Microsoft bolsters Azure in containers, security

The new Azure Container Service taps Microsoft's partnerships with Docker and Mesosphere

Microsoft is enhancing its Azure cloud platform with a new container service and a new security center.

Debuted at Microsoft's AzureCon virtual event, the Azure Container Service, which will be available for preview by the end of the year, is an open source container scheduling and orchestration service that builds on Microsoft's partnerships with both Docker and Mesosphere. The service leverages Docker and Apache Mesos to deliver an open source environment for running container workloads.

"Container technologies are changing the way apps are built, deployed and run," said Jason Zander, corporate vice president for Azure, in a blog post. "In particular, Docker has grabbed the attention of the industry by simplifying the building and packaging of container apps so they can run anywhere, while bringing added benefits of agility and density."

Using the new Azure Container Service, organizations that have adopted Azure will be able to deploy and configure Mesos to cluster and schedule Dockerized applications across multiple virtual hosts.

Also included are open source components such as Marathon for launching and scaling container-based applications, as well as Chronos, for distributed workloads.

The Azure Container Service will be able to deploy, scale and orchestrate Swarm-based solutions. It will support Windows Server containers in the future, Microsoft said.

Microsoft also announced the new Azure Security Center, a tool that's designed to give customers better visibility and control of the security of their Azure resources.

Offering integration with security services from companies like Barracuda, Checkpoint, Cisco, Imperva and Trend Micro, the new offering can analyze information gathered from customers' deployments and compare it with global threat intelligence aggregated by Microsoft.

Azure Security Center will be broadly available for Azure customers by the end of the year.

Finally, also at AzureCon, Microsoft announced that its Azure IoT Suite -- an Internet of Things offering originally announced earlier this year -- is now available for purchase. A new Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program, meanwhile, includes partners whose offerings have been tested and certified to help businesses with their IoT device and platform needs.

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