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Azure IoT Edge generally available for enterprise-grade, scaled deployments

Posted on June 27, 2018

Partner Director, Azure Internet of Things

Since we introduced Azure IoT Edge just over a year ago, we have seen many examples of the real-world impact from the factory floor to the farm to run cloud intelligence directly on IoT devices. Now devices can act immediately on real-time data—whether it be recognizing a crack in a pipe from an aerial view or predicting equipment failure before it happens. As we evolve toward a world of ubiquitous computing, the design of the IoT solution spanning hardware, edge, and cloud must be consistent and secure to drive real impact. Today, we are excited to announce Azure IoT Edge is now generally available (GA) globally – enabling our growing list of enterprise customers to bring their edge solutions to production.

We are also introducing new robust capabilities on Azure IoT Edge to easily develop and deploy intelligence to the edge. These robust updates position Azure IoT Edge as a true end-to-end solution for enterprise-grade edge deployments.

New updates to develop and deploy intelligent applications to Azure IoT Edge

Open and flexible for greater choice

  • Open source Azure IoT Edge: Today with GA, IoT Edge is open sourced and available on GitHub. This continues our commitment to open source support for Azure IoT Edge and gives developers even greater flexibility and control of their edge solutions, enabling them to modify the runtime and debug issues.
  • Support for Moby container management system: Moby is the open-source platform Docker is built on, allowing us to extend the concepts of containerization, isolation, and management from the cloud to devices at the edge. Moby containers work on Docker-based systems, and vice versa. There are no changes required to existing (Docker-based) modules.
  • Ecosystem of certified hardware and software for the edge: We are expanding the Azure Certified for IoT program to certify core edge functionalities such as device management and security. You can find already certified edge hardware on the device catalog. Learn more about the Azure Certified for IoT program. In addition to hardware, developers can find pre-built edge modules now available through Azure Marketplace to accelerate edge solution development.

Secure from hardware to cloud for solutions that scale

  • Azure IoT Device Provisioning Service: Azure IoT Edge now has deep integration with Device Provisioning Service for zero-touch provisioning so that a device can simply be provisioned in the field with no operator intervention. With Device Provisioning Service, customers can securely provision tens of thousands of devices – bringing true scale to edge deployments.
  • 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. It is the focal point for security hardening and provides Original Device Manufacturers (OEM) the opportunity to harden their devices based on their choice of Hardware Secure Modules (HSM).
  • Automatic Device Management (ADM) service allows scaled deployment of IoT Edge modules to a fleet of devices based on device meta data. When a device with the right meta data (tags) joins the fleet, ADM brings down the right modules and puts the edge device in the correct state.

New and simplified developer experience

  • Broad language support for module SDKs: Azure IoT Edge supports more languages than other edge offerings today, including C#, C, Node.js, Python, and Java so you can program edge modules in the language of your choice.
  • Tooling for VSCode: Simplify module development by coding, testing, debugging, and deploying all from VSCode.
  • CI/CD pipeline with VSTS allows managing of the complete lifecycle of the Azure IoT Edge modules from development, testing, staging, and finally deployment. All of this is now possible in VSTS using tools already familiar to developers.

This continues recent momentum and news at our //Build developer conference last month, where we announced new IoT Edge capabilities including integration with Microsoft AI services and container support for Kubernetes, new partnerships, and integrations with third-party hardware including DJI drones and Qualcomm vision AI developer kit at the edge.

Customer and partner momentum

Our preview customers are building sophisticated solutions that enable them to gain real-time insights in remote areas or areas with unreliable connectivity using Microsoft’s AI services supported on Azure IoT Edge. This includes Schneider Electric, a leader in energy, who is doing predictive maintenance on equipment that signals it’s about to break so that it does not become a safety and waste hazard. And a farmer in Carnation, Washington using DJI drones and Microsoft’s FarmBeats solution on Azure IoT Edge to do precision agriculture. Here is what a few of our customers and partners have to say:

  • At Chevron, we are committed to producing the energy that powers the world. As such, it is imperative that we innovate with the latest technology to continuously improve safety and reliability and enhance our company’s performance. Edge computing is the next wave of cloud and IIOT innovation. 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.” –  Deon Rae, Chevron Fellow & IIOT Center of Excellence Lead
  • "As a leading manufacturer of industrial equipment, we leverage cloud intelligence to understand how the equipment is performing and when maintenance is needed. With Azure IoT Edge, we have the potential to bring this intelligence down to the device level, to predict failures and maintenance in real time, without a 24/7 dependence on connectivity." –  Alasdair Monk, Group Product Management Director IoT, Weir Group
  • “At Vulcan Steel we are committed to promoting a safe working environment. 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 behavior that 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.” – James Wells, Chief Information Officer, Vulcan Steel
  • “Amano McGann has a reputation for bringing leading, innovative technology to the smart parking and urban mobility industry across North America. We are extending our work with Microsoft Azure to the edge with Azure IoT Edge to increase reliability and uptime of our services, even with limited or no connectivity. We have the industry’s largest and most experienced staff of engineers and R&D specialists working to bring technologically advanced products to the market, and we are proud to take this to the next wave of innovation to the edge.” – Rohit Chande, Senior Vice President of Engineering Services, Amano McGann
  • “Redis Labs is delighted to be partnering with Microsoft Azure on IoT Edge solutions. This is a natural partnership as both companies are putting significant focus and investment in accelerating intelligence and computing at the edge. The combination of Redis Enterprise in the Azure IoT Edge solution will enable joint customers and partners to enjoy fast performance, in-memory processing and high availability for their edge solutions. Azure IoT Edge together with Redis Enterprise will increase speed to business value with edge solutions.” – Rob Schauble, Vice President of IoT & Emerging Technologies, Redis Labs
  • “Moxa selected Azure IoT Edge for customers who have standardized on Microsoft and Azure and want to extend their IT infrastructure to high-volume industrial edge deployments. Our integration with Microsoft Azure as a Strategic Partner will ensure customers can more easily deploy IIoT Edge Gateways into existing industrial environments and build upon Moxa’s 30 years of industrial expertise for connectivity, long-term Industrial Linux support, and a broad range of industrial connectivity.” – Bee Lee, Executive President, Moxa Sales and Marketing

Azure IoT Edge pricing

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 will need an Azure IoT Hub instance for edge device management and deployment if they are not using one for their IoT solution already. Learn more about first-party services pricing.

Start developing intelligent apps for the edge with Azure IoT Edge today

Just this spring, we announced that Microsoft will invest $5B in IoT and the intelligent edge over the next four years to accelerate innovation while also simplifying the customer experience to build IoT solutions. Today’s announcement is the latest example of innovation in IoT and edge. With today’s news, we are also releasing tutorials, demos, and videos so you can get started quickly today. We look forward to seeing what you go build.