Microsoft says it is expanding its Azure Arc cloud management platform. As the company seeks to be the leader in cloud, edge, and hybrid solutions, Microsoft’s support for Kubernetes container support is taking a step closer. At Ignite 2022, Microsoft revealed Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for Windows devices and Windows IoT is reaching public preview.

Until now, Azure Kubernetes Service has been limited to Microsoft’s Azure cloud customers. Originally launched in 2017, AKS is a managed cloud service designed to run containerized applications efficiently.

Bringing AKS to Windows IoT and Windows devices provides a lightweight version of the service, which is why Microsoft is also calling the tool AKS lite. In an accompanying blog post this week, Microsoft says this version works on microprocessors as well as PC devices.

Users need to have Windows 10 or Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, Windows Server, or Windows 10/11 Pro.

AKS Lite

AKS lite – like its Azure-based sibling – will run both Windows and Linux developments. This is part of Microsoft’s Project Haven, which allows users to run Linux containers through Microsoft’s CBL-Mariner distribution on Azure Arc.

Erin Chapple, Microsoft corporate vice president of Azure Core says in a blog post the new AKS lite allows app management wherever the container is running, either on Windows Server, cloud, or IoT devices:

“In its early days, (Azure) Arc was more of an on-premises mindset. It let you manage [on-premises assets] from the cloud and connect to the cloud,” Chapple says.

“For example, sometimes it may make more sense to train an AI model at the edge because users may not want or need to pump all their data into a datalake. But in other cases, they may want to train it in the cloud, especially if they need the most up-to-date infrastructure.”

Tip of the day: File History is a Windows back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.