Azure has made its IoT Edge offering globally available and made it open source and available on GitHub, which Microsoft recently acquired.
The IoT Edge product, from Microsoft’s cloud division, was first released around a year ago, and has seen success in a variety of industries, according to Azure.
Now, the company has made it generally available, with use intended for enterprises, as well as giving developers the opportunity to modify and debug their own IoT deployments.
IoT Edge, Microsoft’s product designed to help businesses develop their own cloud-based edge deployments, is designed for ‘enterprise-grade’ use cases, according to its designers.
With the announcement of general availability, Azure has also announced new features such as support for container management system Moby; the platform on which Docker is built. Through this support, Microsoft wants to bring ‘concepts of containerization, isolation, and management from the cloud to devices at the edge.’
Azure is extending its set of IoT certified hardware and software with this announcement, too. There is a list of certified hardware, and developers also have access to pre-packaged edge modules in the Azure Marketplace, which Azure says will ‘accelerate edge solution development.’
IoT Edge and ubiquitous computing
Sam George, an Azure director for its Internet of Things division, argued in a blog post that IoT Edge is part of a wider move towards ‘ubiquitous computing’ and that as such, it’s important to create consistent and secure design.
Recent IoT security breaches such as the Hide and Seek botnet demonstrate the need for security in this expanding field. That’s presumably why IoT Edge comes with a security manager designed to protect devices and their components by ‘abstracting the secure silicon hardware.’
This, writes George, is the ‘focal point for security hardening and provides Original Device Manufacturers (OEM) the opportunity to harden their devices based on their choice of Hardware Secure Modules (HSM).’
As well as the security manager on IoT Edge, the product also comes with a zero-touch device provisioning service and automatic device management.
Microsoft gets involved in IoT in other ways too. Earlier this year, it partnered with CNH Industrial, the company behind well-known agricultural and industrial brands like New Holland Agriculture and Iveco, on a series of smart, connected vehicles.