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Lightning Fast Container Provisioning with Microsoft’s Azure Container Instances

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft previewed Azure Container Instances (ACI), a serverless container environment to run containers without the need to manage virtual machines. While there have been some debates on the association of the term “serverless” with ACI, it is justified through its single command-based ultra-fast provisioning of containers.

Serverless environments typically have three attributes:

  1. Per-second billing based on the execution time
  2. Transparent resource provisioning through infrastructure abstraction
  3. Event-driven invocation

With the exception of event-driven invocation, ACI meets the first two attributes. The third attribute is expected in the near feature.

Lightning Fast Container Provisioning

Almost all the container environments in the public cloud require two steps to get started: provision the host VM and then run the container based on the specified image. ACI reduces this to one step, bypassing the provisioning of the host VM.

The following two commands create a Nginx container and exposes it on the public Internet.

$ az group create --name myResourceGroup \
--location westus

$ az container create --name mycontainer \
--image nginx \
--resource-group myResourceGroup \
--ip-address public

The above command involves creation of the VM, pulling the container image from Docker Hub, running and exposing it through the public IP address.

Read the entire article at Forbes

Janakiram MSV is an analyst, advisor, and architect. Follow him on Twitter,  Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Janakiram MSV heads the Cloud Infrastructure Services at Aditi Technologies. He was the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. In his current role, he leads a highly talented engineering team that focuses on migrating and managing applications deployed on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Janakiram is an industry analyst with deep understanding of Cloud services. Through his speaking, writing and analysis, he helps businesses take advantage of the emerging technologies. He leverages his experience of engaging with the industry in developing informative and practical research, analysis and authoritative content to inform, influence and guide decision makers. He analyzes market trends, new products / features, announcements, industry happenings and the impact of executive transitions.
Janakiram is one of the first few Microsoft Certified Professionals on Windows Azure in India. Demystifying The Cloud, an eBook authored by Janakiram is downloaded more than 100,000 times within the first few months. He is the Chief Editor of a popular portal on Cloud called www.CloudStory.in that covers the latest trends in Cloud Computing. Janakiram is an analyst with the GigaOM Pro analyst network where he analyzes the Cloud Services landscape. He is a guest faculty at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) where he teaches Big Data and Cloud Computing to students enrolled for the Masters course. As a passionate speaker, he has chaired the Cloud Computing track at premier events in India.
He has been the keynote speaker at many premier conferences, and his seminars are attended by thousands of architects, developers and IT professionals. His sessions are rated among the best in every conference he participates.
Janakiram has worked at the world-class product companies including Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services and Alcatel-Lucent. Joining as the first employee of Amazon Web Services in India, he was the AWS Technology Evangelist. Prior to that, Janakiram spent 10 years at Microsoft Corporation where he was involved in selling, marketing and evangelizing the Microsoft Application Platform and Tools.