Microsoft’s new Azure Container Instance service on Linux

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Azure Container Instance

Microsoft unveiled Azure Container Instances (ACI), a quick and easy way to deploy Linux containers in the cloud without much management and oversight. Corey Sanders, a member of the Microsoft Azure, said, the ACIs were the fastest and easiest way to run a container in the cloud.

It takes only few seconds to deploy an ACI and each container deployed billed by the second, using billing tags. Admins can choose the number of vCPUs, the amount of memory, and more, to make sure the container will fit the application easily.

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Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) offered for each instance, and no VM management tier or cluster orchestration tools needed to get started. It is simply your code, in a container, running in the cloud, Microsoft said.

There are multiple deployment options for ACIs, starting with a template or the Azure command line interface (CLI). However, users also deploy from a Docker Hub, or other public repository, as well as from a private repository. Microsoft uses virtualization to make sure each container remains isolated from containers deployed by other organizations.

Linux containers

Currently, container instances are only available for Linux containers. ACIs are not container orchestrators. Instead, they intended to complement orchestrators as an additional building block for an organization’s container strategy.

Microsoft also launched the ACI Connector for Kubernetes, an open source connector allowing users to deploy ACIs from Kubernetes. So, users able to get on-demand and nearly instantaneous container compute about Kubernetes, specifically leveraging portable Kubernetes API.

Using this connector, organizations can deploy VMs alongside ACIs in the same cluster, allowing instant bursting as well as long-term scalability.

The firm also offers the Azure Container Service (ACS), a “container hosting environment optimized for Azure. ACS is a free service that integrates with Docker, Apache Mesos, and DCOS.

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