Minecraft services build on Mariner
Published Sep 28 2022 09:00 AM 6,325 Views

Microsoft Franchise Services’ mission is to empower every Minecraft developer, creator, and player to have a seamless play experience across platforms by creating and managing cutting edge studio-wide services. Minecraft Franchise Services architected a shared infrastructure of services and libraries that are being used across Mojang Studios and the games they build, and these services are running on Mariner, Microsoft’s open-source Linux distribution.  


Minecraft’s shared infrastructure prioritizes the following pillars, which made Mariner a natural fit for them. 

  • Ease of onboarding 
  • Scalability 
  • Security 
  • Infrastructure as code 

All of Minecraft’s services are running on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) utilizing Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS) to automatically adapt to the number of their players across the world. 


As Michael Kranz, Senior Software Engineer of Minecraft Operations tells it, “When we first heard about Mariner, it was because of a Microsoft-wide initiative to standardize on a more secure and lightweight Linux distribution. 


Our migration to Mariner was done in two months over multiple phases: 

  1. Migration of our .NET core container base images to Mariner  
  2. Use pre-built container images that are hosted on the Microsoft Container Registry of many foundational Open Source Software (OSS) projects 
  3. Migrate our existing AKS nodepools from a previous Linux distro to Mariner 


For all these phases, we saw common Mariner benefits right out of the gate: 

  • Our nodes and pods start up faster because of reduction in image size, which helps to better react to an influx in players. Also, the smaller image size has reduced our attack surface 
  • The investment in scanning OSS software packages in the shipped container images for security vulnerabilities helps us keep our services safe and secure 
  • By relying on only Microsoft vetted container images from the Microsoft Container Registry, we are reducing the opportunity for supply chain attacks immensely” 


Minecraft Franchise Services is excited to continue building on Mariner, which helps them better react to an influx of players, while keeping their services safe and secure. 

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‎Sep 15 2022 01:22 PM
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