Some weeks ago, the preview version of the Azure IoT Edge is made available. This software of Microsoft runs on Edge devices, like Linux or Windows. It brings some power of cloud computing to local Edge devices.
Why do you need an Edge Device ?
- Can be regulations that data cannot leave the country
- You need analytics near the device; for example when you have a Machine Learning model that predicts when a machine will be broken, you need to act fast. If you do this via the cloud, this can take too much time
- Internet; if you don’t have a good internet connection. For example slow connection on boring- or oil platforms. Then you can use the power of your Edge device at the plant and sync X time per day with the cloud.
- Do local things; for example you need to enable lights in a building, you don’t want to do this via the cloud, but want to have a direct connection to the light (also when the internet is down)
I have working for a year now with the (preview) IoT Edge software of Microsoft and this new version is really a huge step in the right direction:
Management from the Azure Portal!
You can now manage some things of the IoT Edge directly from the Azure portal.
Within the Azure IoT Hub you have now an IoT Edge(preview) button Here you can create (just like a sensor) new IoT Edge devices. You can create just one, or deploy several Edge Devices in once (IoT Edge deployment). You can manage here your modules of every Edge device and see how the runtime status is.
This concept was already in the first version, but the management of modules is totally different now. You can now manage them directly from the Azure portal. You can just upload your modules in de portal and it will directly deployed to the edge device:
The core of the Edge is free (and management of the Edge), you just need to have an Azure IoT Hub. You have the pay for the modules you use, like Stream Analytics, ML etc.:
- Azure Machine Learning Services More information Pricing
- AI Toolkit for Azure IoT Edge More Information (can be used at no charge)
- Azure Functions More information Pricing
- Azure Stream Analytics More information Pricing
Things I am missing or can’t find
- Triggers when a device is down; I want to use the standard Azure alerts to trigger if an Edge device if offline for example. Yes you can program this in the Edge itself, but it would be great if I can use these Azure alerts.
- Remote management; could be great when I complety get access to my Edge device (Windows or Linux) from Azure. Then I will have one entrance for the management of my IoT Edge devices
- Start and stop a module on a Edge device in the Azure Portal.