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Unleash the power of edge computing

Manage your containers in the data centre or at the edge with Portainer.

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Unleash the power of Portainer at the edge

Portainer is not just for you use in the data centre. It has the potential to create huge value for organizations seeking to deploy applications on remote and distributed hosts.

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What is edge compute?

Whilst containers have been a game changer in data centre environments, they are having an equally profound effect at the edge; but what is edge compute, and why are containers relevant? Edge compute is an architecture where compute and storage resources are decentralized and distributed. There are almost endless use cases - for example it could mean compute environments are distributed all over the globe, located on every oil rig owned by an oil company or put into every truck in a fleet of food delivery vehicles.

 

The goal of edge compute is to minimize the amount of raw, unprocessed data sent to/from applications operating at edge locations (think CCTV cameras, or digital signage) and to reduce the time it takes for instructions to be sent from a central server to devices located at the edge. In an edge environment you can have sensors and devices talking directly to applications running on the network, with the application processing information in real time. However, the moment you decentralize your infrastructure and distribute your applications into containers at the edge, you need a simple way to manage the containers. This is where the Portainer Edge Compute features come in to play.

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The power of Portainer

Portainer lets you manage your remote edge compute devices from a single centralized instance. From that one instance you can deploy applications into containers wherever they might be running. Specifically for Edge environments, Portainer allows endpoints to be grouped based on user-defined criteria (using tags) and batch deploy applications to groups of devices in a "push" manner. The push deploy mechanism inside Portainer is aware devices may not be connected and thus has the ability to queue tasks until devices appear online. The ability to deploy of applications to groups of endpoints is only possible with container technology

To accommodate connection between Portainer and these edge locations, Portainer has a special purpose “edge agent”. The edge agent is designed to operate in an “on-demand” mode, only establishing a connection to Portainer when there is management activity pending for the endpoint. The endpoint regularly checks-in for tasks, and if a task is pending for the endpoint, it will establish a reverse tunnel to the Portainer instance in order for management operations to run

 

Deploying apps at the edge

Deploying applications

Support for both Docker and Kubernetes applications is available at the edge.  To deploy apps, the admin simply needs to provide the application deployment specifications, decide which groups to deploy to, and then leave Portainer to handle the bulk deployment. Errors in deployment are reported back, and endpoints that are offline when the deployment instructions were sent will simply receive the instruction when they next connect.

 

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Key edge features

  • Support for up to 25,000 edge endpoints
  • Support for x86 and ARM based edge endpoints
  • Deploy apps using the familiar Docker Compose format
  • Support for Docker, Docker Swarm, or Kubernetes edge endpoints
  • No requirement for network ports to be opened into the Edge system
  • Support for unreliable and/or highly latent network connections
  • Edge agent support for Windows and Linux Operating Systems
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Getting started at the edge (part 1)

How to - Using the Portainer Edge Agent, Edge Groups, and Edge Stacks - part 1

 

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Getting started (part 2)

How-to - Using the Portainer Edge Agent, Edge Groups, and Edge Stacks - Part 2

 

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