Google To Shut Cloud IoT Core
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Thursday, 25 August 2022

Google has notified users of its IoT Core managed service that it is to be discontinued next August. Users are justifiably critical of the "sunsetting" of yet another Google service - but Google is defending the decision by pointing out that it is giving plenty of time for users to find suitable alternatives.

IoT Core is a fully managed service that since its launch in 2017 has given its users the ability to:

securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of globally dispersed devices.

It also provided access to Google’s suite of data tools like Cloud Dataflow, BigQuery, ML, Google Data Studio, and Cloud Bigtable. 

The IoT Core website now display this banner:

cloudiotcore close

The news of the impending closure has also been communicated to users by email: 

We’re writing to let you know that Google Cloud’s IoT Core Service will be discontinued on August 16, 2023 at which point your access to the IoT Core Device Manager APIs will no longer be available. As of that date, devices will be unable to connect to the Google Cloud IoT Core MQTT and HTTP bridges and existing connections will be shut down.

Although closure is a year away Google's advice is to act quickly to find an alternative service:

We recommend that you take action early to migrate from IoT Core to an alternative service. As an initial step, connect with your Google Cloud account manager if you have questions about your migration plans. Your account manager can also help you learn more about Google Cloud partners that offer alternative IoT technology or implementation services that meet your business requirements.

Over the next year, we will continue to reach out with additional information to support you during your migration.

We last reported on IoT Core in December 2020 when Google announced that it was terminating Android Things, effective January 2022. One of the alternatives it suggested to victims of this "sunsetting" was to move to IoT Core. Anybody who took this advice must now be feeling doubly betrayed. 

So why is Google repeating its draconian policy of terminating services users rely on? According to a Google Cloud spokesperson:

“Since launching IoT Core, it has become clear that our customers’ needs could be better served by our network of partners that specialize in IoT applications and services.”

The real motivation is more likely to be a cost-cutting exercise in an area where Google has struggled to make much impact. In its recent Second Quarter 2022 Results, Alphabet posted a $858 million deficit for Google Cloud and while ditching IoT Core probably isn't enough to eliminate future losses on Cloud Services it was an obvious target.

So what should those affected do? Given Google's well-established track record of axing services irrespective of their popularity, you probably don't need me to remind you of the Mass Clearout of 2011, look for a service that doesn't rely on Google. Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft Azure give customers similar options for storing and managing data and Arduino Cloud which launched in 2019 is still going and may suit the needs of hobbyists.

Personally I am very skeptical of using any cloud service that isn't under my control. There are times when it may seems like a good idea - but on reflection there's a short-tem gain that needs to be weighed against inflexibility and uncertainty over the longer term. Even though Google seems to think hat it has given plenty of warning this doesn't take into acount the amount of work and hence time it takes to move an IoT project from one service to another.  spookygoogleMore Information

IoT Core website

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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 August 2022 )