Microsoft’s Azure IoT Edge Is Now Ready for Enterprise-Scale Deployment

July 6, 2018 - 4 minutes read

Microsoft is in a stiff competition with Amazon for a greater share of enterprise IoT and cloud computing customers. Both of the Seattle-based tech giants are major players in the market. And Microsoft’s newest technology, Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, just might push them ahead of Amazon.

When Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke onstage at the Microsoft Build Conference in May, no one expected the company to roll out such a game-changing technology so fast.

Versatility on the Cutting Edge

This new software computes data on the edge, meaning on the device itself, for speed and reliability. Azure services, artificial intelligence products, and custom IoT logic on devices can all run and deploy on Azure IoT Edge. Users can employ this technology on any device, from Raspberry Pis to industrial hardware. It’s been a long time coming, and edge computing is the hottest and newest form of device computing right now.

Microsoft’s been working hard to create a product that nearly anyone can use for custom IoT solutions, and the company made sure that a warehouse or industrial plant doesn’t need a strong Wi-Fi connection for cloud computing. Instead, devices can compute and display the result on the device itself, which should send many cloud computing platforms reeling, such as Amazon Web Services.

The Azure IoT Edge product is globally available right now, after Microsoft’s push to create more tools for “the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge.” Edge devices can be but aren’t limited to virtual reality headsets, drones, IoT equipment, regular computers, and mobile phones.

Making Calculated Moves

Microsoft points out that a hardware chip simply needs to be plugged into the computer to start working. That’s a very low barrier to use the software. The company hopes that it will attract IoT developers from all types of industries.

Microsoft’s also adding more certificates to its Azure Certified for IoT program, for security and device management. To speed up development, Microsoft supplies pre-built Edge modules through Azure’s marketplace.

Microsoft is utilizing its newest acquisition, Github, to host the open-source code for IoT Edge runtime. It’s certainly not what most tech enthusiasts have come to expect from the notoriously anti-open source company, but we look forward to seeing more Microsoft code open-sourced and hosted on Github.

From Here, Deploy Anywhere

Using the software, developers can deploy custom solutions to millions of different devices using Microsoft’s Automatic Device Management tool. Software development kits (also known as “SDK”s) come in C, C#, Node.js, Python, and Java — basically, something for every popular programming language a developer would be most comfortable working with.

VS Code, Microsoft’s super robust code editor, is also getting some updates to support and further develop the Visual Studio Team Services’ toolbox. Arjmand Samuel, Principal Program Manager of Azure IoT, says, “People are choosing Azure as a cloud because of [IoT Edge].”

Anyone can get started with the open-source runtime code, but you’ll also need Azure IoT Hub for edge device management and deployment. The edge modules are also required. Most companies already running Azure for IoT solutions have set up Azure IoT Hub, putting them at an advantage for deeper IoT software customization.

We can’t wait to see how businesses apply and deploy Azure IoT Edge services over the next few months. The sky is the limit in terms of innovation and optimization, and this release could be the advantage needed to secure Microsoft the crown of enterprise IoT.

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