Bridge the Gap: How a Protocol Gateway Enhances Third-Party Cloud Integration

April 19, 2023
Richard Theron

Did you know that Cloud computing got its foundational start as far back as the 1950s? Like much of modern technology, there’s been both a revolution and an evolution of Cloud computing since then. While we have to acknowledge the official launch of Cloud computing, thanks to the introduction of the public Cloud by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2002, a lot is happening today that could prove to be its own game changer.

First, Cloud adoption has grown by leaps and bounds. Second, it’s now considered mainstream so if you’re still on the fence about migrating to the Cloud, you’ll want to consider joining the growing number of organizations that are relying on Cloud services.

While some organizations have chosen private Cloud connectivity, others have chosen third-party public Cloud connectivity, and still others multiple Cloud providers. Because there is plenty of information online about developing a Cloud strategy, let’s talk about what comes next: Seamlessly and securely connecting to a third-party Cloud provider.

Using an Edge Gateway for Cloud Connectivity

If data and other meaningful information is to be transmitted from business systems and devices to the Cloud, there has to be a go-between that acts as a translator. This translator is an essential piece of the puzzle because systems and devices (especially from multiple manufacturers) are usually speaking different languages, otherwise known as protocols. The go-between is, of course, a protocol gateway like our FieldServer™ edge devices.

FieldServer “speaks” and converts 140+ different protocols to help a wide variety of devices talk with each other so they can perform as they were intended. FieldServer enables information sharing for real-time access to data, visual confirmation, and notifications, such as alarms.

Cloud Messaging Protocols

Like building automation or fire & safety devices, the Cloud works much the same way. A key difference is that the Cloud has its own set of IoT application and messaging protocols, including:

  • AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol): Designed for enterprise messaging systems; widely used by Azure and IBM Cloud
  • CoAP (Constrained Application Protocol): For IoT (Internet of Things) devices and applications supporting low-power, low-bandwidth networks; used by AWS and Google Cloud IoT Core
  • DDS (Data Distribution Service): For high-performance systems and Cloud-based applications requiring real-time data processing and analysis
  • MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport): For IoT applications; supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure
  • RESTful API (Representational State Transfer API): Uses HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to enable communication among applications over the Internet
  • STOMP (Simple Text Oriented Messaging Protocol): Provides a messaging framework for applications that run on various programming languages and operating systems; used by AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM Cloud
  • WebSockets: Facilitates bidirectional communication between clients and servers for real-time data transfer between web applications and Cloud services; supported by AWS and GCP

While the industry has not yet standardized how to communicate with the Cloud, MQTT, WebSockets, and RESTful API are proving to stand out as some of the most widely adopted Cloud messaging protocols—and the ones FieldServer currently offers.

Benefits of Using FieldServer for Edge-to-Cloud Connectivity

We recently participated in a webinar with one of our clients to talk about how to take edge data and send it to Cloud via Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or cellular (which pushes it to the Cloud). We’ve also featured a case study here that demonstrates how FieldServer helped enhance building safety by extending IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) Cloud data.

Here’s a concise rundown of the key advantages that make FieldServer stand out in third-party Cloud connectivity:


FieldServer gateways support multiple communication protocols used by some of the most popular third-party Cloud providers.

Easy to Configure

FieldServer installs in minutes (not hours or days) and connects to multiple third-party Cloud solutions without the need for extensive changes to underlying systems.


FieldServer is a fraction of the cost (hundreds versus thousands) of other protocol gateways.


FieldServer is capable of handling the large amounts of data and devices typically found with IIoT applications.

Secure Communication

FieldServer is tested and verified to protect sensitive data and thwart unauthorized access. Plus, everything on the FieldServer gateway is timestamped for added accuracy and security.

Next-Level Cloud Connectivity

When you know why (and how) an Edge gateway enables third-party Cloud connectivity, you’re empowered to take your Cloud strategy to the next level.

Hopefully, these tips will not only make third-party Cloud connectivity easier and more secure, they’ll improve your edge computing experience.

To learn more about edge computing, third-party Cloud connectivity, and edge gateways, contact one of our representatives.

Richard Theron
Richard Theron is the product line manager for FieldServer at MSA, where he works intimately with companies in the building automation, industrial automation, energy management and life safety markets to help them cloud-enable their equipment.

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