Azure Service Fabric is the foundational technology that powers Azure core infrastructure and mission critical services such as Azure SQL Database, Event Hubs, and Microsoft Teams. This technology, exactly as we use it within Microsoft, was made publicly available in 2015. Since then, we have seen it been used for the most demanding and performant workloads, both inside and outside Microsoft. We have seen adoption of the product to support highly available, scalable, and flexible workload types, including containers, stateful and stateless programming models, and regular executables. Over this period of time customers have expressed feedback that infrastructure deployment and management should be easier.
To provide our customers with a simplified experience we are excited to announce the preview of Service Fabric managed clusters. Service Fabric managed clusters in Azure maintain the same enterprise-grade reliability, scalability, and proven mission-critical performance that our customers have come to expect, while making it easier than ever before to deploy and manage your Service Fabric environment, freeing you up to deliver on business impact.
Simplified Cluster Deployment and Management
We have exciting new features that will make managing your Service Fabric clusters easier than ever before:
Encapsulated Resource Model - Service Fabric managed clusters will allow you to create a cluster without needing to define all of the separate resources that make up the cluster such as VMs, storage, or networking configurations. A managed Service Fabric cluster is deployed as a single ARM resource. This reduces the average ARM template from over 1000 lines of JSON to about 100 lines of JSON.
Storage backed by managed disks – When creating a Service Fabric managed cluster, you are no longer limited by the size of the temp storage that comes with the VM. Now, you can easily select the amount of storage that meets your application needs.
Fully managed cluster certificates – Cluster certificates are now fully managed by Azure, ensuring that you don’t have to worry about things like an expired cluster certificate.
Single step cluster operations – Operations such as removing a node type that previously required multiple steps can now be completed in a single step. Service Fabric managed clusters will automatically make any changes necessary to fulfill the request and better handle failures during the process.
Enhanced cluster safety – Cluster operations will be validated by the Service Fabric resource provider to ensure that they are safe to perform.
Simplified Cluster SKUs – Two new cluster SKUs (Basic, Standard) to help you create test and production environments. When using Standard SKU, the durability and reliability values will be automatically adjusted to best utilize the available resources in your cluster.
See below how easy it is to deploy a Service Fabric managed cluster:
Deployment of a Service Fabric managed cluster using Azure PowerShell.
Looking towards the future
The Service Fabric managed cluster resource is the first step in providing a managed experience for our customers. In the near future, we are working towards decreasing the operational overhead even further by separating out the system service components and providing them as a managed service. Look out for additional announcements around this work in the coming months!