Microsoft this week had some important announcements to make regarding its Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). The company took to its Azure blog to reveal AKS has expanded to five new regions. Additionally, new features are available for AKS, including Azure Active Directory powered features.

In terms of the region expansion, Azure Kubernetes Service is now available in Australia East, UK South, West US, West US 2, and North Europe. Through this expansion, AKS is now available in ten regions and on three continents.

Microsoft talked up the expansion and revealed ten more regions will be added in the coming months:

“With AKS in all these regions, users from around the world, or with applications that span the world, can deploy and manage their production Kubernetes applications with the confidence that Azure’s engineers are providing constant monitoring, operations, and support for our customers’ fully managed Kubernetes clusters. Azure was also the first cloud to offer a free managed Kubernetes Service and we continue to offer it for free in GA,” says Brendan Burns Distinguished Engineer, Microsoft Azure.

As part of the announcement, Microsoft also announced role-based access control (RBAC) and Azure Active Directory based identity. The company also introduced the ability to deploy clusters in existing custom virtual networks.

AKS

Azure Kubernetes Service was launched in preview last year. Microsoft is giving cloud customers the ability to get automatic upgrades, a hosted control plane, and self-healing capabilities. Azure customers are able to scale clusters more easily for the first time.

Microsoft is now contesting directly with Google’s Container Engine Service, an ironic turn of events considering Kubernetes is “A Google-incubated open source container orchestration system. It has grown in popularity and has been implemented by many providers for managing large container deployments. As well as rolling out support to all customers, Microsoft has also added a couple of new features.”