Azure App Service and Windows Containers

Containerisation of applications is something that is becoming more and more common. Allowing developers to “wrap” all requirements into an individual element which the infrastructure team can then deploy where resources are available opens a door to the most modern options in application deployment and management.

Enter Azure App Service, which for years now has been removing the need for an infrastructure management layer and allowing teams to focus on deployment and performance. Traditionally, you had to deploy your apps within the allowed parameters of your App Service Plan (ASP). However, you can now run containers as part of this platform.

Combine this with a Container Registry, such as Azure Container Registry and you can deploy images within minutes. These images can then be scaled within your ASP to meet demand and can be updated as required using your current CI/CD processes.

This had been limited to Linux based containers, but Microsoft have recently announced a public preview of the ability to run Windows containers within your ASP. This is targeted towards customers interested in migrating .NET applications to Azure, and hoping to avail of a PaaS service to get the many productivity benefits such as high availability within and across Azure regions. This can also increase application redundancy options by using integrated backup/restore and app cloning options.

WebAppForContainers
Example deployment scenario

The preview capabilities are appropriate for testing and POC environments, but there are of course some limitations and preview deployments are not recommended for production workloads in any scenario.

Within the preview the following is supported:

  • Deploy containerized applications using Docker Hub, Azure Container Registry, or private registries.
  • Incrementally deploy apps into production with deployment slots and slot swaps.
  • Scale out automatically with auto-scale.
  • Enable application logs and use the App Service Log Streaming feature to see logs from your application.
  • Use PowerShell and Win-RM to remotely connect directly into your containers.

For a quick start/how-to see the following link.

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