Amazon, ARM, Windows OS, and HTTP are the big winners this year in the Eclipse Foundation’s annual survey of IoT developers. Each year, the Eclipse Foundation asks IoT developers what they are worried about, what they are using, and what they are building. This year, roughly 66% of the 1,717 respondents are currently working on an IoT product or service at their company or will do so within the next 18 months.
In general, the concerns among these developers remain the same as the year before, although concerns about connectivity have surpassed those about data and analytics. Security remains the top concern. My hunch is that in the planning stages of an IoT project smart companies are thinking about the data they need and what they want to do with it, but when it comes time to build the solution, fine-grained details like how the heck they will build it dominate their concerns.
When it comes to cloud providers, the survey shows that Amazon has the most adoption by developers at 34%, following by Microsoft Azure at 23% and Google Cloud at 20%. The only surprise here is that Amazon is so far ahead of Microsoft, but the fact that a little more than a third of its developers are working on some type of IoT platform might explain why.
Amazon Web Services has a flexible and familiar architecture for developers who are knowledgable on the work of platform-building. Meanwhile, 26% of the respondents are working on industrial automation efforts. Those developers are likely to use Microsoft, which has the trust of industrial customers and a more familiar ecosystem for those in corporate IT.
In chip news, ARM-based architectures dominate both for power-constrained devices such as sensors, thermostats, and lights, and also dominates edge-based IoT gateways. When it comes to constrained devices, ARM is the only contender, while 42% of developers are using Intel-based chips in their IoT edge gateway devices. Seventy percent of developers are using ARM-based chips in their gateways. (The numbers exceed 100% because developers could select more than one option if they were using both.)
Surprises in the survey include the rise of Huawei’s Lite OS as an embedded operating system and the dramatic reduction of companies building on bare metal. Instead, developers appear to be using Linux or some specialized embedded OS. FreeRTOS continues to dominate the embedded OS world, which makes Amazon’s hiring of its creator in late 2017 a good move.