The growth of Kubernetes and cloud-native applications in Azure and the broader technology has been nothing short of humbling and awe-inspiring. Open innovation is at the heart of nearly every innovation in cloud computing. The cloud-native ecosystem empowers people to build applications that make it easy to take advantage of this innovation. It’s no surprise that according to IDC, more than 90 percent of new apps will be cloud-native by 2025.1
Using cloud-native design patterns helps many of our customers achieve the agility, reliability, scalability, and security demanded by the next generation of applications. Obviously, over the last few years, the healthcare industry has needed to adapt and deploy new applications rapidly. When New South Wales Health Pathology needed a scalable, flexible, and secure solution for statewide health diagnostics information, they chose Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Functions, Azure IoT Hub, and Azure Cosmos DB to implement a large-scale digital health platform. But healthcare isn’t the only mission-critical service that relies on Azure Kubernetes for agility, scale, and reliability. Every day, more than one million travelers rely on the timely services of ÖBB—Austrian Federal Railways—Austria’s largest mobility services provider. They migrated Ticketshop, their ticket issuing platform, to run on containers on Azure Kubernetes Service and migrated some 11 TB of data from on-premises Oracle servers to Azure Database for PostgreSQL. For me, the most thrilling part of this migration is that the increased automation in AKS freed up their engineers from the toil of keeping an eye on infrastructure and instead enabled them to focus on the development of their service (and, of course, even more automation).
Speaking of the development of services, one of the most exciting parts of building the cloud is that we are continually listening, building, and improving our services to make it even easier for more developers from startups to enterprises to meet their goals with easy access to the cloud-native ecosystem. I’m incredibly excited to share some of these innovations today for AKS and a new exciting service: Azure Container Apps.
Azure Kubernetes Service
Containers and Kubernetes increases application portability and promotes a wide variety of application architectures that meet your business needs. No service is more central to cloud-native practices than AKS. Every day, more customers are seeing success with AKS on Azure. This is particularly true for customers who value the deep control and rich ecosystem provided by Kubernetes. From a platform perspective, we offer built-in best practices for Azure Kubernetes Service and use industry-leading security services to provide a multilayered security experience, adding layers of isolation across your compute resources, data, and networking. We also work closely with open source communities such as CNCF to develop key components for building on and operating Kubernetes, bringing our knowledge of working with enterprises back to the community.
At KubeCon North America in Los Angeles, we shared exciting improvements in networking support for Kubernetes. We announced bringing IPv6 capabilities to AKS as a preview feature and added support for HTTPS proxies in AKS. This allows users to control the egress from their network for security while also successfully deploying AKS clusters. We also announced that the Open Service Mesh (OSM) had hit the v1.0.0 stable release, signaling readiness for production workloads. It’s exciting to see that milestone for our community partners in the OSM open source project.
At Microsoft Ignite, we are announcing the general availability of the OSM integration for AKS in the East U.S. and West U.S. regions. Azure customers will be able to experience first-class Azure support on a fully integrated cloud-native application stack. Customers can use the service mesh capabilities from OSM integrated natively with AKS to manage configurations such as traffic shifting, enabling mTLS, configuring access control policies, and monitoring and debugging of application communications for their microservices.
We’re also announcing the preview of the cluster extensions for AKS. Cluster extensions give you a unified experience to install, update, and upgrade services on AKS clusters, starting with the Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr) and Azure Machine Learning. Furthermore, for customers who want to create Azure resources from within their Kubernetes deployments using Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs), the Azure Service Operator project has reached a new milestone with version 2.0, built on the Azure OpenAPI specifications.
For Windows Server containers users, now in preview, we’re delivering group Managed Service Identity (gMSA) support in AKS. This second iteration of gMSA support dramatically simplifies the configuration and deployment of Pods with Active Directory identities.
Azure Container Apps
At Microsoft Ignite, we are also announcing the preview of our newest cloud-native offering: Azure Container Apps. Azure Container Apps is an easy-to-use platform for building microservice architectures using containers. Azure Container Apps provides access to open source projects like Kubernetes Event Driven Autoscaling (KEDA) and the Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr). Teams can write code in their favorite language and accelerate development through the built-in integration with Dapr to simplify common tasks like service discovery, publisher-subscriber (pub/sub), managing state, and more. Azure Container Apps provides a streamlined code-to-cloud pipeline using GitHub Actions.
Azure Container Apps is built on a foundation of powerful open source technology. Behind the scenes, every container app runs on AKS, with KEDA, Dapr, and Envoy baked in. This lets you perform modern application lifecycle tasks such as application upgrades, traffic shifting, and versioning ready-to-run for teams of every skillset. Learn more about Azure Container Apps.
Open source, the biggest differentiator for every company
Over the years, we’ve learned that open source is also a key differentiator for many of our customers interested in driving application innovation efforts that lead to better business outcomes. According to McKinsey and Company, open source adoption is the biggest differentiator for top-performing organizations and organizations that are best in class on open-source capabilities score 30 percent higher on innovation and 20 percent higher on developer satisfaction. We are committed to continuing to partner with many of our customers in their journey to build cloud-native apps while taking advantage of open source.
Open source software is an integral part of development at Microsoft, aligned with our goal to empower all developers to be successful in building any application, using any language, on any platform. We are committed to building open, flexible technology, and working with the open source community to grow together as an industry. Our contributions span multiple areas from operating systems to programming languages and from data, AI, and the web. We also focus on cloud-native development making writing microservices and using Kubernetes easier with projects like Dapr, Helm, and KEDA.
With Azure, we are constantly providing capabilities that can help meet your needs to work with open source. With the increase in open-source adoption, it is imperative that it runs smoothly on Azure. On Azure, you can run multiple apps and increase workload performance and security all while optimizing IT costs. We want you to focus on building your application and not your infrastructure. We are continuing to grow and make Azure the best cloud for developers and IT pros.
Support for cloud-native applications in Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP)
Thousands of customers have accelerated their cloud journey with the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP) which provides the right mix of expert guidance and best practices.
Based on the feedback and demand from customers, we’re announcing that AMMP will soon be adding additional support for application modernization scenarios on Azure Red Hat OpenShift and building cloud-native applications on Azure Kubernetes Service.
Innovate with cloud-native and open source on Azure
With all the great things that we are releasing at Microsoft Ignite and our continued commitment to open source, don’t miss the Innovate with cloud-native apps and open-source on Azure session at Microsoft Ignite, happening tomorrow November 3, 2021.
Come join our sessions virtually and check out the Microsoft Tech Community blog for more details on the great Microsoft Ignite sessions from Microsoft speakers. Have a great conference.
Azure. Invent with purpose.