Virtual Nodes, Cluster Autoscaling Come To Azure Kubernetes


Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Functions have recently been given feature bumps by Microsoft, with the company also giving Azure Containers and Serverless processes some due attention.

The cloud giant had good news to share at the 2018 edition of its Microsoft Connect(); event.

The Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) became generally available in June, designed as a toolset to manage their containerized applications on the Microsoft cloud. That said, it was not all plain sailing for users, as its requirement that users manually scale things came in the way.

As did its tendency to error out when the going got tough.

Kubernetes Logo

However, the Seattle based company has taken steps to address some of the issues with Virtual Nodes and autoscaling — both of which are now available in public preview.

Microsoft notes that Virtual Nodes enable AKS users to use the compute capacity of Azure Container Instances (ACI) to fire up additional containers, as opposed to the cumbersome process of having to spin up virtual machines based nodes.

In other words, this is now a simple act of flipping a switch to get access to all those resources.

Of course, users still have to manually allocate the required containers, while the fact that ACI is billed by the second means that careful planning is needed here.

The company has also addressed another pestering issue, with a basic but vital service called Cluster Autoscaling. Users just need to specify maximum and minimum thresholds, and the functionality will and remove nodes to meet the need of the current workloads.

So much better than manually intervening, this.

Obviously, Microsoft is all set to retire Azure Container Service (ACS), the predecessor to AKS. Any clusters still running after the cutoff date of January 31, 2020 will keep working, but the Azure team will not support them. Meaning, you will be on your own from that day onwards.

Still, nice to see these feature rollouts.

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