Understand Azure IoT Hub Device Twins with Mender

Mender users may often deal with device inventory information such as CPU model, IP address, and software versions pertaining to each device. Mender users may also be using Azure IoT Hub for device fleet application telemetry which can contain a set of additional device information. These two services, Mender and Azure IoT Hub, initially may exist in silos which could mean managing and dealing with device information in two separate services. For example, in order to configure a device setting and deploy an update to the application with Mender, you may need to configure it to accept all updates immediately through a property in it’s Device Twin. However, this could mean you’ll need to switch to Azure IoT Hub by logging into the service and find the same device first. This is very cumbersome and error prone.

Mender solves this issue with an integration with Azure IoT Hub to expose the Device Twin in the Mender web UI (see figure below). Device twins are just JSON scripts that store the device state information including configuration settings and metadata. Azure IoT Hub has a device twin for each device that is connected to IoT Hub which is then also exposed in the Mender UI.

Device%20twin

In most cases, it is intended that the desired and reported properties of a Device Twin synchronizes eventually. This is why Mender also shows a diff interface for any differences between them so it is easy to identify properties and values that are not synchronized and thus discover any issues that may need attention.

With this integration, existing and new users of Mender who also use Azure IoT hub would save valuable operational and debugging time. Additionally, they have access to all the device information to configure and deploy updates in a single pane of glass - the Mender UI. Users can avoid building homegrown portals to ‘merge’ device information in the two services.

Visit the Azure partner page to learn more about other Mender-Azure IoT Hub integrations.

Watch a video on how to manage applications using Azure device twins in Mender.