Categories: CloudVirtualisation

Microsoft Launches Azure Container Service Into General Availability

Microsoft has driven its Azure Container Service into general availability, meaning the service is now open to everyone.

Azure Container Service lets users choose from Docker’s Swarm and Compose platform or Mesophere’s DC/OS (data centre operating system) to deploy and orchestrate containers.

Azure Container Service was first announced last September, and previously offered as a limited beta to select customers.


Azure Container Service is Microsoft’s answer to the management challenges posed by Docker’s growing popularity on its own cloud. Microsoft said it built its Azure Container Service to be the fastest way to get benefits of running containerised applications, with a choice of open source technology and tools.

Containers on Azure are fully portable across any cloud and on-premise. It is this choice, along with the options of two deployment platforms, which makes Microsoft think its container service shines.

Ross Gardler, Azure’s senior program manager, said in a blog post today: “With the general availability of the Azure Container Service, containers are ready for prime-time in the cloud, enabling organisations to transform the excitement and hype into concrete business value quickly and with confidence.

“Thousands of customers are already running containerised applications in Azure, converting the promise of agility and efficiency at cloud scale into business results.”

Mesophere’s DC/OS was, in fact, only launched today with Microsoft and 50 other partners. The operating system pulls together Apache Mesos with Mesosphere’s Marathon and many other container management technologies.

“As organisations adopt containers and look to scale them in production, they discover that deploying and operating containerized application workloads is a non-trivial exercise. The complexity of tracking and managing high-density containers at scale grows at an exponential rate, making traditional, hands-on management approaches ineffective,” said Gardler.

“Azure Container Service addresses these challenges by providing simplified configurations of proven open source container orchestration technology, optimised to run in the cloud. With just a few clicks you can deploy your container-based applications on a framework designed to help manage the complexity of containers deployed at scale, in production.”

Last week, TechWeekEurope heard how security worries are preventing containers from becoming a mainstream technology..

During a panel discussion on the future of containers versus virtual machines (VMs) at London’s Cloud Expo Europe, analysts and vendors agreed that limitations at present were preventing large enterprises from moving large applications to containers.

“It’s a case of maturity. Give it another 18 months and we’ll be a lot further down the line,” said Clive Longbottom, an analyst at Quocirca.

Take our cloud in 2016 quiz here!

Ben Sullivan

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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