Microsoft Azure IoT Edge: The next smart factory evolution

By Laurent Remont, CTO Kontron S&T AG

We are pleased that Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure IoT Edge. We at Kontron S&T have been developing our software solutions based on Microsoft Azure IoT Edge services for over six months now. We presented first IoT/embedded boards, Computer-on-Modules, Box-PCs, Panel-PCs, and embedded servers certified for Microsoft Azure IoT Edge at last year’s SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg in November of 2017.

SUSiEtec enhances Microsoft Azure IoT Edge to be an individual, customised solution

With our flexible SUSiEtec platform, S&T Technologies offers an end-to-end IoT solution that enables our customers to build scalable edge computing solution with Microsoft Azure. As a software competence centre, the Kontron affiliate focuses on software solutions and related services.

We offer comprehensive Microsoft Azure IoT Edge integration and customisation services based on SUSiEtec to our customers. Microsoft Azure IoT Edge und SUSiEtec provide to our customers seamless computing power scalability between the device’s computing resource, the on-premise data centre’s Embedded Cloud or the public cloud. Depending on the security or performance level required, they can dynamically decide where data analysis will be handled.

One service, many advantages

Customers will profit from Microsoft Azure IoT Edge in several ways. One aspect often overlooked in connection to Microsoft Azure IoT Edge, but of high relevance for many companies, are the integrated device management capabilities. They simplify centralised managing of distributed devices regardless of their quantity or location. Bringing new Microsoft Azure IoT Edge modules to the IoT devices, for instance for edge analytics, is greatly facilitated.

Another customer benefit is short time-to-market periods. The runtime provided by Microsoft Azure IoT Edge is available under an open source license on GitHub. This enables quicker adaption and integration. By using Docker technology and the containerisation that comes with it, applications can be quickly and easily distributed, and seamlessly applied on an edge device or in the cloud – as flexible as in IT-based virtualisation.

Outlook

We expect Microsoft to expand the Microsoft Azure IoT Edge services continuously over the coming months. Even now, SUSiEtec with Microsoft Azure IoT Edge is in early field trial phase at some Kontron customers. We perceive great interest in Microsoft Azure IoT Edge and our SUSiEtec IoT platform – especially from customers from the Smart Manufacturing and Smart Energy sectors – and project to have the first customers using Microsoft Azure IoT Edge in live production by 2019.

www.kontron.com

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