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Microsoft Unveils Azure Container Instances Service and Per Second Billing

July 31, 2017
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Microsoft Unveils Azure Container Instances Service and Per Second Billing
Microsoft has introduced a new Azure container instances service coupled with per second billing. The main purpose of the service is to deliver containers with simplicity and speed. However, the service works without any need to manage VM infrastructure. The main reason for the increase in the use of containers is attributed to the rise of microservices and DevOps.

Commenting on the development, Corey Sanders, director of compute at Microsoft reveals that containers provide an open standard and broadly accepted mechanism. It enables user to port apps between clouds and platforms. If you are unaware, Microsoft already has an existing platform named as Azure Container Services (ACS). It mainly provides a container hosting package, which enables developers to integrate Kubernetes, Mesosphere DC/OS, and Docker Swarm into the Azure service.

The main objective of the Azure Container Instances (ACI) service is to provide a simplified experience. Hence, you need not have to learn new concepts, techniques and programming models. You can easily deploy containers to enable you to kisk start development and testing of various use cases.

According to Sanders, the Azure container instance is a single container that is capable of starting in seconds and billed by the second. It offers highly versatile sizing enabling you to select the exact amount of memory. It will be separate from the actual estimated count of vCPUs. Hence, your application perfectly fits your existing cloud infrastructure.

Touted as first-class objects within the Azure segment, ACIs are able to leverage several Azure specific features including Role-Based Access Control (RBAC). As a developer, you can take advantage of tags, which is used to allocate bills at the individual container. It is possible to provision an ACI via a single command in the Azure Command Line (CLI) tool. 

Designed with simplicity, the Azure Container Instances are not oriented to replace orchestration engines. The Redmond-based company has released an open source ACI connector for Kubernetes. It enables Kubernetes clusters to successfully deploy Azure Container Instances. 

As a customer, it is possible to migrate between ACI and ACS models. It provides developers with agility for the deployment of Kubernetes, unlike any other cloud provider. As of this writing, Azure Container Instances are available in public preview for Linux containers.