New hybrid deployment options for AKS clusters from cloud to edge, enabled by Azure Arc

New hybrid deployment options for AKS clusters from cloud to edge, enabled by Azure Arc

Since announcing the availability of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI and AKS on Windows Server, we’ve seen customers run their containerized workloads on AKS clusters in datacenters, retail stores, factories and even ships.
Today, we’re excited to introduce new features for at-scale AKS hybrid cluster life cycle management and the opportunity to utilize existing on-premises investments and help reduce costs that often come with modernization efforts. We’re also introducing a new AKS hybrid deployment option so you can run lightweight managed AKS on small, remote edge devices.
At Microsoft Ignite 2022, we’re announcing new features and hybrid deployment options from cloud to edge, enabled by Azure Arc, for AKS clusters running in your datacenter, branch offices, and edge locations.



Run AKS on small, remote edge devices with a lightweight AKS hybrid option


We are launching the preview of AKS on Windows IoT and Windows devices for small footprint edge devices, available in November. AKS can now be deployed as a light weight, static Kubernetes platform that enables rapid innovation and application modernization at the edge, which we’ll refer to as AKS lite in this blog. AKS lite is designed for microprocessor and PC-class devices running Windows 10/11 IoT Enterprise, Windows 10/11 Pro or Windows Server, most often deployed in industrial, retail and medical scenarios.  It is comprised of a Microsoft-managed light-weight Kubernetes distribution, which can run both Linux and Windows workloads. AKS lite coupled with Azure Arc connectivity enables customers to manage their edge Kubernetes cluster from Azure and leverage cloud services at the edge. Learn more at aka.ms/aks-lite-ignite-blog.



At-scale lifecycle management of AKS hybrid clusters using Azure (Preview)


Use familiar tools like the Azure portal, Azure CLI and ARM templates to create and manage your AKS hybrid clusters running on Azure Stack HCI and Windows Server. Azure Arc is automatically enabled on all your AKS hybrid clusters so you can use your Azure AD identity for connecting to your clusters from anywhere. This ensures your developers and application operators can provision and configure Kubernetes clusters in accordance with company policies. We’ve also simplified the end-to-end security posture for your AKS hybrid clusters through Microsoft Defender for Cloud.
We continue to focus on delivering a consistent user experience for all your AKS clusters. If you have created and managed AKS using Azure, you’ll feel right at home managing AKS hybrid clusters on Windows Server or Azure Stack HCI with familiar Azure portal or Azure CLI management experiences.
Lastly, you’ll be able to deploy applications at scale using GitOps in both AKS and AKS hybrid clusters. GitOps applies development practices like version control, collaboration, compliance, and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) to infrastructure automation.
To learn more about deploying AKS hybrid through Azure and learn how to test on an Azure VM (if you don’t have hardware), visit aka.ms/aks-hybrid-preview.



Introducing the new Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service


Today, we are expanding Azure Hybrid Benefit to help maximize the value of your existing investments on-premises by bringing the value of Azure to where you are today. With Windows Server Software Assurance (SA), you can use Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Azure Stack HCI to:

  • Run AKS on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost in your datacenter and edge locations. With this, you can deploy and manage containerized Linux and Windows applications from cloud to edge with a consistent, managed Kubernetes service. This applies to Windows Server Datacenter and Standard SA and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) customers.
  • Use Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost for Windows Server Datacenter SA customers. Customers can modernize their existing datacenter and edge infrastructure to run their VM and container-based applications on modern infrastructure with built-in connectivity to Azure.


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