Microsoft Adds Kubernetes for Azure Cloud Container Orchestration

Kubernetes joins DC/OS and Docker Swarm, helping Microsoft flesh out its cloud container management service.

Microsoft, Kubernetes, Azure Cloud Container

Following the late-September debut of Kubernetes 1.4, Microsoft this week announced that its cloud container management offering, Azure Container Service (ACS), now supports the open-source container deployment and orchestration technology.

Originating at Google and now a project run by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation at the Linux Foundation, Kubernetes is a container cluster manager that enables organizations to automate the deployment and orchestration of application containers at scale. The software's 1.4 release features several new enhanced security capabilities, including a Transport Layer Security (TLS) bootstrap that improves the movement of encrypted data across a cluster. TLS is commonly used today to secure internet data transfers.

Expanding on its existing support for Kubernetes in Azure's cloud infrastructure services portfolio, on Nov. 7 Microsoft announced the preview release of Kubernetes 1.4 on Azure Container Service, the company's cloud-based container management service.

Corey Sanders, director of compute at Microsoft Azure, noted in a blog post that Kubernetes 1.4 features Azure disk integration and support for native Azure load-balancing and networking. "This deeper and native support of Kubernetes will provide you another fully open- source choice for your container orchestration engine on Azure," wrote Sanders.

Bringing Kubernetes into the fold also gives customers alternatives, allowing them to select the container orchestration technology that best suits their technical requirements. "Now, customers will have more options to choose their cloud orchestrator with ACS providing support for three fully open-source solutions in DC/OS, Docker Swarm and Kubernetes," Sanders added.

Support for DC/OS has been bumped up to version number 1.8.4 of the Apache Mesos-based distributed operating system. The release includes built-in Marathon orchestration, along with improved job-scheduling and virtual networking functionality. Further, the DC/OS Universe app marketplace now supports on-click installation of Microsoft's own Operations Management Suite, along with Artifactory, Confluent Platform, DataStax Enterprise and GitLab, Sanders said.

In addition, Microsoft open-sourced the Azure Container Service Engine, releasing it as a new project on GitHub. The move is intended to help Microsoft and the community collaborate on establishing best practices for orchestrating containers on the Azure public cloud and the Azure Stack hybrid cloud platform.

"All of our knowledge of running containers in Azure has been captured in that repository, and we look forward to improving and extending it as we move forward with the community," Brendan Burns, Kubernetes co-founder and partner architect at Microsoft, said in a separate blog post. "Going forward, the templates in ACS Engine will be the basis for clusters deployed via the ACS API [application programming interface], and thus community-driven improvements, features and more will have a natural path into the Azure Container Service."

On Nov. 14, Microsoft will kick off a beta of its new Azure Container Registry. Serving as a private repository, it will allow customers to host Docker-formatted container images for deployment on Azure. Enhancing Azure Container Service's DevOps-enabling appeal, the company will release Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services and Visual Studio Code integrations that support the rapid and agile deployment of multi-container Linux applications.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...