Microsoft’s decision to throw support behind Kubernetes as part of its broader Azure Cloud platform line was a good one. The company says Kubernetes usage on Azure has increased dramatically in the past year.
In a blog post, Gabe Monroy, project manager lead for containers at Microsoft Azure, said the company has seen a 10x increase in Kubernetes usage on Azure. Monroy previously served as CTO of Kubernetes-focused open source company Deis, which Microsoft acquired last year for an undisclosed amount.
Microsoft last year made a strong push to integrate Kubernetes into its container plans. That included the ‘re-acronyming’ of its Azure Container Service from ACS to AKS as a sign of its shift in focus to Kubernetes.
This week it completed that transition by officially changing the platform’s name to Azure Kubernetes Service.
The move also included integrating the platform with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s (CNCF) Kubernetes Conformance Program that was launched late last year. That program is designed to ensure that compliant APIs can provide consistent Kubernetes services and be interoperable across vendor platforms. That move is becoming more important now that basically every large cloud provider offers some form of Kubernetes support.
This week’s AKS updates also include support from Microsoft’s DevOps Project, which makes it easier and faster to launch an application using the Azure App Service. With the new support, a user can create an AKS cluster, containerize the application, and deploy with an Azure continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline.
AKS now also includes integration with Azure Monitor for control plane telemetry log aggregation and container health monitoring from the Azure Portal. Microsoft has also initiated an early release allowing users to orchestrate Windows containers on top of AKS. A Windows container is similar to a Docker container except that it runs on top of a Windows operating system (OS) instead of a Linux OS.
AKS remains in preview mode, though Monroy said Microsoft would add more features ahead of the general availability release of the platform in the “next few weeks.”
OpenShift Container Integration
Microsoft today also announced a deal with Red Hat to combine the former’s Azure public cloud with the latter’s OpenShift Kubernetes platform.
The Red Hat OpenShift on Azure managed-services product supports moving applications between on-premises environments and the Azure public cloud using the OpenShift containerization capabilities. It also allows for container management across Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux containers.