Microsoft Moves Docker From Preview to Beta Stage
The new release includes a diagnostic tool.
Docker is undoubtedly the leading container technology in the industry. For any platform serious about integrating containers, Docker must be a primary consideration.
That's the case for Microsoft's Azure public cloud, and Docker is well along the way toward that goal.
Microsoft this week released a public beta of Docker for Azure.
Previously, Docker for Azure was at the private preview stage. Microsoft has added improvements from that early testing period into this release. Docker for Azure is an operating system virtualization approach that uses Docker container technology on Microsoft's Azure datacenter infrastructure. Software developers needing to rapidly update software without conflicts might be interested in testing the beta.
The public beta has a few improvements. The ability to find container logs is improved with this release. Microsoft also added a Docker diagnose tool that runs from a command line. The tool can be used to send log information to Docker when a stack or resource group isn't working right. Microsoft is also touting better stability in the beta release when upgrading Docker for Azure.
Microsoft initially released the private beta in June of both Docker for Azure and Docker for AWS. The goals outlined back then were to make it easy for developer teams to move applications to the cloud-based datacenters "without risk of incompatibilities or lock-in."
Accounts used to access Azure or AWS get a SSH key for security. They can set up security groups to manage the account. They also get access to load balancers that can be updated dynamically. Accounts come enabled with "swarm mode" or the ability to cluster a group of Docker engines into a "virtual Docker engine." Testers use a shell that runs on Docker to get access to Azure or AWS resources. At this point, testers can only run the beta in a Docker for Azure virtual hard disk, according to a FAQ description.
The Docker for Azure beta, featuring Docker 1.13, is free to use, except for Azure datacenter charges. Docker for AWS is still at the private beta stage right now.
Testers need to have administrative privileges on the Azure account to try the Docker for Azure beta. They can use Azure's command-line interface or the browser-based Azure Portal to configure their clusters. Documentation on deploying Docker for Azure can be found at this page.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.