Azure Stack Edge Hands-On Lab

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Solution Overview
Microsoft's Azure Stack Edge is part of a family of Intelligent Edge solutions and is a cloud-managed, AI-enabled edge computing device with data storage and transfer capabilities into Microsoft Azure. Azure Stack Edge was released to the public in the spring of 2019 and takes the form of a cloud-connected hardware appliance that can be installed locally on a business' network. 

Azure Stack Edge enables organizations to run workloads closest to the source of the data. It thereby provides the means to process data streams locally on-premise, improving application response and processing times, reducing latency and saving precious network bandwidth, all while providing a solution that can take advantage of Azure cloud innovations. 

Goals & Objectives

In this lab environment, we will walk the requestor through the features and functionality of Azure Stack Edge by providing an overview of a sample containerized IoT Edge application running on the appliance that performs pre-processing on video streams prior to being uploaded to the Azure cloud. We'll show how the embedded FPGA on the hardware appliance can make quick work of video inferencing, enabling an organization to process large amounts of data locally on-premise prior to only uploading items of interest to the Azure cloud. Specific goals of this lab environment include:

  1. Provide an overview of the Azure Stack Edge solution
  2. Demonstrate management of the Azure Stack Edge solution through the Azure portal
  3. Showcase an IoT Edge application running a machine learning model locally on Azure Stack Edge
  4. Demonstrate network storage gateway and data pre-processing capabilities of Azure Stack Edge

Hardware & Software

The Azure Stack Edge Physical Appliance
The physical appliance is a 1RU node rack system that consists of 20 CPU cores and an Intel Arria 10 field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chipset.

An Azure Stack Edge Resource
Created in the Azure portal, this is a resource that allows businesses to manage the Azure Stack Edge appliance (or fleet of appliances) centrally from a web interface.

The Azure Stack Edge Local UI
Azure Stack Edge provides a local UI for the appliance to run diagnostics, shut down/restart the device, view logging information and can be used to interact with Microsoft support for service requests.