- Microsoft introduced the public preview of AKS lite, the AKS hybrid option for small-footprint edge devices.
- Connecting Windows IoT Enterprise devices to Azure via Arc provides users with robust deployment, management, and governance capabilities.
- AKS lite brings the AKS platform to the edge devices. AKS lite, builds on AKS, to offer a lightweight Kubernetes distribution.
Microsoft announced the public preview of AKS lite, introduced as Project Haven, the AKS hybrid option for small-footprint edge devices. AKS lite, a lightweight, Kubernetes platform that enables rapid application innovation and modernization at scale at the edge, will be available for public preview this November 2022. Microsoft also introduced Azure Arc support for Windows IoT Enterprise.
Kubernetes at the edge
Microsoft stated that connecting Windows IoT Enterprise devices to Azure via Arc provides users with robust deployment, management, and governance capabilities for IoT devices using the Azure portal.
AKS lite brings the AKS platform, which is a managed, CNCF-conformant, Kubernetes platform that can run both Linux and Windows container applications, to the edge devices. AKS lite, builds on AKS, to offer a lightweight Kubernetes distribution, both K8S and K3S. It can be deployed at the edge, on any Windows PC class device with Windows 10 and 11 IoT Enterprise, Enterprise, and Pro. Some of its key features are:
- Microsoft-supported Kubernetes platform: This includes a lightweight, CNCF-conformant K8S and K3S distribution that is supported and managed by Microsoft.
- The key difference between AKS on HCI and AKS lite is that AKS lite is designed to operate on constrained devices, with minimal compute and available memory requirements of 2 vCPUs and 4 GB of RAM.
- Each Kubernetes cluster runs in its own Hyper-V isolated virtual machines and includes many features to help secure your container infrastructure
- Microsoft-maintained Linux and Windows images for worker nodes – Worker nodes run Linux and Windows virtual machine images created by Microsoft to adhere to security best practices. Microsoft also refreshes these images monthly with the latest security updates.
- Simplified installation experience with PowerShell cmdlets and agents to enable provisioning and control of VMs and infrastructure. You can run these cmdlets either locally or remotely via fleet management tools like Azure Arc for Server or Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.
- In addition to the host OS updates, Microsoft will provide automatic updates for your Kubernetes deployment, so you stay up-to-date with the latest available Kubernetes versions.
- Locally install nodes on single or multiple machines: AKS lite simplifies the process of setting up Kubernetes by providing you with PowerShell scripts and cmdlets for setting up Kubernetes and creating single or multi-node Kubernetes clusters
- Run Linux and windows containers: AKS lite fully supports both Linux-based and Windows-based containers. When you create a Kubernetes cluster on AKS you can choose to run Linux containers, Windows containers, or both running at the same time on the same machine.
- Management with Azure Arc: Once you have set up on-premises Kubernetes using AKS and created a Kubernetes cluster, you can manage your Kubernetes infrastructure using the Azure portal providing you a centralized management console for Kubernetes clusters running anywhere. In addition to this, various Azure Arc-enabled services like Azure Policy, Azure Monitor, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, and Azure ML services enable you to ensure compliance, monitor your clusters, and run cloud services on your edge clusters. It helps to ensure that applications and clusters are consistently deployed and configured at scale from source control.
« Deploying AKS lite on Windows 10 IoT Enterprise enables you to manage your Kubernetes cluster and workloads using Arc for Kubernetes and manage your host machine using Arc for servers. This helps simplify management and governance of both your infrastructure and edge applications. Added to that, you can now run Azure services both on the host machine as well as within your Kubernetes cluster enabling you to maximize your compute investments at the edge. »