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Greengrass vs. IoT Core



our company is working on creating an innovative security system to prevent theft of goods from parking trucks. Our goal is to equip every truck with radar sensors and a central control unit which handles the incoming data. We want to upload this data to a cloud so that we can use machine learning in order to analyse the risk of a theft at any given moment.

Our concept is:

  1. Send the data to the cloud
  2. Store the data on the cloud
  3. Analyse and use machine learning on the data

We are looking to set our central unit (Currently a raspberry pi 4) as an AWS IoT device. The main questions are:

What are the differences between IoT Core and Greengrass?

What are the pros and cons of each of these services?

Which one would fit most to our use-case?

Please send us a detailed description and any kind of documentation you think would help us in achieving our goals.

1 Answer

In your case, it's not likely a question of IoT Core versus Greengrass. You will likely use IoT Core. It's just whether you will use Greengrass as well.

IoT Core runs in the cloud and Greengrass runs at the edge (usually). IoT Core is a cloud service but Greengrass is an edge runtime, with supporting cloud service.

You can build your device software on top of the Greengrass edge runtime. For devices with sufficient resources, Greengrass is a great way to compose and manage your device software. For your central unit, you would likely use either Greengrass or one of our IoT Device SDKs ( to create your device software. AWS IoT Device Client ( ) may also be of interest; it is a Linux reference implementation using the C++ IoT Device SDK. Greengrass is likely a good choice for your device if the device will perform edge processing (Lambdas or ML inference for example) and/or if the device acts as a hub for other IoT devices.

However you choose to compose your device software, your device will likely connect to IoT Core and publish messages to the IoT Core message broker.

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answered 8 months ago

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