Advantages of a Smart MQTT Broker

MQTT is becoming a popular protocol for Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) data. Developed for connecting remote devices to a central server, it is lightweight, efficient, and secure. However, IoT implementations are growing larger and more complex, and demand is increasing for OT/IT connectivity. MQTT is now being called on to aggregate and send diverse collections of data values over increasingly complex network topologies. To meet these challenges MQTT must get smarter. As a transport protocol, MQTT specifies that messages are simply carried—not read—like a letter in the post. But that doesn’t have to be the case. What would happen if the letter carrier could read the mail? In other words, what if we gave an MQTT broker the ability to parse the messages it carries? It would be able to handle messages more intelligently and include some information on the status of the data source or quality of the connection. Data collection A smart broker should be able to collect data in an intelligent way. For example, on large systems data can come from a wide variety of MQTT devices, each with its own message format. A broker that parses messages could convert these to a common message representation and make that available to all clients. Other data sources might include non-MQTT protocols such as OPC UA, Modbus, DDE, and others. A smart broker with protocol conversion capabilities could act as a gateway for this data to any MQTT client or cloud service.

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