Meet Microsoft’s new managed microservices: Azure Service Fabric Mesh

Microsoft’s Azure Service Fabric gets a containerized makeover with Azure Service Fabric Mesh

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Microsoft’s Azure platform services have always offered support for microservices. In fact, Azure Service Fabric has been there from the start. Initially supporting Azure’s SQL services, it’s now a foundation of much of the Azure platform, along with Cosmos DB.

You’ve been able to use Azure Service Fabric in your own applications for nearly as long, because it’s key to managing and scaling your own code. With support for containers and virtual infrastructure, you can compare it with other service orchestration tools like Kubernetes. Although powerful, it’s not that intuitive to use; its complex set of XML-based configuration files can get in the way of building a deployment and can be hard to debug.

Azure Service Fabric Mesh is meant to fix that difficulty of use, building on lessons from Kubernetes to simplify configuring and deploying applications built up of container-hosted microservices and of Azure’s own platform services.

Introducing Azure Service Fabric Mesh

Azure Service Fabric Mesh is a serverless host for .Net Core-based microservices, using either ASP.Net Core or console applications. But it also lets you develop and host code in any language that’s supported by a Docker container, so you can work with languages that have a more distributed systems focus, such as Google Go. Azure’s underlying platform flexibility makes this an alternative to other microservices frameworks, as well as removing the need to build and manage service orchestration around your code.

All you need to do is set the resources you need, the availability requirements for your services, and any resource limits. Azure Service Fabric Mesh does the rest for you, handling the underlying infrastructure and restarting services as necessary. While it’s best suited for microservices, it can also support larger applications. If code can run in a container, it can be supported on Azure Service Mesh. It’ll also automatically handle upgrades, when you deploy a new version of an application over running code, swapping out containers for you—which makes it a useful endpoint for a devops pipeline.

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