Azure Container Service enhances open source container orchestration technology now generally available



Microsoft announced Tuesday general availability of its Azure Container Service that offers simplified configurations of proven open source container orchestration technology, optimized to run in the cloud. In a few clicks, users can deploy container-based applications on a framework designed to help manage the complexity of containers deployed at scale, in production.

The Azure Container Service has been built to provide clients with the benefits of running containerized applications, using choice of open source technology, tools and skills, and with the support of a thriving community and ecosystem.

With Docker image support to open source software in the orchestration layer, the user’s application is fully portable across any cloud and on-premises. Unlike other container services, the Azure Container Service is fully built on open source software to maximize portability of workloads and offers a choice among orchestration engines: DC/OS or Docker Swarm.

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Azure Container Service assists uers in creating, configuring and managing a cluster of virtual machines that are preconfigured to run containerized applications. It uses an optimized configuration of open-source scheduling and orchestration tools, so that existing skills can be deployed to manage container-based applications on Microsoft Azure.

Leveraging the Docker container format, Azure Container Service to ensure that application containers are fully portable, while offering support to Marathon and DC/OS or Docker Swarm so that users can scale these applications to thousands of containers, or even tens of thousands. By using Azure Container Service, users can take advantage of the enterprise-grade features of Azure, while still maintaining application portability, including portability at the orchestration layers.

Customers choosing the DC/OS version of Azure Container Service will gain access to features including running as an active/passive cluster with leader election for maximum uptime; constraint definitions to ensure that application is deployed where and how it’s wanted. It offers flexible support for multiple service discovery approaches; helps define health checks for individual services and monitor them through the web interface, REST API or command line, alongside, detailed metrics can be pulled from the API in JSON format or pushed to systems such as graphite, statsd or Datadog.

The Docker Swarm version of Azure Container Service uses the Docker stack, thereby any Docker compliant tooling can also be used to manage applications on Azure Container Service. Through Docker Swarm, Azure Container Service provides a “Docker native” solution using the same open source technologies as Dockers Universal Control Plane, offering a natural upgrade path for customers who desire it.

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Docker Swarm on ACS offers Docker CLI and Docker Compose that provide full featured access to the cluster from the command line. Docker Remote API provides access to third party tools; widely adopted, gives access to hundreds of third party tools including monitoring, logging etc. Docker Compose defines the application with all of its dependencies, and has been demonstrated to operate at scale.

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