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Microsoft Introduces Rapid Cloud Container Deployment Service

27 Juillet 2017

Microsoft unveiled a new method for deploying containers on its cloud platform called Azure Container Instances (ACI) that aims to speed and streamline the deployment process.

As a result, the service will put Microsoft in a better position to compete with Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services Inc. over the fast-growing number of cloud users adopting Docker. In case you want to go the private route, you will have to use the Azure Container Registry.

Aside from Microsoft's continuing challenge to AWS for the lion's share of the cloud market, the move is also an extension of the company's continued love for all things open source, and paints it as the company for open source development, which it could be argued is a mantle that Google has laid claim to.

He states that an ACI starts up in just seconds which is also how the service is billed for Azure users.

Right now ACI is only available for Linux as a technology preview, although Microsoft plans to offer support for Microsoft Windows containers on ACI in fairly short order.

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The jury is out right now regarding how deeply ACI will be integrated with other Microsoft Azure offerings, such as Azure Service Fabric.

Coinciding with the launch of this new Azure service is the release of the open source ACI Connector for Kubernetes. So, users will be able to get "on-demand and almost instantaneous container compute" brought about by Kubernetes, specifically leveraging the portable Kubernetes API. Containers offer a broadly accepted and open standard, enabling simple portability between platforms and between clouds. "Microsoft Azure will help BP unlock the power of its data to deliver actionable insights in support of their business". In addition to the per-second billing, customers can pay by the gigabyte and CPU, allowing them to choose the capacity needed for the containers. As the service directly exposes containers, there is no VM management you need to think about or higher-level cluster orchestration concepts to learn. Azure Container Instances can be used for fast bursting and scaling whereas VMs can be used for the more predictable scaling. Workloads can even migrate back-and-forth between these underlying infrastructure models. "We believe Microsoft's increasing commitment to open source infrastructure will be a significant asset to the CNCF".

"Joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is another natural step on our open source journey, and we look forward to learning and engaging with the community on a deeper level as a CNCF member". CNCF is a Collaborative Project of the Linux Foundation (that Microsoft joined last year) which hosts and provides governance for a wide range of projects including Kubernetes, Prometheus, OpenTracing, Fluentd, Linkerd, containerd, Helm, gRPC, and many others.

I hope you try out these new services and give us feedback.

Microsoft Introduces Rapid Cloud Container Deployment Service