An Ultimate Guide to Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT)
Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) is a lightweight open messaging protocol. IoT trends provide resource-constrained network clients with a simple way for distributing telemetry information in low-bandwidth environments. This protocol employs a publish/subscribe communication pattern, which helps in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.
This protocol finds its usage as a low-overhead for accommodating CPU limitations and bandwidth. The entire essence of MQTT is to run in an embedded environment, which provides a reliable and effective path for communication.
You’ll be glad to know that it helps connect devices with a small code footprint. Thus, it is an excellent choice for wireless networks with different latency due to unreliable connections and bandwidth constraints. And that’s why industries ranging from automobiles, energy to telecommunications use this protocol.
Although the initial usage of MQTT was for a proprietary protocol, it found a use for communication with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCDA) systems that worked in the oil and gas industry. However, with the advent of modern technology, its popularity has risen to unexceptional levels.
Yes, it’s a leading open-source protocol that became popular in the smart device arena. It also assisted in connecting Industrial IoT (IIoT) and the Internet of Things (IoT) with complete ease.
While the TT in MQTT stands for Telemetry Transport, the MQ references a product known as MQ. Although the MQTT is an abbreviation for Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, you’ll be surprised to know that there isn’t a message queuing in MQTT communication, in reality.
How Does MQTT function?
The entire essence of MQTT is to maximize the available bandwidth. The publish/subscribe communication model runs as an alternative solution to the traditional client-server architecture with direct communication with the endpoint.
In contrast to the pub/sub model, the client sends a message to the publisher, which decouples the client or the clients who ultimately receive the messages or the subscribers. It is because neither the clients nor the subscribers have a direct connection with one another. It’s the brokers or third parties that take care of connections between the two players.
MQTT clients include subscribers and publishers. The terms can be interchangeable based on whether the client will publish or subscribe to receive the messages. Know that businesses can implement these two functions in the same client.
Yes, you heard that right.
When the client or device wants to send data to a server or broker, the process is known as publishing. On the other hand, when you reverse the operation, it becomes subscribed. Under the pub/sub model, multiple clients have the opportunity of connecting to a broker and subscribing to topics in which they’re interested.
Nevertheless, suppose you’re wondering about a broken connection between the subscribing client and broker. In that case, the broker then buffers the messages and pushes them to the subscriber.
However, suppose it is disconnected from the publishing client to the broker without prior notice. In that case, the broker has the flexibility of closing the connection. What’s even better is that MQTT helps send subscribers a cached message in case of a broken link that further has instructions from the publisher.
To be precise, “Publishers send messages, the subscribers receive messages they’re interested in, and brokers pass those messages from the publishers to the subscribers. Publishers and subscribers are MQTT clients, which only communicate through an MQTT broker.
Know that MQTT clients can be any application or device (from microcontrollers to an entire application server hosted in the Cloud), which runs an MQTT library.
What are the Advantages of MQTT Protocol?
One of the significant challenges of IoT is the process of connecting millions of devices and exchanging information. Because most IoT devices don’t have enough processing resources, developers look for lightweight and low-power connecting protocols. And that’s what makes MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) a popular IoT messaging protocol. Now that you know about its popularity, you wonder why businesses prefer MQTT over other protocols. Well, you’ll get all your answers once you understand the benefits of the MQTT protocol for IoT devices. Let’s get going:
– MQTT is a Publish/ Subscribe Protocol:
While request/ response is a typical communication model on networks used by HTTP, MQTT uses another model called pub-sub. As already discussed, there is a centralized message broker that distributes data between all devices.
Know that each device can have a publisher or subscriber or both at the same time. In the Pub/Sub model, the device only establishes a connection to the broker. It does not know other present network devices. And, it’s the broker that increases network performance in even the most uncertain conditions.
– MQTT is a Battery Friendly Protocol:
Several businesses use MQTT for monitoring pipelines in outback deserts. Now that these enterprises have no access to the electricity grids, they must have a protocol that uses the lowest energy consumption for satellite communications.
It may come as a surprise to you, but know that MQTT uses 170 times less energy on 3G networks and the energy consumption on WiFi networks is 47 times less. And, that’s the reason why MQTT empowers IoT developers to build devices that’ll stay connected for +10 years.
– MQTT Security:
One of the most important things that come into mind while talking about network protocols is security. An unsecured network is nothing but a bunch of wires, circuits, and devices that swear to ruin a person’s life.
And that’s when IoT paved the path to creating a better life experience for companies. MQTT lays support to TLS/SSL for encrypting connections between the broker and devices.
The Bottom Line
MQTT swears to be a blessing in businesses operating in different environments. MQTT works tremendously well for applications that involve remote monitoring – all thanks to the lightweight properties. These usually involve the synchronization of sensors like motion sensors and fire detectors—these help detect thefts and determine if the hazard is valid.
Well, all these advantages point to MQTT as a must-have network protocol. So, what’s stopping you from unleashing the benefits and having it for your business.