Microsoft goes public with Windows Container Support on Azure

Microsoft Azure logo

Microsoft has pulled back the curtains on a public preview of Windows Container support on its Azure App service, giving customers free rein with the service for the next month.

In a blog announcing the previews, Azure App Service program manager Andrew Westgarth said the move meant “new opportunities” for Applications Modernization, including: Lift and Shift to PaaS; applications with dependencies; and third party application migration.

The latter holds out the promise that if you have a business critical app which was developed by a third party you no longer have a relationship with, “containerizing… unlocks the opportunity to migrate applications to Azure App Service.” All else being equal, presumably.

Westgarth also promised “more relaxed security restrictions”, which always sounds like a good thing, right? More specifically, he explained that in Microsoft’s setup, “the Windows Container is an isolation and security boundary. As a result, calls to libraries that would normally be blocked by Azure App Service will instead succeed when running inside of a Windows Container.”

There will be three premium container tiers for customers to run their containers: small, with 2 CPU cores and 8GB of memory; medium with 4 CPU cores and 16GB; and large, with 8 cores and 32 GB.

However, customers get the opportunity to play with the new offering for free initially, with preview pricing kicking in on September 13.

It’s been a busy week over in Azure-ville. Microsoft also announced general availability of Linux on the Azure App Service Environment, following a public preview. Which means the 50 per cent preview discount on the Linux App Service Plan has come to an end.

Microsoft also went GAga with Azure SQL Database reserved capacity, which it said could save customers up to to 33 per cent compared to “license-included” pricing – if you’re happy to lock in for up to three years.