced that it will be shutting down the Google IoT Core. In doing so, Google is forcing many of its Cloud Platform users to switch platforms.
In this blog post, we will review detailed information about the alternatives to the Google Cloud Platform that are available for use with all of the IoT capable products we provide, and how the change works.
If you're still reading, that likely means you're either already a user of Google IoT or you've been considering using it.
What is the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)?
The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is Google’s cloud solution that brings all of Google’s cloud computing services together. Google’s own services, such as Google Search and YouTube, run on the GCP, but end users can also use their cloud services for data storage, computing or data analysis.
For the Internet of Things (IoT) area, Google has developed the “Cloud IoT Core” services component of the GCP. These have provided great functionalities for connecting many machines and devices to the cloud for a variety of purposes including big data analytics, smart manufacturing, and more.
What is Google IoT Core?
Google IoT Core forms the interface between the Google Cloud Platform and all machines and devices in the IoT. Connections are set up via the MQTT message protocol and an MQTT broker. End devices and gateways can then connect to Google’s cloud services via the Google IoT Core.
Google publicly released the Google IoT Core back in 2017 as a public beta. Since then, it has been an invaluable resource for many users, including in the field of industrial automation.
In August of 2022, Google released a notice to the end users of the Google service that the IoT application will be discontinued on August 16, 2023. From that day on, access to device managers from IoT Core will no longer be possible. Devices and machines will no longer be able to connect to it.
Many users are already looking for alternative solutions - we're hoping this post can help make your transition easier.
What should I do with my Google IoT Core connection?
Customers who use the Google IoT Core in their production should begin looking for an alternative now. With less than a year remaining, it's important for current users to evaluate alternative IoT platforms and decide their path forward to provide plenty of time to migrate prior to the Google shutdown.
The interface between the Google Cloud environment will no longer be accessible after the shutdown. Devices and machines will no longer be able to connect to other systems via the Google IoT Core.
Thankfully, there are multiple alternatives available, no matter which of our solutions you are currently connecting to the Google IoT Core!
What alternatives to Google IoT Core are available?
Thanks to the standardized use of generic MQTT, the switch from Google IoT Core to an alternate platform is possible with minimal effort.
Some alternative platforms which provide similar functionality to Google IoT Core and use MQTT are:
Ultimately, which platform you switch to will depend on your needs. Luckily, connecting to multiple cloud environments is possible with the help of the MQTT message protocol, offering the potential to have your chosen alternative and existing Google IoT Core connections operating simultaneously during your migration to avoid any missed data!
How does this affect Software Toolbox IoT solutions?
No matter which of our IoT solutions you may be using (or are considering using!), the switchover to an alternative IoT platform will be minimal with respect to the configuration changes in our solutions. While there are certainly subtle differences in the configuration of our solutions for interfaces with different IoT platforms, they are minor since the basic connectivity parameters are similar for MQTT connections. As always, our support team is here to help should you run into any issues!
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