AKS Edge Essentials is simplifying edge applications

Posted by

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: New blog articles in Microsoft Community Hub.

Since Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Edge Essentials launched earlier this year, customers across industries have used it to accelerate application development and streamline the deployment and management of highly distributed edge applications. We are thrilled with the positive customer feedback and momentum on this platform’s ability to oversee Kubernetes-based workload orchestration for Windows and Linux applications at the edge. 


AKS Edge Essentials leverages standard open-source Kubernetes (K8s/K3s) distributions and makes it easier for customers to incorporate cloud-native best practices into scalable operational technology solutions at the edge. 


Developing with AKS Edge Essentials 

As businesses across industries transform their operations with next-generation cloud-to-edge apps and solutions, Kubernetes has become vital in enabling consistent deployment at scale across thousands of devices and endpoints, often in remote or disconnected locations. AKS Edge Essentials handles both Windows and Linux workloads and offers broad, flexible ecosystem support for applications running on-premises an in the cloud  


The platform also works seamlessly across different types of IoT hardware and automates the process of running containerized applications at scale on existing infrastructures. It includes a fully Microsoft-supported lightweight Kubernetes distribution requiring only a small footprint, making it easy to develop and deploy IoT applications on PC-class or “light” edge devices with just 2.5 GB of free memory.   This differentiating feature is made possible by a lightweight, CNCF-conforming K8S and K3S distribution supported and managed by Microsoft.  Each Kubernetes node runs in its own Hyper-V isolated virtual machine while including features to secure the container infrastructure. AKS Edge Essentials is designed for static, pre-defined configurations, and each machine in a cluster can have only one Linux and/or Windows node. 


Microsoft supports the entire software stack from kernel to cloud and everything in between. 

Use existing tools and processes for management of the underlying infrastructure stack to run cloud-native Linux workloads on existing Windows-based devices without needing new skills or other software.  


AKSEE tech Stack Image.png




Customers praise ease of use with Edge Essentials 

Users tell us they’re highly impressed with the simplicity and overall ease of use of AKS Edge Essentials. After a short installation process, they can create scalable edge clusters that include thousands of edge devices with minimum time and expertise.   In manufacturing settings, AKS Edge Essentials is being used to manage Kubernetes-powered edge systems that monitor quality control, production efficiency, and manufacturing operations with data collected by numerous sensors in hundreds or thousands of devices and locations needs to be extracted and actioned in an efficient, timely manner to be valuable. 


One early adopter, ABB - a leader in using a leader in using electrification and automation technology for more sustainable and resource-efficient processes and operations -   moved its Kubernetes orchestration of remote condition monitoring applications to Edge Essentials to streamline application development and simplify and unify deployment and management. As a result, ABB now has a single end-to-end Kubernetes solution. and only needs to create one version of applications that can run on Windows, Linux, and in the cloud. 


According to Viswanathan Ramakrishnan, VP of Release Engineering and SaaS Operations at ABB, “AKS Edge Essentials is deployment agnostic, so we need to deploy only one application regardless of where it runs, whether on a minimally configured Windows IoT device, a large machine with Linux, or in the cloud, AKS Edge Essentials removes that complexity.” 


This significantly reduces development and deployment time and frees resources to create more effective AI-driven data analysis solutions from the rich data collected from manufacturing operations, Reduced administration requirements enables organizations to handle an expanding edge ecosystem with a shrinking number of available workers and can run even where connectivity is not ideal. 


As more customers adopt AKS Edge Essentials, we expect to see its capabilities applied to many new areas and more use cases and innovative solutions.


Dive into AKS Edge Essentials with these resources:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.