Microsoft doubles down on Kubernetes for Azure


When I say Microsoft is “doubling down,” on Kubernetes for Azure, I mean that literally. Besides offering Kubernetes support on Azure Container Service (ACS), it’s also offering—bear with me now—Kubernetes on Azure as Azure Container Service (AKS).

The difference between the two is that ACS enables you to use other container orchestration programs—Docker Swarm and Mesosphere DC/OS—while AKS is all Kubernetes all the time.

Why is Microsoft doing this? While some customers are still using ACS, Kubernetes has become the top dog of container orchestration. On Azure alone. Gabe Monroy, Microsoft’s Azure Lead for Containers, said, “We have seen customers fall in love with our current Kubernetes support on [ACS], which has grown 300% in the last six months.”

Mind you, the two Microsoft Kubernetes offerings are very likely to merge sooner rather than later. That’s because first Mesosphere, and then Docker, saw the handwriting on the wall and are now supporting Kubernetes.

Be that as it may, Microsoft is offering AKS for free. You will only pay for the virtual machines (VM) that you use for managing your Kubernetes cluster. Microsoft says, “Unlike other cloud providers who charge an hourly rate for the management infrastructure, with AKS you will pay nothing for the management of your Kubernetes cluster, ever. After all, the cloud should be about only paying for what you consume.”

If you have any doubt that Microsoft isn’t backing Kubernetes with everything it has, keep in mind that Brendan Burns, Kubernetes’s co-creator, joined Microsoft in 2016 and is leading Azure’s container efforts.

In addition, earlier this year Microsoft acquired Deis. This company built major software projects, such as a workflow program, Workflow; a package manager, Helm; and a service broker, Steward.

Microsoft is also contributing upstream to Kubernetes. And the company is open-sourcing its own Kubernetes development tools, such as Draft.

What all this adds up to is yet one more example of how Kubernetes is coming to completely dominate container orchestration. Just as Docker transformed containers from a useful, but little used, technology to a business IT mainstay, Kubernetes is changing DevOps from a VM and server management tool to the guiding hand for container management.

If you haven’t started learning how to use Kubernetes yet, it’s high time you started. A quick and easy way to do that is to take The Linux Foundation free online Introduction to Kubernetes class.

The course is available via edX, the well-regarded Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) framework. It can be taken by anyone with a modern web browser on any Linux, macOS, or Windows computer that can run Minikube, a program which lets you run Kubernetes on a PC.


For cloud container orchestration, it’s all Kubernetes, all the time

Is Mesosphere surrendering to Kubernetes?


  1. great and helpful blog to everyone.. thanks a lot for sharing


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