Microsoft is announcing today the general availability of support for the Kubernetes open-source container orchestration software in its Azure Container Service for hosting application code wrapped up in containers. The company announced a preview of Kubernetes support in public cloud service in November.
Containers are a lightweight alternative to virtual machines (VMs), many of which can run on a single physical server. Startups, including Docker, have made containers more popular in recent years, and in time cloud providers have embraced them as a deployment option.
Until the Kubernetes preview began a few months ago, the Azure Container Service, first introduced in 2015, only let developers manage containers with Docker’s Swarm software or Mesosphere’s DCOS. While the new feature might not appear to be massive, it is something that’s not currently available from top public cloud provider Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) EC2 Container Service. That said, there are tools for more easily setting up Kubernetes atop AWS’ server infrastructure, like CoreOS’ kube-aws tool. Meanwhile, Google, which initiated the Kubernetes project in 2014, offers native Kubernetes support in its public cloud’s Google Container Engine service.
“ACS’s approach of openness has been pivotal in driving the adoption of containers on Azure,” Azure Container Service product manager Saurya Das wrote in a blog post. “Enterprises and startups alike recognize the momentum around ACS and the benefit it brings to their applications, which includes agile deployment, portability, and scalability.”
Also today, Microsoft is beginning a preview of Windows Server container support on Azure Container Service while using Kubernetes as the orchestration tool. Kubernetes got support for Windows Server Containers and Hyper-V Containers with the release of version 1.5 in December.