Microsoft has announced Azure Service Fabric, a framework for ISVs and startups developing highly scalable cloud applications which combines a range of microservices, orchestration, automation and monitoring tools. The move comes as the software company looks to deepen its use of – and ties to – open source tech.
Azure Service Fabric, which is based in part on technology included in Azure App Fabric, breaks apart apps into a wide range of small, independently versioned microservices, so that apps created on the platform don’t need to be re-coded in order to scale past a certain point. The result, the company said, is the ability to develop highly scalable applications while enabling low-level automation and orchestration of its constituent services.
“Service Fabric was born from our years of experience delivering mission-critical cloud services and has been in production for more than five years. It provides the foundational technology upon which we run our Azure core infrastructure and also powers services like Skype for Business, InTune, Event Hubs, DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database (across more than 1.4 million customer databases) and Bing Cortana – which can scale to process more than 500 million evaluations per second,” explained Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer of Microsoft Azure.
“This experience has enabled us to design a platform that intrinsically understands the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating, self-healing behaviour that is essential to delivering highly available and durable services at hyper-scale.”
A preview of the service will be released to developers at the company’s Build conference next week.
The move is part of a broader architectural shift in the software stack powering cloud services today. It’s clear the traditional OS / hypervisor model is limited in terms of its ability to ensure services are scalable and resilient for high I/O applications, which has manifested in among other things a shift towards breaking down applications into a series of connected microservices – something which many equate Docker and OpenStack with, among other open source software projects.
Speaking of open source, the move comes just days after Microsoft announced MS Open Tech, the standalone open source subsidiary of Microsoft, will re-join the company, in a move the company hopes will drive further engagement with open source communities.
“The goal of the organization was to accelerate Microsoft’s open collaboration with the industry by delivering critical interoperable technologies in partnership with open source and open standards communities. Today, MS Open Tech has reached its key goals, and open source technologies and engineering practices are rapidly becoming mainstream across Microsoft. It’s now time for MS Open Tech to rejoin Microsoft Corp, and help the company take its next steps in deepening its engagement with open source and open standards,” explained Jean Paoli, president of Microsoft Open Technologies
“As MS Open Tech rejoins Microsoft, team members will play a broader role in the open advocacy mission with teams across the company, including the creation of the Microsoft Open Technology Programs Office. The Programs Office will scale the learnings and practices in working with open source and open standards that have been developed in MS Open Tech across the whole company.”