Announcing the GA of Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows – ARC Viewpoints

Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) allows users to run cloud native Linux workloads on Windows IoT in production deployments. Users can now leverage the best of both platforms rather than choosing between Windows and Linux for IoT solutions.

EFLOW allows Windows IoT customers to retain their existing devices, tooling, and application investments, while also running Linux containers on the same devices. Conversely, enterprises with existing Linux investments who are interested in the benefits of Windows IoT have a migration path to bring their Linux application code to Windows.

EFLOW is a lightweight Linux VM from Microsoft designed for production edge deployments. It is based on CBL-Mariner, a Linux distribution developed and maintained by Microsoft. It includes Azure IoT Edge to facilitate easy integration with the cloud and deployment of workloads from Azure IoT Hub to Windows devices on the edge. It also supports access to commonly used embedded hardware, including TPM, serial, and Nvidia T4 and GeForce/QuadroGPUs for AI/ML acceleration.

There are plans to extend support to Intel iGPUs for AI/ML use cases by the end of the year. Furthermore, EFLOW supports deployment of the VisionOnEdge (VoE) solution template, which illustrates how customers can create their own AI/ML solution, using third party or Azure technologies, such as Azure Video Analyzer.

Developers can use VoE as a starting point or they may choose to implement their own custom modules using the Linux distribution of their choice. Users can develop Linux workloads using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which is based on the same Linux kernel as EFLOW. Alternatively, the Azure Marketplace from Microsoft offers prebuilt 1P solutions, such as SQL Edge and OPC Publisher, as well as 3P modules from our partners (eg. OpenVino) that can be deployed as-is. Finally, just like Windows itself, Microsoft updates the EFLOW VM with the latest critical fixes and security patches using the same global servicing infrastructure used for Office and Windows.

EFLOW is available on all Hyper-V capable Windows 10 2019 or newer operating systems (build 17763+), including IoT Enterprise, Pro, Server, and Enterprise.

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