Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Welcomes Red Hat Linux Clusters

Microsoft's system for scalable cloud applications now includes support for clusters based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Service for RHEL

Red Hat Enterprise Linux users can now create clusters for their scalable cloud applications on Azure Service Fabric.

Microsoft's microservices-friendly cloud offering supports clusters based on the Linux distribution in a public preview of the new capability included as part of latest update to the Azure Service Fabric runtime (version 6.2), announced April 19 by Subramanian Ramaswamy, principal program manager of Azure Service Fabric at Microsoft. Other supported operating systems include Ubuntu and Windows.

Microsoft has updated its Azure Service Fabric documentation with new instructions on how developers can get started using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4. The operating system's milestone release arrived in August 2017, bringing with it multiple capabilities that enhance cluster performance and management.

The update also gives customers more control over their containers.

"You can now auto scale services and container instances in your Service Fabric cluster based on resource consumption metrics that you define," stated Ramaswamy. "Service Fabric will monitor the load on a service and will dynamically scale in or out. For example, you can set memory thresholds to automatically scale your service by defined increments."

The Service Fabric Explorer tool now displays more descriptive error messages, helping users to find faster remedies to container issues that may crop up. Docker API-based query support also enhances visibility into the overall health of containers hosted on the service. Coders using Visual Studio 2017 3.1, which is currently in beta, can access more debugging capabilities and container tooling for Azure Service Fabric, noted the Microsoft executive.

Developers, meanwhile, can take advantage of the Reliable Services programming model and Reliable Actors application framework, Ramaswamy noted.

As their names imply, they allow developers to build applications that remain available and can keep despite system errors, service failures, network issues or other faults. The service's Windows-based backup and restore functionality, also in beta, enables users to protect data stored in Reliable Services and Reliable Actors.

Enhanced DDoS Protection on Azure

While the IT security industry's attention was focused on the latest trends and innovations discussed at 2018 RSA Conference, Microsoft announced an upgraded version of a service that helps cloud applications hosted on its cloud withstand crippling Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

Flooding targets with junk traffic has become an effective and attention-grabbing method used by cyber-attackers to slow down websites and online services or knock them completely offline. In March, GitHub reported that it was the victim of a massive DDoS attack rated at 1.35 Tbps (terabits per second) at its peak. That short-lived record was eclipsed just days later by a 1.7-Tbps DDoS attack reported by NetScout Arbor Networks.

To help prevent its customers getting knocked offline by such attacks, Microsoft announced a new Standard version of its Azure DDoS Protection service on April 18 that is covered by a 99.99 percent Service Level Agreement. Building on the Basic version of the service, which is included at no additional cost to all users, Azure DDoS Protection Standard adds protection policies for Azure Virtual Network deployments along with logging, telemetry and alerting capabilities.

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...