Microsoft Azure Filled with Bigger Cloud Capabilities

The increasing dominance of cloud services and usage of the cloud as technical support, foundation for application development, storage, and more means that big vendors like Amazon, Google and Microsoft are discovering new ways to advertise their cloud capabilities for more market share.

For Microsoft, it is showcasing what their cloud infrastructure has to offer for developers.

Microsoft Azure is improving their appeal to developers by making their cloud infrastructure much more developer friendly. Three particular areas of the new Windows 10 are the focus of helping appeal the cloud to developers: a firm foundation and support for containers, reinforcements and better performance of Linux systems, and a user friendly interface, Powershell, to help manage cloud infrastructures.

For cloud services, containers function much better than virtual machines (VMs) because VMs have slower processes and less reliability. Containers within a single operating system are much more efficient, which allows them to function better and remain a preferable choice over VMs.

VMs are slowed down by running a whole separate operating system (OS) for resource and security isolation; often, the OS consumes more memory and more disk than the actual VM.  Additionally, to combat slow start-up times, support spare VMs are maintained to accelerate provisioning.

Microsoft Azure: Virtual Machines v. Containers - YourDailyTech
Microsoft Azure: Virtual Machines v. Containers – YourDailyTech

Containers don’t require keeping spare containers around. Unlike VMs, containers are fairly transparent to the cloud host. Linux, like other large PaaS systems, has a container foundation for running their platform tools. These systems integrate containers due to containers’ lower costs.

Containers are extremely useful for developing applications because they are lighter and quicker, which allows developers to create applications on devices with the power of a laptop. Microsoft Azure has incorporated Hyper-V container capabilities and partnered with Docker so that developers are familiar with the software and controls on the Windows Systems.

Microsoft published the news at the beginning of April noting that combining with Hyper-V Containers “will further empower developers to build amazing cloud applications benefiting from native container capabilities right in Windows. Since Hyper-V Containers utilize their own instance of the Windows kernel, your container is truly a server container all the way down the kernel. Plus, with the flexibility of Windows container runtimes containers built on Windows 10 can be run on Windows Server 2016 as either Windows Server Containers or Hyper-V Containers.”

Secondly, Microsoft has made it much, much easier for the Linux Platform to be utilized on Windows Systems. Linux-based development environments are more familiar and easier for developers to use; additionally, these environments are easy to incorporate with cloud services. According to Microsoft, this is one of the primary reasons they created an entire atmosphere conducive to the Linux subsystem to allow the running of Ubuntu on Windows 10. Ubuntu and its script writing, BASH, are used often for writing applications.

The ease of writing and developing applications in containers in the cloud allows developers to enclose all of the processes in an easily manipulated environment without worrying about having to export data until they are ready.

Finally, Microsoft Azure is looking to create an interface similar to the AWS’ API that allow users to easily engage and control the cloud. Powershell, a series of DevOps tools, are Microsoft’s solution to better cloud management. For developers, it is important that controlling the cloud is easy and intuitive. According to news from Microsoft, Windows Server 2016 Nano Server will be a headless installation of Windows, and will require PowerShell to administer. It should allow Microsoft to close the gap on Linux for web-scale applications.

With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies, identifying keep markets will help vendors gain greater share of the market. Microsoft is making sure that developers feel welcome and comfortable with the familiarity of what they offer.

Lindsey Cobb

Lindsey Cobb, a Georgia native and former history major, is a technology researcher who is fascinated by past and future of technology. When she is not engrossed in the prophecy of science fiction stories, Lindsey is likely to be planning her next adventurous trip or petting every dog she meets. Contact Lindsey at [email protected]