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Introducing HiveMQ Cloud

by Dominik Obermaier, Ian Skerrett
13 min read

Today, we are excited to announce the launch of HiveMQ Cloud, a fully managed MQTT cloud service. In just 2 clicks, a HiveMQ Cloud customer can get a fully managed MQTT platform that is highly available, deployed on a dedicated infrastructure across multiple data centers and is ready for production IoT applications. It is really that simple to get a MQTT broker running in the cloud that you don’t need to worry about managing for scalability or availability.

This is the short story of HiveMQ Cloud. The more detailed story is about the challenges we have noticed in the IoT and MQTT industry that we feel need to be addressed.

Why You Need a Cloud-native IoT Messaging Solution

Today, building an IoT application with bi-directional communication between IoT devices and IoT cloud platforms have two main challenges: 1) the big cloud providers have IoT solutions that lock-in customer devices to the individual cloud provider, and 2) managing and deploying a messaging service requires considerable expertise and resources. We see both these reasons as barriers for many companies looking to deploy production IoT applications.

Big Cloud Vendor Lock-in with MQTT

Amazon, Microsoft, and Google all have proprietary IoT platforms. A key feature of these IoT platforms is managing the data messaging between IoT devices and the cloud. The good news is that all of the big cloud vendors support MQTT as one of their messaging protocols. The bad news is that none of the big cloud vendors support the complete MQTT specification and none have announced plans to support MQTT 5 specification. In fact, most of the big cloud vendors implement a modified MQTT version that locks devices into only being able to communicate with the big cloud vendor MQTT service. The big cloud vendors talk about MQTT but they really aren’t delivering the value of an open standard.

Vendor lock-in is always a risk for customers. For IoT applications, the risk of vendor lock-in becomes greater since IoT devices are typically deployed outside of the enterprise, often have long product life cycles and often the sheer number of deployed devices is significant. If a company’s IoT devices can only talk to one big cloud IoT service then that company is tightly locked-in into that vendor’s offerings.

We believe IoT devices need to be cloud agnostic. It should be possible to direct IoT device messaging data to any cloud vendor or even multiple cloud vendors. We live in a multi-cloud world, so it is important IoT applications can exist in a multi-cloud world.

Reduce Complexity of Production IoT

Our industry needs to work at reducing the complexity of deploying and managing production IoT systems. IoT technology is far too often geared for doing quick proof of concepts. However, once a PoC is moved to production the complexity of managing the system can be overwhelming.

Not many organizations have the people and processes for managing the scalability and availability required for business critical IoT applications. IoT applications need to be able to scale up and scale down seamlessly to accommodate spikes in usage. Business critical IoT applications will often have service level agreements (SLA) that require high availability of cloud services. Delivering the level of scalability and reliability can often be a limitation for deploying an IoT application into production. The costs to implement scalability and availability for an IoT application can be considerable.

Options for MQTT Cloud Deployment

Today, customers wanting to deploy an MQTT-based system into production have two options: 1) use a big cloud service without real support for MQTT and assume the vendor lock-in mentioned above, or 2) manage a MQTT broker cluster themselves. We believe the industry requires a third option: a MQTT cloud service that is 100% MQTT compliant and doesn’t require a vendor SDK to connect a device. We call this third option a ‘Cloud Native IoT Messaging Service’.

Cloud Native IoT Messaging Service

Our definition of a Cloud Native IoT Messaging Service is as follows:

  1. Standards-based that doesn’t rely upon the services of a particular cloud vendor.

  2. Transparent elastic scalability that accommodates peaks and valleys in telemetry data traffic from IoT devices.

  3. Transparent fault tolerance and high availability to deliver service level agreements required for business critical IoT applications.

  4. Ability to run on different cloud platforms.

  5. Open API that allows for integration of the data with other cloud and third-party services.

Introducing HiveMQ Cloud

We are very excited to introduce HiveMQ Cloud, a fully managed MQTT broker service that is an exciting new option for companies looking to deploy a MQTT based IoT application. HiveMQ Cloud allows companies to use MQTT without becoming locked-in to a big cloud IoT platform but at the same time simplify the deployment and management of a scalable, reliable and secure MQTT broker cloud service. HiveMQ Cloud is the first cloud native IoT messaging service in the industry.

HiveMQ Cloud includes the following features:

  1. A fully managed MQTT cloud platform that requires no installation and management. It takes just one click to create a production-grade MQTT broker cluster that is ready to receive connections from MQTT clients.

  2. Each HiveMQ Cloud cluster is deployed as dedicated infrastructure in three different AWS data centers. Companies aren’t sharing the infrastructure with other companies like some other cloud services. The dedicated infrastructure makes sure companies have predictable performance since the compute, disk, network and memory is not shared with other customers, and security/privacy of data since the infrastructure is not shared. In the future, HiveMQ Cloud will be available on MS Azure and Google Cloud.

  3. HiveMQ Cloud will automatically scale up and scale down to meet the demands of your IoT application. We take care of managing the cluster nodes to ensure scalability and high availability.

  4. Each HiveMQ Cloud cluster can be monitored with the HiveMQ Control Center. This allows your DevOps and administrators to monitor the MQTT clients connecting to the cluster. HiveMQ Control Center gives you the visibility and observability companies require for operating a fleet of IoT devices.

  5. The industry is moving towards a multi-cloud/hybrid-cloud architecture. In the near future, HiveMQ Cloud will support the integration of the MQTT data into different cloud services. For instance, HiveMQ Cloud will be able to integrate MQTT data with a Kafka service run by Confluent Cloud or a database such as InfluxDB Cloud or MongoDB Atlas. HiveMQ Cloud will become a service that allows customers to Connect Once; Integrate Everywhere their MQTT data.

Predictable Pricing

We wanted to adopt a predictable pricing strategy for HiveMQ Cloud. The pricing of many of the big cloud solutions is very complex and it is not clear how anyone could actually budget the cost of using the service. Therefore, we have established an hourly price to use HiveMQ Cloud. For US$ 7.50 hour, HiveMQ Cloud provides customers a dedicated infrastructure on AWS that includes the load balancers, SSL certificates and a MQTT broker cluster that is scalable, reliable and secure.

A Bright Future for HiveMQ Cloud

We have some great plans for the future of HiveMQ Cloud. Contact us if you would like to set up a HiveMQ Cloud demo or talk about your requirements for a cloud MQTT platform. We are looking forward to having many customers using HiveMQ Cloud to deploy and manage their IoT applications.

Ready to elevate your MQTT experience? Try HiveMQ Cloud Starter for 15 days absolutely free and get dedicated resources, 99.95% uptime, and round-the-clock support.

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Dominik Obermaier

Dominik Obermaier is CTO and co-founder of HiveMQ. He is a member of the OASIS Technical Committee and is part of the standardization committee for MQTT 3.1.1 and MQTT 5. He is the co-author of the book “The Technical Foundations of IoT” and a frequent speaker on IoT, MQTT, and messaging.

  • Dominik Obermaier on LinkedIn
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Ian Skerrett

Ian is a growth-oriented marketing leader focused on B2B infrastructure, IoT, and IIoT software with over 25 years experience in the software industry. He spent 13 years with the Eclipse Foundation and was Vice President of Marketing for HiveMQ until September 2022.

  • Ian Skerrett on LinkedIn
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