What is Azure IoT Operations Preview?


Azure IoT Operations Preview – enabled by Azure Arc is currently in PREVIEW. You shouldn't use this preview software in production environments.

See the Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews for legal terms that apply to Azure features that are in beta, preview, or otherwise not yet released into general availability.

Azure IoT Operations Preview is a unified data plane for the edge. It's composed of a set of modular, scalable, and highly available data services that run on Azure Arc-enabled edge Kubernetes clusters such as AKS Edge Essentials. It enables data capture from various different systems and integrates with data modeling applications such as Microsoft Fabric to help organizations deploy the industrial metaverse.

Azure IoT Operations:

  • Is built from ground up by using Kubernetes native applications.
  • Includes an industrial-grade, edge-native MQTT broker that powers event-driven architectures.
  • Is highly extensible, scalable, resilient, and secure.
  • Lets you manage all edge services from the cloud by using Azure Arc.
  • Can integrate customer workloads into the platform to create a unified solution.
  • Supports GitOps configuration as code for deployment and updates.
  • Natively integrates with Azure Event Hubs, Azure Event Grid's MQTT broker, and Microsoft Fabric in the cloud.

Architecture overview

Diagram that shows the high-level architecture of Azure IoT Operations.

There are two core elements in the Azure IoT Operations Preview architecture:

  • Azure IoT Operations Preview. The set of data services that run on Azure Arc-enabled edge Kubernetes clusters. It includes the following services:
    • Azure IoT Data Processor Preview - a configurable data processing service that can manage the complexities and diversity of industrial data. Use Data Processor to make data from disparate sources more understandable, usable, and valuable.
    • Azure IoT MQ Preview - an edge-native MQTT broker that powers event-driven architectures.
    • Azure IoT OPC UA Broker Preview - an OPC UA broker that handles the complexities of OPC UA communication with OPC UA servers and other leaf devices.
  • Azure IoT Operations (preview) portal. This web UI provides a unified experience for operational technologists to manage assets and Data Processor pipelines in an Azure IoT Operations deployment. An IT administrator can use Azure Arc sites to control the resources that an operational technologist can access in the portal.


Azure IoT Operations runs on Arc-enabled Kubernetes clusters on the edge. You can deploy Azure IoT Operations by using the Azure portal or the Azure CLI.

Azure IoT Orchestrator Preview manages the deployment and configuration of the Azure IoT Operations components that run on your Arc-enabled Kubernetes cluster.


During public preview, there's no support for upgrading an existing Azure IoT Operations deployment to a newer version. Instead, remove Azure IoT Operations from your cluster and then deploy the latest version. For more information, see Update Azure IoT Operations.

Manage devices and assets

Azure IoT Operations can connect to various industrial devices and assets. You can use the Azure IoT Operations (preview) portal or the Azure CLI to manage the devices and assets that you want to connect to.

The Azure IoT OPC UA Broker Preview component manages the connection to OPC UA servers and other leaf devices. The OPC UA Broker component publishes data from the OPC UA servers and the devices discovered by Azure IoT Akri Preview to Azure IoT MQ topics.

The Azure IoT Akri Preview component helps you discover and connect to other types of devices and assets.

Publish and subscribe with MQTT

Azure IoT MQ Preview is an MQTT broker that runs on the edge. It lets you publish and subscribe to MQTT topics. You can use MQ to build event-driven architectures that connect your devices and assets to the cloud.

Examples of how components in Azure IoT Operations use MQ Preview include:

  • OPC UA Broker publishes data from OPC UA servers and other leaf devices to MQTT topics.
  • Data Processor pipelines subscribe to MQTT topics to retrieve messages for processing.
  • North-bound cloud connectors subscribe to MQTT topics to fetch messages for forwarding to cloud services.

Process data

Message processing includes operations such as data normalization, data enrichment, and data filtering. You can use Data Processor pipelines to process messages.

A Data Processor pipeline typically:

  1. Subscribes to an MQTT topic to retrieve messages.
  2. Processes the messages by using one or more configurable stages.
  3. Sends the processed messages to a destination such as a Microsoft Fabric data lake for storage and analysis.


Data Processor is an optional component of Azure IoT Operations. To use it, you must chose to add it when you deploy Azure IoT Operations.

Connect to the cloud

To connect to the cloud from Azure IoT Operations, you have the following options:

The north-bound cloud connectors let you connect MQ directly to cloud services such as:

The Data Processor pipeline destinations let you connect to cloud services such as:

Visualize and analyze telemetry

To visualize and analyze telemetry from your devices and assets, you can use cloud services such as:

Secure communication

To secure communication between devices and the cloud through isolated network environments based on the ISA-95/Purdue Network architecture, use the Azure IoT Layered Network Management Preview component.

Validated environments

Azure Iot Operations ships as a set of Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes services and is intended for use with CNCF conformant Arc validated partner products. Currently, Microsoft has validated Azure IoT Operations against the following fixed-set of infrastructures and environments:

Environment Version
AKS-EE on Windows 11 IoT Enterprise
on a single-node AMD Ryzen-7 (8 core, 3.3 GHz), 16-GB RAM
K3s on Ubuntu 22.04.2
on a single-node AMD Ryzen-7 (8 core, 3.3 GHz), 16-GB RAM
K3s version 1.28.5


The environments listed previously are production-like environments that Microsoft has validated. They're not the only environments that Azure IoT Operations can run on. Azure IoT Operations can run on any Arc-enabled Kubernetes cluster that meets the Azure Arc-enabled Kubernetes system requirements.

Next step

Try the Quickstart: Deploy Azure IoT Operations Preview to an Arc-enabled Kubernetes cluster.