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Microsoft recently announced Azure IoT Edge to be generally available and open source. Its preview was announced at the Microsoft Build 2017, during which the company stated how this service plans to extend cloud intelligence to edge devices.

Microsoft Azure IoT Edge is a fully-managed cloud service to help enterprises generate useful insights from the data collected by the Internet of things (IoT) devices. It enables one to deploy and run Artificial Intelligence services, Azure services, and custom logic directly on the cross-platform IoT devices. This, in turn, helps deliver cloud intelligence locally as per the plan.

Additional features in the Azure IoT Edge include:

  • Support for Moby container management system: Docker which is built on Moby, an open-source platform. It allows Microsoft Azure to extend the concepts of containerization, isolation, and management from the cloud to devices at the edge.
  • Azure IoT Device Provisioning Service: This service allows customers to securely provision huge amount of devices making edge deployments more scalable.
  • Tooling for VSCode: VSCode allows easy module development by coding, testing, debugging, and deploying.
  • Azure IoT Edge security manager: IoT Edge security manager acts as a tough security core for protecting the IoT Edge device and all its components by abstracting the secure silicon hardware.
  • Automatic Device Management (ADM): ADM service allows scaled deployment of IoT Edge modules to a fleet of devices based on device metadata. When a device with the right metadata (tags) joins the fleet, ADM brings down the right modules and puts the edge device in the correct state.
  • CI/CD pipeline with VSTS : This allows managing the complete lifecycle of the Azure IoT Edge modules from development, testing, staging, and final deployment.
  • Broad language support for module SDKs: Azure IoT Edge supports more languages than other edge offerings in the market. It includes C#, C, Node.js, Python, and Java allowing one to program the edge modules in their choice of language.

There are three components required for Azure IoT Edge deployment:

  • Azure IoT Edge Runtime
  • Azure IoT Hub and
  • Edge modules.

The Azure IoT Edge runtime is free and will be available as open source code. Customers would require an Azure IoT Hub instance for edge device management and deployment if they are not using one for their IoT solution already.

Read full news coverage at the Microsoft Azure IoT blog post.

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