Microsoft’s New Azure Container Instances Using Fast and Easy Containers
Containers have fundamentally changed the way developers can develop their applications, the way applications are deployed, & the way system administrators manage their environments. Containers may offer a broadly accepted and an open standard, enabling simple portability between the platforms and between clouds. Today, I am very extremely excited to announce a new Azure service that makes it even easier to deploy the containers.
The very first service of its kind in the cloud itself, Azure Container Instances (ACI) which is a new Azure service delivering the containers with great simplicity and speed and without any Virtual Machine infrastructure to manage. ACIs are the fastest and easiest way to run a container in the cloud.
An Azure Container Instance is a single container that starts in seconds and is billed by the second. ACI offers a highly versatile sizing, this allows you to select the exact amount of memory which is separated from the exact count of VCPUs, so your application should perfectly fit on the infrastructure. Your containers shouldn’t be billed for a second longer than which is required and won’t be used a GB more than is needed.
With ACI, containers are a first-class object of the Azure platform, offering the Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) on the instance and billing tags to track usage at the individual container level. As the service is directly exposed containers, there are no VM management that you need to think about or the higher-level cluster orchestration concepts to learn. This is simply your code, in a container, which is running in the cloud.
For those beginning their container journey, Azure Container Instances will provide a simple experience to get started with the containers in the cloud, enables you to quickly create and deploy new containers with only a few simple parameters. Here is a sample command which will deploy to the ACI using Azure CLI.
Container Instances are available today in public preview for the Linux containers. Windows container support is to be available in the upcoming weeks. You can deploy using the Azure CLI or by using a template. Furthermore, you can quickly and can easily deploy from a public repository, like a Docker Hub, or pull it from your own private repository using the Azure Container Registry. Each container deployed will be securely isolated from other customers using proven virtualization technology.
The above shows the simplicity of ACI. While Azure Container Instances will not be the orchestrator and are not intended to replace orchestrators, they will fuel orchestrators and to the other services as a container building block. In fact, as part of the today’s announcement, we are also releasing it in the open source, the ACI Connector for Kubernetes. This is an open-source connector which enables Kubernetes clusters to deploy to the Azure Container Instances.
This enables an on-demand and nearly instantaneous container compute, to orchestrated by Kubernetes, without having the VM infrastructure to manage and while still leveraging for the portable Kubernetes API. This will be allowed you to utilize both VMs and container instances simultaneously in the same K8s cluster, giving you the best of both the worlds.
Azure Container Instances can be used for the fast bursting and be scaling whereas VMs can be used for the more predictable scaling. Workloads can even migrate to a back-and-forth between these who are underlying infrastructure models. This offers you a level of agility for deploying the Kubernetes, unlike any other to the cloud provider, enabling the services that start in seconds without any underlying VMs and are billed and scaled per second.