Microsoft Azure is rolling out a new service that allows customers to run Kubernetes clusters on edge devices and hybrid cloud environments. Known as Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Edge Essentials, the solution simplifies the deployment and management of containerized applications across different locations and devices.
The service was initially announced in February and has been in preview since. It seems that was a short terms preview as AKS Edge Essentials is already graduating to general availability today. Microsoft confirmed the wide release in a blog post on the Tech Community portal.
AKS Edge Essentials is a fully managed service that leverages Azure Arc, a platform that extends Azure services and management to any infrastructure. With AKS Edge Essentials, customers can use the same tools and processes they use for AKS in the cloud to manage their edge Kubernetes clusters. Customers can also benefit from Azure features such as security, monitoring, governance, and update management.
In a blog post to announce AKS Edge Essentials, Microsoft explains how customers can manage various scenarios when they run applications close to their data sources or users. For example, the service supports Industrial IoT, which provides the ability to run applications that process data. This data comes from sensors on edge devices in warehouses, factories, and other industrial locations.
With the Healthcare component, customers can access apps that offer remote diagnostics and telemetry on medicine from clinics and hospitals. For users in stores or other retail locations can use the Retail service to run applications that provide personal experiences on edge devices such as registers.
Expanding AKS to the Edge
Azure Kubernetes Service Edge Essentials also has a Gaming component that provides applications for low-latency gaming on edge devices. Microsoft claims that AKS Edge is the first service of its kind that offers a consistent Kubernetes experience across the cloud and edge.
“AKS Edge is a game-changer for customers who want to run Kubernetes at scale across hybrid cloud scenarios. With AKS Edge, customers can enjoy the benefits of Azure’s innovation and expertise in Kubernetes without compromising on performance, security, or reliability,” says Brendan Burns, Corporate Vice President of Azure Compute at Microsoft.
Back in December, Microsoft announced a partnership extension with Isovalent to brings eBPF capabilities to AKS. Elsewhere, Microsoft has been expanding the capabilities of Kubernetes Services to become more connected to IoT/edge devices.
In October last year, I reported on Microsoft’s Project Haven. This brought AKS to Windows 11 and Windows IoT for the first time. Since its launch in 2017, AKS was limited to Microsoft Azure. Bringing AKS to Windows IoT and Windows devices provides a lightweight version of the service, which is why Microsoft calls the integration AKS Lite.
Azure Kubernetes Service was launched in preview during 2017. It provides Microsoft’s cloud customers the ability to get automatic upgrades, a hosted control plane, and self-healing capabilities.
Tip of the day: For the most part, Windows apps are stable, but they can still be still thrown out of whack by updates or configuration issues. Many boot their PC to find their Microsoft Store isn’t working or their Windows apps aren’t opening. Luckily Windows 11 and Windows 10 have an automatic repair feature for apps that can resolve such issues.