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Kubernetes is taking the app development world by storm. Earlier this month, we shared that the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) was the fastest growing compute service in Azure’s history. Customers like Siemens Healthineers, Finastra, Maersk, and Hafslund are realizing the benefits of using AKS to easily deploy, manage and scale applications without getting into the toil of maintaining infrastructures.  As the community and adoption grows, Kubernetes itself is evolving, adding more enterprise-friendly features and extending to more scenarios.  The release of production-level support for Windows Server containers is a true testament to the evolution.

Today, we’re excited to announce the preview of Windows Server containers in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for the latest versions, 1.13.5 and 1.14.0.  With this, Windows Server containers can now be deployed and orchestrated in AKS enabling new paths to migrate and modernize Windows Server applications in Azure.

Our customers have applications running on Linux and on Windows. The ability to manage Windows and Linux containers side by side in the same Kubernetes cluster with the exact same APIs, tools and support is what you have been asking us to support, which opens an abundance of new scenarios. For example, you can now add Windows node pools to existing Virtual Network; or deploy a Linux container running a reverse proxy or Redis cache and an IIS application in a Windows container in the same Kubernetes cluster and even as part of the same application – all with consistent monitoring experience and deployment pipelines.

Running Windows Server containers in AKS (preview) also means you can keep taking advantage of many existing Azure services and features that are helping make Kubernetes application development and management much easier, such as:

  • Manage the lifecycle of Linux and Windows containers easily through Azure Container Registry, which pre-stages all container base images. To reduce network latency or meet rigorous compliance needs, Container Registry can automatically geo-replicate the container images to the data center close to where your users are.
  • Deliver applications faster on any OS with a standardized deployment pipeline. Azure DevOps integration with AKS helps automate validation, testing, canary and ultimately production easily in just a few steps.
  • Gain insights into the performance and health of your Kubernetes cluster and workloads with a comprehensive monitoring experience using Azure Monitor.

Now is the time to get started with Windows Server containers in Azure Kubernetes Service (preview) and we look forward to your feedback on these new features and experiences! If you are new to Kubernetes, check out these short Kubernetes whiteboard videos with Brendan Burns, one of the co-founders of Kubernetes, so you can learn how it works for both Windows and Linux!

We would like to take the moment to thank every contributor and customer, without whom, today’s announcement would not be possible.  We are proud to be part of the broader and vibrant Kubernetes community.  

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