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Microsoft seems to love open source nowadays, and it continued with the sharing of Akri, a project that simplifies the use of network edge devices with Kubernetes.

Akri operates under Deis Labs, which is under Deis, which Microsoft acquired in 2017. The whole point of Akri is to expose lightweight devices like IP cameras or sensors, also known as ‘leaf devices,’ as resources in a Kubernetes cluster, making it possible to manage them along with other services. 

Leaf devices can’t hide

Akri takes everything to the edge by building on Kubernetes’ device plugin framework, which makes GPU and system resources available to enable processes. The annoyance of having to find and manage edge devices can be eliminated using Akri’s abstraction layer.

It will deal with the appearance and disappearance of leaf devices. The architecture may seem simple at first. All one has to do is apply an Akri configuration to a cluster, instruct the discovery protocol and the pod, deploy once discovered, and the platform does the rest. Multiple nodes are also able to utilize a single leaf device.

A delightful experience

Akri has four components: a custom resource with the configuration, a device plugin implementation to find and track the device’s availability, the Akri instance, and an Akri controller to guide the actions undertaken.

Akri stands for ‘A Kubernetes Resource Interface for the Edge.’ Even more on the nose is the fact that Akri is allegedly the Greek word for ‘Edge.’