May 25, 2024


Cloud-native applied sciences like containers and Kubernetes are the way forward for software improvement. That’s why we’re honored to announce that Microsoft has been named a Chief within the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Container Administration*. We consider that this recognition validates our end-to-end strategy for creating and deploying enterprise-grade, cloud-native apps that run on Azure, in datacenters, or on the edge.

Determine 1. Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Container Administration. Supply: Gartner (September 2023). 

Gartner recognition of Microsoft as a Chief on this Magic Quadrant, we really feel, highlights the broad and deep integration of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) with different Azure providers. Prospects inform us that utilizing AKS for container administration helps them modernize current apps in phases, as time and finances allow, and creates a roadmap for brand spanking new, cloud-native improvement that takes benefit of Azure scale, safety, efficiency, and price optimization. Builders depend on autoscaling AKS clusters to fulfill probably the most difficult efficiency calls for, whereas absolutely managed Azure providers free groups from time-consuming infrastructure administration duties.

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Deploy and scale containers on managed Kubernetes

Prospects have numerous environments they usually need to run containers wherever. Our clients run AKS on Azure and in hybrid configurations, utilizing Azure Stack HCI on-premises and Azure Arc to handle all of it. 

Learn the complete report back to be taught extra about why Microsoft was named a Chief for container administration. 

Scaling up means skilling up 

Not too long ago, we introduced at KubeCon North America 2023 and at Microsoft Ignite, the place we launched Microsoft Copilot for Azure (in preview). This AI-powered assistant makes it simple for builders to get the solutions they want and to work extra effectively, together with AKS.

Many builders on the conferences instructed us that the mixing help in AKS makes adoption simpler as their organizations roll out bold digital transformation initiatives. Although Kubernetes is designed to handle the complexity of many transferring elements, that complexity has a studying curve. Container-related experience remains to be restricted, because the Gartner report factors out.

“As Kubernetes continues to turn into pervasive, loads of groups discover themselves at completely different steps of their adoption, ability set, or studying stage”

AKS Principal PM Lead Jorge Palma not too long ago posted. Gartner even cautions enterprises towards deploying container administration “with out deep data of developer necessities.” 

Instruments like Copilot for Azure assist builders do extra with Azure and AKS. Microsoft gives many further sources to assist builders—irrespective of the place they’re within the adoption cycle. Listed below are just some concepts: 

  • When you’re on the clean web page stage, get real-world examples and answer concepts from our answer architectures.
  • Discover Kubernetes options and providers in Azure Market, the place you will discover click-through deployments to the Kubernetes platform and versatile billing fashions. 
  • To get impressed, learn how the event workforce behind Forza Horizon 5 transformed providers to AKS in a couple of month—with none prior Kubernetes expertise—fueling the most important first week in Xbox Video games Studio historical past. 
  • To spice up expertise, take into account one of many skilled studying paths supplied by Microsoft Be taught, equivalent to Introduction to Kubernetes on Azure or Administer containers in Azure.
  • To remain on high of your deployment, evaluation these developer greatest practices. 

Powering the AI revolution with AKS 

Generative AI continues to rocket throughout the panorama—and it’s usually constructed on high of Kubernetes. Cloud-native and AI are working collectively to gasoline innovation at scale, and AKS is a part of this revolution of clever apps. Builders can construct apps in AKS that devour Azure OpenAI Service as a part of the structure. 

AI functions usually include larger container pictures, so AKS not too long ago added artifact streaming. Container pictures will be streamed on to the nodes the place they’re operating a high-performance, on-demand protocol. Which means pods are scheduled sooner and begin operating extra shortly. 

AI functions additionally push the bounds of scale, making price administration a high precedence. Microsoft not too long ago introduced that groups can get extra visibility and transparency into cluster prices proper within the Azure portal. The associated fee evaluation add-on for AKS (in preview) makes use of OpenCost to interrupt down underlying cluster infrastructure prices into particular Kubernetes items, equivalent to cluster and namespace.

As well as, organizations can run specialised machine studying workloads, like giant language fashions (LLMs), on AKS extra affordably and with much less handbook configuration. The brand new AI toolchain operator, a managed add-on primarily based on Kaito, simplifies the method of internet hosting and distributing open-source AI fashions and customised inferencing on AKS clusters. An alternative choice for bettering cluster effectivity and prices is to make use of the brand new open-source supplier for operating Karpenter on AKS. 

Microsoft additionally not too long ago introduced help for Kubernetes fleets, enabling platform directors to handle a number of AKS clusters at scale. Azure Kubernetes Fleet Supervisor addresses the problem of staging updates throughout clusters in a protected and predictable approach. 

DevOps makes the wheels go spherical 

Because the Gartner report explains, “the mix of DevOps and container know-how could be a highly effective enabler for software improvement agility and velocity, making DevOps expertise the crucial issue to deployment success.” DevOps drives high quality and promotes consistency with provisioning and administration practices, together with steady integration and steady deployment (CI/CD).

But constructing distributed functions can nonetheless be a posh enterprise, which is why the AKS workforce continues to search for methods to assist streamline this course of. For instance, Draft for AKS (in preview) helps streamline Kubernetes deployment, and new sensible defaults velocity up cluster configuration. In June 2023, we added Distributed Software Runtime (Dapr) APIs that assist builders write and implement easy, moveable, resilient, and secured microservices. To automate builds and deploy them to AKS clusters, Azure Pipelines gives CI/CD. 

Builders utilizing Azure Container Apps will discover it even simpler to deploy code to the cloud and to run AI workloads. New “code-to-cloud” built-in cloud construct productiveness helps any developer construct and run their apps on Azure Container Apps—no container data required. As well as, the not too long ago launched touchdown zone accelerator gives a useful reference for builders of cloud-native apps and microservices. And for compute-heavy workloads, like mannequin coaching and batch inferencing, devoted GPU workload profiles (in preview) present the ability. 

Defending all the pieces 

In accordance with Gartner, by 2026, the adoption of CSP-native platforms will propel 75% of container situations to be deployed inside public cloud environments, up from 50% in 2023. At KubeCon and Ignite, we heard IT, ops, and cybersecurity consultants from world wide share their strategy to safety within the cloud. At Microsoft, we’re dedicated to offering our clients with the instruments and sources they should defend all the pieces. For containers, which means safety measures all alongside the pipeline—from improvement to runtime—and throughout hybrid and multicloud deployments.

At Ignite 2023, we introduced that new multicloud container safety is coming quickly to Microsoft Defender for Cloud. Defender cloud safety posture administration (CSPM) will lengthen its superior agentless scanning, data-aware safety posture, cloud safety graph, and assault path evaluation capabilities to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), offering a single contextual view of cloud dangers throughout Amazon Net Companies (AWS), Azure, GCP, and hybrid environments. 

Safety admins will even have higher visibility into the state of containerized functions to allow them to prioritize misconfigurations and exposures of their deployments of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service and Google Kubernetes Engine clusters. 

The AKS documentation explains extra safety ideas for functions and clusters, and the Microsoft Safety weblog gives professional protection on safety issues.

Be taught extra 

*Gartner is a registered trademark and repair mark and Magic Quadrant is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its associates within the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved. 

This graphic was printed by Gartner, Inc. as half of a bigger analysis doc and needs to be evaluated within the context of the complete doc. The Gartner doc is on the market upon request right here. 

Gartner doesn’t endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its analysis publications, and doesn’t advise know-how customers to pick out solely these distributors with the very best scores or different designation. Gartner analysis publications encompass the opinions of Gartner’s analysis group and shouldn’t be construed as statements of reality. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this analysis, together with any warranties of merchantability or health for a selected objective. 

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Container Administration, By Dennis Smith, Wataru Katsurashima, Michael Warrilow, Tony Iams, Richard Watson, 20 September 2023.


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