This week at Microsoft Ignite Microsoft announced some new features and improvements to the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) hybrid deployment options enabled by Azure Arc. This allows you to run the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) you know as a managed Kubernetes on Azure, in a hybrid cloud environment on-premises, and edge locations. These include AKS Lite, new lifecycle management for AKS hybrid clusters, and the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).
AKS Lite allows you to deploy AKS as a light weight, static Kubernetes platform that enables rapid innovation and application modernization at the edge on Windows devices. AKS lite is designed PC-class devices running Windows 10/11 IoT Enterprise, Windows 10/11 Pro or Windows Server. AKS Lite is Microsoft-managed light-weight Kubernetes distribution, which can run both Linux and Windows containers, and coupled with Azure Arc customers can manage their edge Kubernetes cluster from Azure. You can learn more about AKS Lite here.
Lifecycle management of AKS hybrid clusters using Azure
With the new preview feature you can now directly deploy and manage AKS hybrid clusters running on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server directly via Azure Portal or Azure CLI. This means you can also use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) or Bicep templates. This will provide a great management experience similar to the one for AKS in Azure. You can learn more about the AKS hybrid lifecycle management here.
Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service
Microsoft Azure already offers great Azure Hybrid Benefits if you already own Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. With the Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and your existing Windows Server Datacenter and Standard Software Assurance (SA) and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) licenses you can run AKS on Windows Server and Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost in your datacenter and edge locations.
In addition to this, Windows Server Datacenter SA customers can now use Azure Stack HCI at no additional cost.
Learn more about these announcements on the official Tech Community blog.
If you are interested to get a sneak of some AKS hybrid deployment options, check out my video here (this doesn’t include the new lifecycle management)