ORLANDO, Florida – While cloud subsystems like containers and serverless computing still live in the nether region between hype and adoption, Microsoft is one company that is advancing the technologies. And with the computing giant’s enterprise influence — or perhaps just a word — it could help boost confidence in containers and serverless.
Microsoft’s push behind those two nascent technologies goes all the way to the top as CEO Satya Nadella mentioned both during a wide-ranging keynote address today, kicking off this week’s Microsoft Ignite event.
Nadella cited serverless, containers, and greater distribution to the edge as being part of the “new computing paradigm.” He explained these will “fundamentally transform the applications we build.”
While the mentions were not long or in depth, they were among a number of much larger topics touched on by Nadella. These included meta-topics of how technology is changing the modern workplace; business applications; applications and infrastructure; and data and artificial intelligence (AI).
The breadth and depth of Microsoft’s commitment can perhaps also be seen from the dozens of sessions the company has dedicated to containers and serverless computing at the event.
Nadella linked much of the company’s work behind those meta-topics to its Azure cloud platform, as well as a super-technical talk on quantum computing. This form of advanced computing can deal in bits simultaneously represented by “0” and “1” instead of just dealing with those bits of data individually.
Containers and Serverless
Microsoft in July added container-focused support for its Azure cloud platform in a move designed to ease container deployments. The support is part of its Azure Container Instances (ACI) platform, which Microsoft said does not need any virtual machine infrastructure to manage.
Containers can be deployed through the ACI platform and are billed by the second. Users can control memory used by the container and virtual CPU (vCPU) needed to run the container.
Microsoft earlier this year also updated several of its platforms to increase support and the performance of containers running on its infrastructure. This included its Nano Server and Server Core products.
As for serverless computing, Microsoft last month added an intelligent traffic manager to its plans with the unveiling of its Azure Event Grid routing service. The platform adds the ability to manage routing of events running in a serverless computing application from any source to any destination.
Serverless computing is seen as a trimmer iteration of containers. While containers are seen as ideal for applications that might need from 30 seconds up to several minutes to run, serverless computing can handle applications that need less than 30 seconds.
Serverless computing is designed to reduce the amount of overhead associated with offering services in the cloud. This includes the ability for a cloud provider to dynamically manage server resources.
Photo: Microsoft CEO at Microsoft Ignite.