Microsoft today announced that its Azure Service Fabric cloud service for building and running applications in small building blocks — known as microservices — is now generally available. The news is one of many things Microsoft is announcing this week at its Build developer conference in San Francisco.

Microsoft introduced Azure Service Fabric in April 2015, and since then it has become available in preview. The technology could be interpreted as a more modern version of the original Windows Azure platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that became available in 2010.

Today Microsoft is also introducing a preview of Service Fabric for Windows Server. That’s in line with Microsoft bringing the cloud powers of Azure into companies’ on-premises data centers, typically under the Azure Stack moniker. But this technology can actually also run workloads on clouds other than Azure and on-premises infrastructure, according to a statement.

Companies like Docker have popularized the idea of faster and simpler and more frequent application development and deployment, and cloud providers have taken steps to support that workflow. But in mimicking Service Fabric’s architecture for on-premises deployments, Microsoft can distinguish itself from other public clouds, like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. Of course, the Windows Server technology on its own should appeal to some longtime enterprise customers who want to modernize their approach.

Microsoft is releasing application programming interfaces (APIs) for Service Fabric for Linux and Java, and the company is additionally committing to releasing the Service Fabric for Linux framework under an open-source license later in 2016.

This is the latest case of Microsoft extending its tooling to Linux. The company’s SQL Server will become available to Linux next year.

Azure’s Virtual Machine Scale Sets, a feature first announced in November that lets people run a bunch of virtual machines at once as a set, is also generally available today, said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. Also the Azure Container Service for deploying container-based applications on Azure infrastructure, is now available for anyone to try out in preview. Before, you had to sign up for access.

A blog post on the news is here.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.