What is Azure Stack Edge Pro with GPU?

Azure Stack Edge Pro with GPU is an AI-enabled edge computing device with network data transfer capabilities. This article provides you an overview of the Azure Stack Edge Pro solution, benefits, key capabilities, and the scenarios where you can deploy this device.

Azure Stack Edge Pro with GPU is a Hardware-as-a-service solution. Microsoft ships you a cloud-managed device that acts as network storage gateway and has a built-in Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) that enables accelerated AI-inferencing.

Use cases

Here are the various scenarios where Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU can be used for rapid Machine Learning (ML) inferencing at the edge and preprocessing data before sending it to Azure.

  • Inference with Azure Machine Learning - With Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU, you can run ML models to get quick results that can be acted on before the data is sent to the cloud. The full data set can optionally be transferred to continue to retrain and improve your ML models. For more information on how to use the Azure ML hardware accelerated models on the Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device, see Deploy Azure ML hardware accelerated models on Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU.

  • Preprocess data - Transform data before sending it to Azure via compute options such as containerized workloads and Virtual Machines to create a more actionable dataset. Preprocessing can be used to:

    • Aggregate data.
    • Modify data, for example to remove personal data.
    • Subset data to optimize storage and bandwidth, or for further analysis.
    • Analyze and react to IoT Events.
  • Transfer data over network to Azure - Use Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU to easily and quickly transfer data to Azure to enable further compute and analytics or for archival purposes.

Key capabilities

Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU has the following capabilities:

Capability Description
Accelerated AI inferencing Enabled by the built-in GPU (one or two depending on the model).
Edge computing Supports VM and containerized workloads to allow analysis, processing, and filtering of data.
Data access Direct data access from Azure Storage Blobs and Azure Files using cloud APIs for additional data processing in the cloud. Local cache on the device is used for fast access of most recently used files.
Cloud-managed Device and service are managed via the Azure portal.
Offline upload Disconnected mode supports offline upload scenarios.
Supported file transfer protocols Support for standard SMB, NFS, and REST protocols for data ingestion.
For more information on supported versions, see Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU system requirements.
Data refresh Ability to refresh local files with the latest from cloud.
Encryption BitLocker support to locally encrypt data and secure data transfer to cloud over https.
Bandwidth throttling Throttle to limit bandwidth usage during peak hours.
Easy ordering Bulk ordering and tracking of the device via Azure Edge Hardware Center (Preview).
Specialized network functions Use the Marketplace experience from Azure Network Function Manager to rapidly deploy network functions such as mobile packet core, SD-WAN edge, and VPN services to an Azure Stack Edge device running in your on-premises environment. For more information, see What is Azure Network Function Manager? (Preview).

Components

The Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU solution comprises of Azure Stack Edge resource, Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU physical device, and a local web UI.

  • Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU physical device - A 1U rack-mounted server supplied by Microsoft that can be configured to send data to Azure.

    To procure a device, go to the Azure Edge Hardware Center (Preview) and place an order. Azure Edge Hardware Center service lets you choose from a variety of Azure Stack Edge SKUs as per your business need. You can order multiple units of a device type, ship multiple devices to different locations, save addresses for future orders, and also track the status of your orders.

    Once the order is delivered, you can configure your device and create an Azure Stack Edge resource to manage the device.

    For more information, go to Create an order for your Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device.

  • Azure Stack Edge resource – A resource in the Azure portal that lets you manage an Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device from a web interface that you can access from different geographical locations. Use the Azure Stack Edge resource to create and manage resources, view, and manage devices and alerts, and manage shares.

  • Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU local web UI - A browser-based local user interface on your Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device primarily intended for the initial configuration of the device. Use the local web UI also to run diagnostics, shut down and restart the Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device, view copy logs, and contact Microsoft Support to file a service request.

    The local web UI on the device currently supports the following languages with their corresponding language codes:

    Language Code Language Code Language Code
    English {default} en Czech cs German de
    Spanish es French fr Hungarian hu
    Italian it Japanese ja Korean ko
    Dutch nl Polish pl Portuguese - Brazil pt-br
    Portuguese - Portugal pt-pt Russian ru Swedish sv
    Turkish tr Chinese - simplified zh-hans Chinese - traditional zh-hant

    For information about using the web-based UI, go to Use the web-based UI to administer your Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU.

Region availability

Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU physical device, Azure resource, and target storage account to which you transfer data do not all have to be in the same region.

  • Resource availability - For this release, the resource is available in East US, West EU, and South East Asia regions.

  • Device availability - For a list of all the countries/regions where the Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU device is available, go to Availability section in the Azure Stack Edge Pro tab for Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU pricing.

  • Destination Storage accounts - The storage accounts that store the data are available in all Azure regions. The regions where the storage accounts store Azure Stack Edge Pro GPU data should be located close to where the device is located for optimum performance. A storage account located far from the device results in long latencies and slower performance.

Azure Stack Edge service is a non-regional service. For more information, see Regions and Availability Zones in Azure. Azure Stack Edge service does not have dependency on a specific Azure region, making it resilient to zone-wide outages and region-wide outages.

For a discussion of considerations for choosing a region for the Azure Stack Edge service, device, and data storage, see Choosing a region for Azure Stack Edge.

Next steps