Microsoft announces global rollout of Azure IoT Edge system

Azure IoT Edge

Microsoft has announced the global enterprise availability of its Azure IoT Edge technology.

Launched a year ago, the system is designed to allow edge devices to act immediately on real-time data.

For the global rollout, Microsoft has announced that IoT Edge is open sourced and available on developer community, GitHub, which Microsoft announced it was acquired at the beginning of last month.

Support is also available for the Moby container management system, the open-source platform on which Docker is built, allowing Microsoft to extend containerisation and management capabilities from the Azure cloud to edge devices.

Microsoft has also trailed what it calls an “ecosystem of certified hardware and software for the edge”.

“We are expanding the Azure Certified for IoT programme to certify core edge functionalities, such as device management and security,” said the company in a blog post. “In addition to hardware, developers can find pre-built edge modules now available through Azure Marketplace to accelerate edge solution development.”

Azure IoT Edge includes deep integration with the Device Provisioning Service, so that a device can be provisioned in the field with no operator intervention.

Meanwhile, the Azure IoT Edge security manager acts as a “well-bounded security core for protecting the IoT Edge device and all its components by abstracting the secure silicon hardware,” said Microsoft.

“It is the focal point for security hardening and provides original device manufacturers (OEMs) the opportunity to harden their devices, based on their choice of hardware secure modules.”

Also included are an automatic device management (ADM) service, broad language support for module SDKs, tooling for VSCode, and the ability to manage the complete lifecycle of Azure IoT Edge modules, from development, testing, and staging, to full deployment.

Thumbs up from users
Test customers were quick to voice their support for the global rollout. “Edge computing is the next wave of cloud and IIOT innovation,” said Deon Rae, Chevron fellow and IIOT Center of Excellence lead for the energy giant.

“With the ability to run Azure IoT Edge on Azure Stack, we see an opportunity to increase uptime and real-time insights on the performance of our operating equipment with intelligent applications that can run right on the device and in remote areas with limited or interrupted connectivity.”

Vulcan Steel’s CIO James Wells added, “With Microsoft, we saw an opportunity to increase safety bringing cloud intelligence to the edge, using AI and Azure IoT Edge to review thousands of pieces of footage a day and highlight potentially risky behaviour, which could lead to an accident in the loading and unloading of trucks.

“This real-time intelligence enables us to use predictive insights to direct education efforts, improving safety for our people.”


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