1 Million Container Instances in 2 Minutes Draws Rare Applause
October 2, 2017
11:09 am PT
ORLANDO, Florida – Big numbers drew applause to what are typically rather staid affairs at the Microsoft Ignite event last week.
During a panel session entitled: “Orchestrating 1 million containers with Azure Service Fabric,” Mani Ramaswamy, principal program manager at Microsoft, did indeed show the creation and orchestration of one million containers. Even more impressive was that the demonstration took less than two minutes to complete.
Though this drew audience applause from what are typically sleepy afternoon sessions on the last real day of the conference, Ramaswamy seemed to want a bit more.
“I expected dancing in the aisles,” Ramaswamy joked (or at least it seemed like he was joking). He added that the more impressive part of the platform was that it was able to hold the reliability and availability of the instances at hyperscale.
“You never again have to worry about whether the platform can meet scale demands,” he said. “It’s the application that you have to worry about, not the platform.”
A container instance is a single container that is designed to start within seconds and can be billed by the provider in second increments. That billing typically includes the cost of turning up an instance, and charges for the processing and memory needed to run the instance.
Containers can run with a public or private IP address, with the former able to support consumer services accessed via the Internet, and the latter typically used for internal processes.
Ramaswamy said some of Microsoft’s competitors have been able to show public demonstrations of “a few hundred thousand” container instances created. Those rivals would seem to include Amazon, which has its ECS container instance.
The demonstration was the crescendo to Ramaswamy’s presentation on the flexibility and capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure Service Fabric.
Microsoft, during the show, launched general availability of its Azure Service Fabric on Linux. The product is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that supports running containerized applications on Service Fabric for Windows Server and Linux.
Developers can manage container images, allocate resources, run service discovery, and tap insight from operation management suite (OMS) integration. This work can then be ported between Windows Server and Linux without needing to alter code.
While the product can support both Windows and Linux, it can’t support both at the same time. Ramaswamy said Microsoft was looking to add that form of support in the coming months.
Microsoft announced last year initial general availability of Azure Fabric Service.