Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) & Its Use-Case
The first thing we should look at in this discussion is the definition of Azure Kubernetes Service. AKS is a managed container orchestration platform that has its foundation in the opensource Kubernetes system. AKS is available on Microsoft Azure public cloud, and its applications are ideal for deploying, scaling and managing Docker containers. Also, container-based applications come within the scope of AKS.
The deployment, scaling, and management of containers and container-based applications are possible across a cluster of container hosts. As of June 2018, Azure Kubernetes Service AKS is available for general access. AKS helps in managing a hosted Kubernetes environment that supports flexible and quick deployment and management of containerized applications.
The best thing here is that you don’t need profound expertise in container orchestration for using AKS. Furthermore, you can be able to reduce the stress of ongoing maintenance and operations. How? AKS supports efficient provisioning, upgrades, and scaling of resources according to demand without taking the applications offline.
AKS is surely an improvisation for developers to use Kubernetes on the Azure cloud platform. Azure Container Service or Azure Container Instances can be the right example of tools for deploying containers on the Azure public cloud. The Azure Container Instances can reduce the stress on a developer to implement Kubernetes for deploying and running containers.
Azure Container Service was the predecessor of AKS and supported various open-source container orchestration platforms. However, ACS and AKS have many differences other than the fact that AKS is ideal for Kubernetes. For instance, AKS implements managed disks, thereby implying the need for converting unmanaged disks before assigning them to AKS nodes.
On similar grounds, users should convert the persistent storage volumes or the customized storage class objects related to Azure disks. Furthermore, users should also ensure due diligence for stateful applications before migration from ACS to AKS. Now, it’s time to reflect on the features of AKS Azure.
Use Cases of Azure Kubernetes Services
Now, let us take a look at the different uses of Azure Kubernetes Service for improving this discussion further.
- AKS is ideal for easy migration of the existing application to containers and running them. The access control comes through integration with Azure Active Directory. You can also access SLA-backed Azure Services such as Azure Database using OSBA (Open Service Broker for Azure).
- AKS is also ideal for simplifying the deployment and management of applications based on microservices. The streamlined horizontal scaling, secret management, self-healing, and load balancing by AKS provide the necessary support.
- AKS is also a reliable instrument for bringing DevOps and Kubernetes together. AKS is ideal for secure DevOps implementation with Kubernetes and improves the speed and security of the development process. The development processes are secure with the use of CI/CD supported by dynamic policy controls.
- Constant monitoring can also help in accelerating the feedback loop. Azure pipelines can help in faster delivery alongside compliance with critical policies specified by Azure. Microsoft Azure also gives features for observing the build and release pipelines in real-time and features for easy application of compliance audit and reconfigurations.
- Azure Kubernetes Service is also applicable in many other use cases. One of them is the ease of scaling by using AKS and Azure Container Instances. Also, you can find the applications of AKS for on-demand IoT device deployment and management. AKS can provide scalable compute resources for IoT solutions according to demand. AKS could also find applications in use cases that involve machine learning model training. Flexible tools in AKS such as Kubeflow and TensorFlow help in simplifying the training of machine learning models.
Azure Kubernetes Service Pricing
Many readers must be thinking about Azure Kubernetes service pricing, aren’t you? Well, the answer is “FREE”! All you have to do is sign-up for an Azure free account and explore different workload resources and Kubernetes components. Then, follow a seven-step tutorial for deploying and running an application in AKS.
Azure Kubernetes Service pricing does not charge users for Kubernetes cluster management. However, users have to pay for cloud resources consumed by containers that contain the application running in the Kubernetes cluster. Therefore, AKS tends to be a favorable choice for container orchestration along with the benefit of cost-effectiveness.