Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Edge Essentials Now Available

By Chantal Polsonetti

Company and Product News

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Edge Essentials is an on-premises, Microsoft-supported, lightweight implementation of AKS fine-tuned to run on edge devices with constrained resources.  AKS Edge Essentials includes a lightweight Kubernetes Azure Kubernetes Servicedistribution with a small footprint and simple installation experience, making it easy to deploy Kubernetes on PC-class or "light" edge hardware and automate running containerized applications at scale.

Unlike other Microsoft-supported platforms, AKS Edge Essentials is intended for static, pre-defined configurations and doesn't enable dynamic VM creation/deletion or cluster lifecycle management. Each machine in an AKS Edge Essentials cluster can have only one Linux and/or Windows VM.

The Linux VM acts as the control node and worker node for Linux workloads in the Kubernetes cluster. Each machine with AKS Edge Essentials has a VM with restricted RAM, storage, and physical CPU cores according to a static allocation assigned at install time. This app-like configuration enables traditional Windows apps to run side-by-side alongside the AKS Edge Essentials VMs.

While Kubernetes is an open-source orchestrator for automating container management at scale, AKS Edge Essentials simplifies on-premises Kubernetes deployment by making it easy to install, configure clusters, and manage application deployment across all clusters using a cloud-based management plane. AKS Edge Essentials supports both Linux-based and Windows-based containers.  Once on-premises Kubernetes is set up using AKS Edge Essentials and a Kubernetes cluster is created, the Kubernetes infrastructure can be managed using the Azure portal, which provides a centralized management console for Kubernetes clusters running anywhere.

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