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Microsoft Announces Better Integration of Docker and Azure at DockerCon 2016

| by Hrishikesh Barua Follow 16 Followers on Jun 29, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

At the recently concluded DockerCon 2016 in Seattle, Microsoft announced some features in Azure showcasing improved support for Docker containers in the enterprise. These include the availability of Docker Datacenter in the Azure Marketplace and Docker Datacenter support for managing hybrid container deployments.

Docker Datacenter (DDC) is a platform that lets organizations run their own Containers-as-a-Service (CaaS) operations. This was released as an Azure Marketplace Template. A template in Azure is a declarative way of organizing services along with their dependencies, which can then be used to launch the services in Azure. The DDC includes Docker Universal Control Plane for cluster management, Docker Trusted Registry for Docker image storage and the most recent version of the Docker Engine.

In the conference, Mark Russinovich, CTO of Microsoft Azure, also announced that Docker Datacenter can be used for managing hybrid container based applications. In this context, hybrid applications comprise applications which are running in Azure datacenters as well as on-premises using Azure Stack. Azure Stack is a platform using which on-premises datacenter resources can be provisioned as Azure resources thus presenting a uniform Azure-like interface to the applications.

Azure has increased its level of support for containers over the last few months. It now includes the Operations Management Suite which can manage containers across Azure and Azure Stack. The Azure Container Service uses Docker Swarm under the hood for orchestration.

Russinovich also demonstrated the debugging features of containerized applications running on Azure using the Visual Studio Code editor. The cross-platform editor has in-built support for editing Dockerfiles and Docker Compose YAML files.

According to Russinovich, adoption of containers in the enterprise, including in Fortune 500 companies, are influenced by three main factors:

  • Open source adoption for agility, low-cost and no vendor lock-in
  • The ability to leverage existing investments and skills
  • Some on-premises infrastructure is unavoidable due to various reasons, so a hybrid solution for managing container based applications is important to have

Russinovich also demoed SQL Server running on Linux inside a Docker container. This is still a preview and is not ready for production usage.

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