Microsoft Expands Azure IoT Edge Capabilities

Microsoft expanded the capabilities of its Azure IoT Edge solution for bringing cloud intelligence to the edge, adding the capability to run in virtual machines (VMs).

The company last June open sourced the service that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and local custom logic for immediate data analysis on cross-platform devices that can work independently, even when offline.

"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," Microsoft said at the time. "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."

The new expanded VM functionality for Azure IoT Edge was outlined by program manager Chipalo Street in a Feb. 5 blog post.

"We’re committed to building an open, robust ecosystem and giving customers choices in deploying their edge solution. Today we’re announcing that Azure IoT Edge runs in a virtual machine (VM) using one of these supported operating systems."

Microsoft guidance says Azure IoT Edge runs on most OSes that support containers, but such support isn't equal, dividing them into tier 1 and tier 2 OSes that can be viewed at the above link.

Street also pointed out a streamlined solution from virtualization giant VMware. "While this works for multiple virtualization technologies," Street said of the multi-tiered OS categorization, "VMware has simplified the deployment process of Azure IoT Edge to VMs using VMware vSphere. Additionally, vSphere 6.7 and later provide passthrough support for Trusted Platform Module (TPM), allowing Azure IoT Edge to maintain its industry leading security framework by leveraging the hardware root of trust."

The open source code for the Azure IoT Edge runtime is available on GitHub.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.