Azure Kubernetes service

Microsoft announced during this week’s Build Conference that its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), formerly known as “managed Kubernetes on Azure,” will reach general availability status “in the next few weeks.”

The official name change to AKS was noted by Gabe Monroy, program manager lead on containers for Microsoft Azure. He also was the former CTO of Deis, a maker of open source tools for Kubernetes, a company that Microsoft acquired last year. The name change is worth noting because Microsoft has an Azure Container Service (ACS) that also supports Kubernetes. The difference between ACS and AKS is that AKS adds automated support for upgrades and scaling capabilities, plus it has self-healing aspects, aiming to make spinning up containers on Kubernetes easier for developers.

Kubernetes itself is a container orchestration service for clusters that was originally fostered by Google. Microsoft lately has been working to make Kubernetes easier to use when hosted on its Azure datacenter infrastructure. Containers are operating system virtualization solutions, largely fostered by Docker, that aim to make it easier for applications to be hosted without conflicts.

Monroy indicated that AKS is now “part of the Kubernetes Conformance Program,” a certification program run by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation that assures it can be used in different environments. He also described some new features leading up to the coming general availability milestone.