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Install Portainer
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Unleash the power of containers at the network edge

Use Portainer to manage containers running on distributed nodes and unleash the true power of Kubernetes.

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Scale out with 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. If you're seeking to scale up and scale out your deployment then Portainer can help.

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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, admins simply provide the application deployment specifications, decide which groups to deploy to, and then leave Portainer to handle the bulk deployment. Errors are reported back and offline endpoints will receive the instruction when they next come back online.

 

 

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Key edge features

  • Support for up to 25,000 edge endpoints
  • Support for x86 and ARM based 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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Edge pricing

Our Edge product is priced differently to Portainer business as the numbers get a lot bigger. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss our edge product.

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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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