Cirrus Link's IoT Bridge Connects OT Data to Microsoft Azure

By Taryn Engmark

Assistant Editor

Embedded Computing Design

October 04, 2022


Cirrus Link's IoT Bridge Connects OT Data to Microsoft Azure

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS. Cirrus Link announced the IoT Bridge for Microsoft Azure, a Sparkplug-based software widget that converts OT data to IT data, connects standard MQTT Sparkplug data models to Azure Digital Twin, and updates data changes to Azure Data Explorer for time series data. The IoT Bridge enables the creation of factory or asset data models with Sparkplug templates and automattically connects the models to Azure to generate insights regardinng productivity, uptime, and cost — without requiring any additional coding.

Sparkplug-enabled platforms like Inductive Automation's Ignition allow the process of bridging the OT/IT gap to be standardized and deployed in a matter of hours.

As remote assets or other data producers collect data from the factory floor, MQTT Sparkplug normalizes it through templates that include critical meta properties before sending the data along to an MQTT server.

IoT Bridge for Azure subscribes to the MQTT messages from the MQTT server, automatically generating a digital twin that includes those meta properties in Azure Digital Twin. In the absence of such technology, companies may spend thousands of dollars creating custom coded solutions that, ultimately, are difficult to scale.

"Sending data models to the cloud continues to be one of the biggest challenges for companies adopting Industrial IoT," said Arlen Nipper, President and CTO of Cirrus Link and co-inventor of MQTT. "Without IoT Bridge, a homegrown solution is the only option which often results in a massive data lake with inconsistent data and a lot of upkeep. Now, customers can drop a box into the factory, point it to an MQTT broker, and IoT Bridge does the work."

Azure Digital Twins is a platform as a service (PaaS) offering that enables the creation of twin graphs based on digital models of entire environments used to gain insights that drive better products, optimized operations, and reduced costs. Azure Data Explorer is a fully managed, high-performance, big data analytics platform that makes it easy to analyze high volumes of data in near real time. 

For more information about Cirrus Link's IoT Bridge, visit

For more information about Azure Digital Twins, visit