Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Now GA and Commercially Available

Azure Kubernetes Service Now GA and Commercially Available

The Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) reached GA "general availability". Along with GA status, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) will be available in five more regions. This takes total region count to ten and available across three continents.

According to Microsoft's announcement, five regions are Australia East, UK South, West US, West US 2, and North Europe. Microsoft  also announced that "ten more regions in the coming months," according to Brendan Burns, a Distinguished Engineer for Microsoft Azure and a former lead Kubernetes engineer at Google.

Around 70 of Microsoft employees have actively contributed to Kubernetes.
AKS provides fully managed Kubernetes service that will help users deploy their production application across all AKS regions with confidence.

Azure was also the first cloud to offer a free managed Kubernetes Service. This free service will be also available in GA. Microsoft's philosophy is to allow users to consume Kubernetes without paying for our management infrastructure. However, this comes at a cost as there is no SLA promised though Microsoft has promised 99.5% of availability for Kubernetes API. There will be a charge for using virtual machines, Instance-level public IP addresses, Reserved IP addresses, Load-balanced IP addresses. Details of AKS pricing can be found here.

Many more features are also announced and now available in all AKS regions including Kubernetes role-based access control (RBAC), Azure Active Directory-based identity, the ability to deploy clusters into pre-existing custom virtual networks and more. Furthermore, you can even deploy and manage your clusters using both open source tools like Terraform and Azure's own Resource Manager templates.

The announcement also said Microsoft is committed to Kubernetes development. It will lead and support the development of the Helm package manager for Kubernetes, which was recently elevated to be a top-level project in the Cloud Native Compute Foundation. Microsoft last year, 2017, acquired Deis, a company that made the Helm Chart application package manager product.

It has built and released Draft and Brigade to make Kubernetes more approachable for novice users.
Microsoft will continue to improve the Kubernetes plugins for Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, enabling an intuitive, easy to use integration between development and operations environments.
These integrations extend into DevOps tools where you can simply integrate AKS into your favorite CI/CD tools such as Jenkins and Visual Studio Team Services.

Microsoft is also leading industry effort, virtual kubelet, to bring Kubernetes management to environments with Virtual Machines.

The announcement also said Siemens and Varian Health find success using Kubernetes on Azure.
AKS GA video demo is available on channel 9 and can be accessed here.

This post is subject to the original announcement.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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