Microsoft Officially Launches Azure Service Fabric

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Build 2016 – Azure Functions goes into preview as AWS Lambda rival, Azure IoT Starter Kits ready for purchase

Build 2016 – Microsoft has launched its Azure Service Fabric into general availability, alongside announcing the preview of Service Fabric for Window Server. New best friend Linux is also getting Service Fabric.

Azure Service Fabric, which was actually announced in preview at last year’s Build conference, is a microservices application platform for Microsoft’s Azure cloud service.

Already helping power services like Cortana in-house at Redmond, Service Fabric is essentially the second coming of Microsoft’s Platform-as-a-Service product.

Challenges

“At Microsoft, we’ve been on a journey to the cloud just like our customers. To support our own internal evolution from on-premises to cloud and from monolithic to microservice-based applications, we created Service Fabric many years to deal with these challenges,” said Microsoft’s Mark Fussell.

microsoft“Service Fabric is a mature, feature-rich microservices application platform with built-in support for lifecycle management, stateless and stateful services, performance at scale, 24×7 availability, and cost efficiency.”

Microsoft said that Service Fabric intrinsically “understands” the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating and self-healing behavior.

Azure Functions, now in preview, was Microsoft’s new Azure product on show at Build.  Effectively ready to compete with Amazon Web Services’ Lamba, Functions lets developers handle tasks that respond to events common in Web and mobile applications, IoT, and big data scenarios

Functions is also open-sourced, works with third-party services, and like Lamba, charges on a pay-as-you-use basis.

“With an open source runtime, developers will be able to host Functions anywhere — on Azure, in their datacenter or on other clouds,” said Microsoft.

IoT Kickoff

Microsoft’s Azure IoT Starter Kits were also a talking point at build. The services are ready to go straight away, and allow Windows and Linux users to build IoT prototypes on Azure.

Starting at around $50 each, every kit comes with a development board and a range of sensors, not too dissimilar to Amazon’s Grove IoT Starter Kits launched last October.

Microsoft also announced a an Azure IoT Gateway SDK tool, which lets users hook up older devices to the Internet.

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