Microsoft announces Azure Service Fabric

Big news today from Microsoft with the announcement of Service Fabric, Redmond’s product answering the needs of not only the future of PaaS (platform as a service) but also the way applications are built and run.

Microsoft has in fact been using the technologies within its own projects for the past five years. Lync, Cortana and Service Bus among other solutions are actually built and deployed using ServiceFabric.

Service Fabric offers the following benefits:

  • It supports creating both stateless and stateful microservices – an architectural approach where complex applications are composed of small, independently versioned services – to power the most complex, low-latency, data-intensive scenarios and scale them into the cloud.
  • Provides the benefits of orchestration and automation for microservices with new levels of app awareness and insight.
  • Solves hard distributed systems problems like state management and provides application lifecycle management capabilities so developers don’t have to re-architect their applications as usage grows.
  • Includes Visual Studio tooling as well as command line support, which enables developers to quickly and easily build, test, debug, deploy and update their Service Fabric applications on single-box deployments, test deployments and production deployments.

Service Fabric sits between the different microservices that make up a modern application and the cloud the application is hosted on. Microsoft itself describes the new service it as “a developer framework that intrinsically understands the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating, self-healing behavior that is essential to delivering highly available and durable services at hyper-scale.”

Even though many of us probably equate microservices with Docker containers, this first version of Service Fabric will focus on Microsoft’s own technologies and Java applications. Microsoft plans to launch support for Docker and its own Windows Server Containers with the next version of Windows Server and it will then also support on-premise support for Service Fabric running on Windows Server.