• 2 min read

Use the power and simplicity of containers to tame your IT

Container technology on Azure is a great story that got even better this week. Read on to learn more.

North Bridge’s Future of Open Source Survey says seventy-six percent of you have plans to use container technology this year. The key question isn’t whether you are part of that seventy-six percent, but how aggressively you plan to leverage this key agility and efficiency implementation. Coming out of DockerCon 2016, most of the excuses for holding back are now gone – at least on Azure, which is quickly becoming a premier platform for containers.

Container technology on Azure is a great story that got even better this week. We’ve been involved with containers since their inception and we contributed to the Docker project as early as 2014, as Mark Russinovich, Azure CTO, describes in his recent Azure blog post.

Last year we announced a partnership with one of the leading data center “operating system” firms, Mesosphere, featuring among other things support for container orchestration and management, and delivered support for it on Azure.

What does that mean?

According to the mapping company, ESRI, by using containers on Mesosphere, running on Azure, they’ll be able to easily scale from thousands of events per second to hundreds of thousands or “even millions of events per second.” Just as importantly, by using Mesosphere’s DC/OS with containers on Azure, ESRI was able to create this massively scalable application in a matter of a few short months rather than years.

At DockerCon, Azure customers got a one-two set of benefits.

Docker announced its orchestration capability Swarm built into the Docker engine; a new, native application management and registry layer, called Docker DataCenter, supported of course in Azure; new security features (encrypted communications between nodes); and a new Docker Store.

From Microsoft, Mark demonstrated the Docker DataCenter made available through the Azure Marketplace. In his demo, Docker Datacenter is shown managing a hybrid application that has components running in Azure and on the on-premises offering Azure Stack. In both cases the containerized applications were monitored by Microsoft’s Operations Management Suite.

We also announced that Azure Container Service (which enables a choice of orchestration technologies, including Docker Swarm) now supports both Windows and Linux. Of course, Microsoft also provides a breadth of development aids, including both familiar open-source management tools as well as Azure Resource Manager templates – making the experience of developing and deploying container applications for Azure straightforward and efficient.

And finally, Mark demonstrated – are you ready? – SQL Server running on Linux, in a Docker container.

Open standards?

You bet, we’re deeply committed to openness, as a founding member of the Open Container Initiative.

Why all the excitement?

We’ve seen a huge uptick in the use of container technology by our customers: four times the number of customers and twice the workloads just in the first few months of 2016.

Are you using containers, or thinking about them? We’d love to hear about how you’re gaining efficiency and speeding up development with containers. Write about your experiences in the comments section below.