Google Cloud IoT Core is a fully managed service that enables customers to quickly and securely connect, manage, and ingest data from millions of devices scattered around the world. Recently, Google announced the discontinuation of the service – according to the documentation, the company will end the service on August 16, 2023.
The company released the first public beta of IoT Core in 2017 as a competitive solution to IoT offerings from other cloud providers – Microsoft with Azure IoT Hub and AWS with AWS IoT Core. In early 2018, the service became generally available. Now, the company has sent an email to its customers with the message that “your access to the IoT Core Device Manager APIs will no longer be available. From this date, devices will no longer be able to connect to the Google Cloud IoT Core MQTT and HTTP bridges, and existing connections will be terminated. Therefore, the lifetime of the service is only five years.
The decision to discontinue the service is remarkable given the current state of the IoT blog post Indicating:
Growth in the number of connected devices slowed in 2021, but is expected to accelerate again in 2022 and beyond. While new headwinds, such as inflation and prolonged supply disruptions, have emerged for the IoT market, the overall sentiment continues to be relatively positive, with the number of connected IoT devices expected to reach 14.4 billion by the end of 2022.
Additionally, over the years, various companies have even shipped dedicated hardware kits for those looking to build Internet of Things (IoT) products around the managed service. Cory Quinncloud economist at The Duckbill Group, tweeted:
I bet @augurysys is just super excited about their public Google Cloud IoT Core case study at this point in the conversation. Nothing like a public reference for your bet on the wrong horse.
Last year, InfoQ reported on the Enterprise API and the company’s “product killer” reputation — where the community also shared their concerns and feelings. And again, a year later, Narinder Singhco-founder and CEO of LookDeep Health, for example, expressed a similar view in a tweet:
I can’t believe how backward @Google @googlecloud still is when it comes to business. Yes, they’re better at selling now, but they repeatedly say through their actions that you should only use the core parts of GCP.
Additionally, on a Reddit thread, one respondent wrote:
I really don’t understand Google Cloud sometimes. The number one argument leveled against them by Azure and AWS proponents is that they shut things down. All they have to do is not do this kind of thing to give them some credibility.
And a new hacker thread on Google’s IoT Core shutdown also has plenty of commentary with a mix of sentiments ranging from mistrust to some understanding of the company’s stance.
Finally, already a Google partner, ClearBlade announced a full IoT Core replacement for their service, including a migration path from Google IoT Core to ClearBlade. One option for customers, however, in the Hacker News thread, one respondent, patwolf, said:
I have been successfully using the IoT Cloud for a few years. Now I have to find an alternative. There’s a vendor called ClearBlade who announced a direct migration path today, but at this point I’d rather launch my own.