What is IoT Architecture: A Complete Guide

IoT architecture

What is IoT Architecture?

IoT architecture is the combination of devices, network structure, and cloud technology that allow IoT devices to communicate with one another. The three basic layers of an IoT architecture are:

  • Perception (the sensors and gadgets that detect the world around you)
  • Network (the connectivity between devices).
  • Application (the layer with which the user interacts)

These layers allow IoT devices to collect and process data. This architecture extends the OSI model and includes the transformation of data into usable information. These insights enable businesses to immediately take action using automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

Importance of IoT Architecture

Administrators use IoT architecture for managing and supporting IoT devices. You can use IoT devices to connect anything, from internet-connected light bulbs to safety sensors for a chemical plant.

These devices collect data from their environment using small sensors and send it to a server to be processed. This data is processed by servers to provide insight and information for businesses. This information can be used to automate tasks and improve efficiency across multiple business systems.

IoT architecture allows this to be possible by making sure data is correctly processed and gets to the right place. Networks without proper IoT architecture would be unreliable and defeat the purpose of investing in IoT.

Also read: 12 Best IoT Security Solutions and Vendors

5 Layers Of IoT Architecture

IoT architecture can either be described in three or five layers. While the three-layer model is easy to comprehend, it leaves out key details about how data is used. Here’s a breakdown of each layer and what it does and why it’s important.


The physical IoT devices are represented by the perception layer. This could include security systems, health monitors, and lighting systems. Every IoT device gathers data that needs processing.

IoT sensors can gather hundreds of data points and are very affordable. The goals of an organization will determine the data that is collected. To improve crop yield and increase revenue, IoT devices for agriculture can collect data such as temperature, humidity, solid temperature, and airflow.


The transport layer sends collected data to the edge device or cloud for processing. The transport layer uses internet gateways to transfer data from the physical perception layer to the processing phase.

Administrators rely on Wi-Fi and cellular networks to transfer data through the transport layer. This stage can be used by system administrators using a variety of technologies.

  • Cellular 4G LTE / 5G
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Low-power Wide-Area Networks

Administrators have the option to mix and match transport protocols when designing their IoT architecture. The transport protocol that you choose should be capable of reliably supporting data from the sensor to your nearest internet gateway. This concept is covered in detail in our IoT connectivity Article.


Once data has reached the edge device or cloud, the server can turn data into information. Modern IoT architectures use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create value from this data.

Take, for example: If an IoT sensor records a high-temperature fluctuation, Artificial intelligence can detect this anomaly by monitoring the current temperature compared to its baseline. This would allow the server to send an HVAC command to the unit to lower the temperature or resolve the problem.


Although processing is usually done automatically, humans must still tell the server what to do if certain rules or thresholds have been broken. Application layer when administrators manage the. IoT device orchestration, Creating rule sets, and establishing service-level agreements.

You’re familiar with an app that turns on your lights at home. You’ve already used the application layer. Reliable IoT architectures rely on the application layer to manage and control their networks from a central dashboard. This centralization decreases complexity, particularly in enterprise IoT networks. This in turn increases efficiency and security.


The business layer is where the information is converted into business intelligence which drives decision-making. Executives and stakeholders can make better business decisions by using the information gathered at the application layer.

Business intelligence is typically based on live dashboards and reports. This level can enrich the information from the application layer with other integrations. Business intelligence analysts may be able to correlate savings on electricity consumption based on the installation of smart lighting sensors.

IoT Architecture Use Cases

Although it is clear that IoT architecture transforms data into useful information, where can you find the most value? We’ll be looking at some real-world IoT architecture examples below to demonstrate how these networks create value.

IoT in Healthcare

Untapped data can be generated by hospitals and clinics that could help improve patient care and operational efficiency. IoT architecture can bridge the gap between patient data and the health information doctors can use to make better decisions and respond faster to alerts.

Data from devices such as EKG machines, ventilators, and staff devices can be used to generate valuable insights for healthcare. Here are some examples:

  • IoT sensors allow for real-time monitoring of patient health and alerts.
  • Equipment and inventory tracking with GPS/Bluetooth-enabled sensors.
  • IoT sensors automatically generate work orders for preventive maintenance.
  • Remote surgery using IoT-enabled robot equipment

Also read: Top 10 IoT Boards for Development and Prototyping

IoT in Manufacturing

Many companies are looking for competitive advantages and the manufacturing industry was among the first to adopt IoT technology. IoT sensors are able to give manufacturers insight into processes that don’t even have an internet connection.

It is costly and time-consuming to replace manufacturing equipment. Many factories are left with older machines that can’t connect to the internet. IoT sensors can be used by businesses in this situation to collect data and wirelessly send it to others, without the need to replace the machine.
Here are some examples of IoT architecture that can be used to benefit manufacturers:

  • Measurement of time-dependent change using IoT sensors.
  • Forecasting demand by monitoring the production rate in real-time.
  • To understand your baseline efficiency, track the cycle time.
  • Preventive maintenance includes monitoring fluid levels and conductivity.

IoT in Agriculture

When We think of IoT Many of us don’t realize that IoT architecture is being used by farmers to improve their yield, predict outputs, and even manage their crops autonomously. The limited infrastructure and coverage required for IoT architecture on farms was a major problem.

private5G allows farmers to create and manage their own 5G networks that support their IoT architecture over hundreds of acres. Here are some examples of IoT architecture used by farmers:

  • To plant crops, it is important to monitor the soil temperature.
  • Use autonomous tractors and farm equipment powered by GPS.
  • Root cause analysis is a mobile app that helps you find the root cause of machinery problems.
  • Automated adjustment of water, temperature, and humidity levels to indoor growing operations.

The Future of IoT Architectures Using Private 5G

The future of IoT architecture will evolve quickly to keep up with advances in enterprise 5g network evolution. This will allow administrators to deploy more reliable IoT architectures, and process data faster than ever.

Private 5G allows administrators the opportunity to create their own 5G mobile network, similar to how organizations can control and own their Wi-Fi networks. The private model gives organizations full control over their cellular budget, coverage, and resources.

IoT architecture that used cellular to transport data had to depend on commercial networks in the past. This created a number of problems, particularly for enterprise-level operations. Commercial cellular networks may throttle bandwidth, limit speeds, or charge overage fees for data usage exceeding a certain amount.

A common problem with commercial cellular networks is the inability to interoperate between the cellular network’s internal applications and the cellular network. Commercial cellular networks are unable to identify enterprise systems, devices, and internal applications. Administrators have little control over the distribution and control of cellular resources within their IoT architecture. They also need to apply critical network security policies for enterprise connectivity.

Private 5G addresses these issues by giving administrators complete control over their IoT network resources and infrastructure as well as service levels. Administrators can, for example, set SLAs for specific applications and throughput with a network. Artificial intelligence algorithms monitor and adjust network conditions continuously to enforce these rules.

A 5G IoT network Administrators can establish granular throughput or latency SLAs for specific applications in their environment. Artificial intelligence algorithms enforce these rules by continuously monitoring and changing network conditions to ensure SLAs can be met.

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