Microsoft is opening up the technology used to deliver its own cloud-based services and offering it to developers and customers to enable them to build solutions with the same kind of scalability and reliability.
Azure Service Fabric will allow customers to build applications and services from smaller components dubbed microservices rather than as a monolithic piece of software. The orchestration and automation tools will support this method of deployment.
Microsoft said that a developer preview of Azure Service Fabric will be made available at the Build conference later this month, and the technology will be integrated into the next version of Windows Server to enable the same capabilities for on-premise private clouds.
Mark Russinovich, Microsoft's chief technology officer for Azure, said on the Azure Blog that Service Fabric will enable developers and service providers to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customisation, and that the technology has been used internally by Microsoft for more than five years.
"This experience has enabled us to design a platform that intrinsically understands the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating, self-healing behaviour that is essential to delivering highly available and durable services at hyper-scale," he wrote.
"We're now making this battle-hardened technology available for everyone to use - not a version of what we use, but the exact technology we use ourselves."
Service Fabric supports stateless and stateful microservices, and provides the orchestration and automation to enable these to scale out as required.
Microsoft is also providing Visual Studio tooling and command line support to help developers build Service Fabric applications on single-box, test and production deployments, the firm said.
Microservices seems to have become the latest industry buzzword, and many other cloud firms are clamouring to offer ways to build services as collections of discrete components to make it simpler to scale up and down.
Many of these use containers to deliver this. VMware announced its Project Photon and Project Lightwave technologies this week, while Amazon introduced the EC2 Container Service earlier this month.
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