Azure Container Instances: No Kubernetes required

Microsoft has introduced a new container service, Azure Container Instances (ACI), that is intended to provide a more lightweight and granular way to run containerized applications than its Azure Container Service (ACS).

ACI runs individual containers that you can configure with specific amounts of virtual CPU and memory, and that are billed by the second. Containers can be pulled from various sources – Docker Hub, the Azure Container Registry, or a private repository – and deployed from the CLI or by way of an Azure template.

Microsoft is emphasizing how ACI is complementary to ACS, rather than a replacement for it. ACI is meant for smaller, more burst-able workloads, or as a way to temporarily satisfy a surge in demand, rather than as a way to deploy complex, long-running applications with many interdependencies between containers.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Azure Roundup: New high-performance compute instances and more

August was a slow month for tech news, but Microsoft continued to update its Azure cloud platform with a variety of new features, including a new type of instance for high-performance computing. Here’s the breakdown of all the features you need to know about:

A new instance type powered by Nvidia Tesla GPUs

Microsoft announced the private beta of a set of new compute instance types to power applications that need a lot of parallel processing. The new N-series virtual machines are powered by Nvidia’s Tesla GPUs and built for high-performance computing.

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

How to bet on AWS Reserved Instances — and win

Cloud pricing is often presented as a simple “pay for what you use” proposition, perhaps with volume discounts — or penalties. But pricing can be as complex as for any on-premises licenses or network bandwidth service. Exhibit A: reservation-based pricing, such as Amazon Web Services’ Reserved Instances.

If you expect consistent, heavy use, Reserved Instances can provide substantial savings over owning your hardware, as well as over using AWS’s standard as-needed pricing.

But with Reserved Instances or its equivalents at other cloud providers, such as Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement for Azure, you’re betting you’ll actually use the instances you reserve because you’ll pay for them whether or not you use them. If you forecast less consumption than you end up needing, you’ll pay full retail prices for the excess — an amount likely not covered in your budget forecast.

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InfoWorld Cloud Computing