Azure Microsoft

The company has taken Azure Container Service out of preview and has said the service is now available to everybody.

Microsoft has taken the wrappers off Azure Container Service for anyone to try, officially removing the preview label from the public cloud software.

Azure Container Service allows users to deploy and manage container-based applications on the Azure public cloud, it was first announced by Microsoft last September.

Since then the company has made the service available for preview since December, but now it the first time Azure Container Service is available to everybody.

A container service is an upgrade over a virtual machine, or at least a more modern solution for transporting code from server to server.

Container Service is the latest in Microsoft’s push to open up its services, and the company is evidently proud of the open source nature of the software. The company says the service can be run on the open source Docker Swarm container cluster management and scheduling tool, or alternatively Mesosphere’s Data Center Operating System (DC/OS) can also be used.

Microsoft joins 60 others companies as part of the Data Center Operating System initiative, which was recently made into an open source OS.

The public cloud market is currently growing and Microsoft faces stiff competition from giant rivals such as Amazon’s EC2 Container Services and the Google Container Engine from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Redmond says Azure Container Service is better because of its open source nature.

I don’t think it makes sense for it to be open-sourced, but the technologies that it manages are all 100 percent open-sourced,” Microsoft Azure chief technology officer Mark Russinovich told VentureBeat in an interview.

The company has not always been known for its willingness to embrace open source, but that has been changing in recent years. Microsoft has been expanding its container interests recently, including Windows Server Containers, Windows native client, and Hyper-V Containers.

Russinovich added that in-house, on-premises data centers will soon be able to get Azure Container Service through Azure Stack.