I have been an Ignition developer since roughly 2017 but this experience has been almost strictly on hardware running Windows OS. Within the past 1-2 years I have dabbled with running Ignition on hardware that runs Linux OS. Most recently, I worked with my IT Infrastructure counterpart to deploy Ignition in AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service) and that has been very exciting to see how well it works. I am nowhere near where I need to be to really understand containerized deployments but can very easily follow along with the IA training to deploy Ignition via Docker Desktop through CLI or Docker Compose. Because of this, I am struggling to properly choose the right piece of hardware to accomplish what I want to do. I have been trying to take some formal Docker and Kubernetes training, but I am not finding enough time currently to stay engaged in that training. I still plan to dive into it, but I figured it is probably best to reach out to this community for advice/help. I have also sent a line out to some of my trusted integrators.
Essentially, I would like to be able to run something similar to AKS but on physical devices and centrally manage it all at scale. I also want to have minimal touch required for onboarding/loading Ignition to make it easier for our maintenance and controls teams to support so it is not just an "Engineering" support item. I have been told I can just run Kubernetes on bare metal but never understood how I can manage all the device OS's and container deployments at scale. We are currently testing a blackbox device that is managed by the vendor's software for onboarding/firmware updates/connection to Azure (can also connect to AWS). I am able to deploy Ignition to this device through Azure IoT Hub but the only time this process gets complicated is with 3rd party modules. Kevin Collins offered great suggestions on how to get around some issues, but I don't even know where to begin with that fix unfortunately.
Below are some of the requirements/desires for the hardware/software:
-Underlying device OS is Linux based (seems the best for container deployments)
-Device OS is managed by an OEM and they provide firmware updates when needed (somewhat nice to have)
-Device to be managed by a Management System for firmware/os patching/onboarding/etc
-Container deployments on each device can be managed by a central system either from the hardware vendor or another software vendor
-Device is industrial rated because it will be in a panel out on the refrigerated plant floor
-Device must have a minimum of 4GB of RAM (8GB preferred for buffer and growth)
-Device must have a minimum of 60GB onboard storage (could probably be less because it is only for short buffering of MQTT data when we lose connection to our central cloud gateway)
Thanks to anyone in advance for taking the time to read this post or offer suggestions. Please feel free to ask any questions that you have, I don't believe I am not doing anything proprietary with this solution. If anyone has thoughts but are not comfortable sharing them in the forum posts, please feel free to PM me separately.