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Microsoft Azure Spring Cloud: Features, Applications, and Cloud Computing Insights

In this primer article, we will cover the basic tenet driving the Azure Spring Cloud, top features and applications in the modern Cloud and IT DevOps environment.

The Cloud and DevOps architecture is slowly moving to microservies model. Microsoft leads the way in bringing world-class microservice patterns to the fast-paced development teams, enabling them to deploy, operate and scale apps in a fully-managed environment with assured results in the short and long term future.

So, let’s find out what is Azure Spring Cloud and its top features and applications.

What is Azure Spring Cloud?

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure Spring Cloud for the agile DevOps teams.

Azure Spring Cloud is developed by Microsoft in close collaboration with VMware (owned by Dell EMC) for Spring apps. Spring is the most powerful and widely used Java framework for building custom Cloud-based microservices for web and app. Azure Spring Cloud adds more contextual features and functionalities to Spring, re-engineering the whole ecosystem of microservices, batch processing, reactive applications, and event-based applications with a simplified infrastructure management and easy-to-use and label Azure services for new Spring developers.

Spring Boot app development and management
Spring Boot app development and management [Source: Azure Spring Cloud product page]
The Microsoft-VMware partnership yielded the current form of Azure Spring Cloud that enables any coder to run complex Spring apps at scale, completely removing the pain and risk of managing Spring architecture in virtualized setup. Azure Spring Cloud is built for the managed virtualized network, where developers can work from remote VMs and still be in control of data and security protocols.

Features and Functionalities

We have listed down the top features offered in the Azure Spring Cloud.

Easy Spring Boot Apps Management

Azure Spring Cloud provides tools and frameworks to make it easy to run Spring Boot apps in the cloud with features including a service registry, client-side load balancing, and circuit breakers. Azure Spring Cloud also manages these components on behalf of the developer.

Kubernetes Native service

Spring Cloud is doped with kpack. Kpack is an open-source Kubernetes-native build service that automates the creation and updating of container images on Kubernetes using Cloud Native Buildpacks.

kpack lies at the heart of the Tanzu Build Service.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

In addition, it also comprises of the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for serverless Kubernetes integration as per the modern requirements of CI/CD experience management.

Microsoft and VMware support teams offer enterprise-grade services to Azure Spring Cloud users to manage their queries with regard to kpack and AKS.

Recommended: Faction 2020 VMware Cloud on AWS Market Survey

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Launching Production-ready Java Apps in a Secured Environment with Autoscale Capabilities

Azure Spring Cloud is the easiest, fastest, and most cost-effective tool to launch your Java apps into production within the managed service environment. If you have your Source Code ready, Azure Spring Cloud would take care of rest of the app development processes, including service discovery, configuration management, and distributed tracing.

Microsoft has offered the preview of Managed Virtual Network in Azure Spring Cloud.  This feature interlaces with other Azure services to fully secure the managed microservice architecture.

The available integrations include:

  • Application Gateway
  • Azure Firewall
  • Azure Front Door and
  • Express Route

In addition, Azure Spring Cloud also connects to the popular network products such as Palo Alto Firewall, F5 Big-IP, Cloudflare, and Infoblox.

Azure Monitor

Another fascinating data visualization feature in the Spring Cloud platform is the “Azure Monitor.”

Azure Monitor provides developers with a great visual interface to easily trace interactions between services and identify poorly performing services and bottlenecks. You can also use the collected metrics to set up alerts.

Containerized App Development for Elastic Computing

By virtue of its interaction with other Azure Services – Azure Active Directory and Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure Spring Cloud expands the compute capacity elastically, thereby adding provisions such as Spring Starters and many other services that you can include in your apps to help automate configuration. With Spring Boot, you can practically deploy any app on Azure in the automated CI / CD pipelines through quick time integrations with DevOps tools like the Azure DevOps and Jenkins.

Insights from DevOps Community

Nicolas Andres, Head IT Group Finance Program, Swiss Re Management Ltd. (Switzerland) says –

“The Azure Spring Cloud allows our teams to build new business services rapidly, as the platform and underlying infrastructure is fully managed. The platform is integrated with the Azure ecosystem, which enables us to achieve the desired level of automation and means to operate the services securely.”

Abhay Kamble, Director, Unified Commerce, Raley’s (United States) says, “Spring Boot and Azure Spring Cloud have enabled our developers to focus more on feature development and more frequent deployments without worrying about underlying infrastructure or monitoring. The team is pleased with Spring Boot and Azure Spring Cloud, and looking to migrate the majority of our services to Spring Boot in (the) next 6 months.”

Nicolas Van Kerschaver, CIO, Liantis (Belgium) said, “As a leading integrated HR services provider, Liantis pursues new business opportunities in the digital economy, serving our customers with powerful applications and tools. The Azure Spring Cloud capabilities complement and extend our existing Spring Cloud software factory, allowing us to focus on the development of core business functionalities.”

Sample App

In its documentation blog, the Microsoft Azure DevOps team has offered a quickstart tutorial on how to use Azure Spring Cloud to build an app. The sample app is named as Piggy Metrics, a personal finance app deployed to Azure with Azure Spring Cloud capabilities.

Source: TANZU VMware / Azure

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