Azure releases dedicated Kubernetes container service
Wed 25 Oct 2017
Microsoft has announced the release of a dedicated Azure Container Service (ACS) for Kubernetes, signalling the increasing dominance of Kubernetes in the container space.
The new service is still called Azure Container Service but is abbreviated to AKS. The existing service for other orchestrators, such as Docker, will continue to run separately.
According to a blog post written by Microsoft PM lead of Azure containers, Gabe Monroy, Kubernetes support on ACS has grown 300% in the last six months, as customers have ‘fallen in love’ with it.
The advantage of a dedicated Kubernetes support service is, according to Monroy, the ease of management and operation of Kubernetes environments, without the sacrifice of portability. The service will feature an Azure-hosted control plane, automatic upgrades, easy scaling, and an improved, simpler user experience, both for developers and cluster operators.
The service itself is free, with customers only paying for the virtual machines that they provision. Monroy notes that this is different to some other cloud providers which charge a flat rate for the infrastructure. On AKS, Monroy notes, customers will never pay for the management of a Kubernetes cluster, arguing that a key tenet of the cloud is only paying for what is used.
Microsoft is at pains not to alienate users of other orchestrator deployments. It will continue to support the existing ACS deployment engine in Azure for container solutions such as Docker Enterprise and Mesosphere DC/OS.
Monroy writes: ‘To address the needs of our mutual customers, we are continuing to work with Docker and Mesosphere to offer enhanced integration of their enterprise offers in our Azure Marketplace. The Azure Marketplace provides the same easy deployment as ACS, while adding easy in-place upgrades to enterprise editions.’
He argues that Kubernetes has ’emerged as the open source standard for container orchestration’, and states that its community involvement and portability makes it ideal for standardisation. The increasingly strong relationship between Kubernetes and Azure is no surprise, Monroy argues, given that Brendan Burns, Kubernetes’ co-creator, now heads up Azure’s containers department.