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The Azure Container Service (ACS) is a cloud-based container deployment and management service that supports popular open-source tools and technologies for container and container orchestration. ACS allows you to run containers at scale in production and manages the underlying infrastructure for you by configuring the appropriate VMs and clusters for you. ACS is orchestrator-agnostic and allows you to use the container orchestration solution that best suits your needs. Learn how to use ACS to scale and orchestrate applications using DC/OS, Docker Swarm, or Kubernetes.

Intended Audience

  • Developers
  • Operation Engineers
  • DevOps
  • Anyone interested in managing containers at scale


  • Viewers should have a basic understanding of containers.
  • Some familiarity with the Azure platform will also be helpful but is not required.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate how to use ACS to create virtual machine hosts and clusters for container orchestration
  • Understand how to choose an open-source orchestration solution for ACS
  • Understand how to run containers in production on Azure using ACS
  • Demonstrate the ability to scale and orchestrate containers with DC/OS, Docker Swarm, and Kubernetes

This Course Includes

  • 60 minutes of high-definition video
  • Live demonstration on key course concepts

What You'll Learn

  • Overview of Azure Container Service: An overview of containers and the advantages of using them.
  • Orchestrators: A summary of what orchestrators are and a description of the most popular orchestrators in use
  • Open Source Cloud-First Container Management at Scale: This lesson discusses the purpose of ACS, and how the service is activated.
  • Deployment Scenarios: A brief explanation of different orchestrator scenarios.
  • Deploy Kubernetes and Security: A live demo on how to deploy K8S.
  • Deploy Kubernetes from the Portal: A live demo on how to create a security key and a K8S cluster.
  • Deploy Kubernetes from the CLI: A live demo on the Command Line Interface.
  • Orchestrator Overview – Kubernetes: A lesson on managing containers. First up..Kubernetes.
  • Orchestrator Overview – DC/OS: In this lesson, we discuss deploying containers to the Data Center Operating System.
  • Orchestrator Overview – Swarm: In this last lesson we'll look at how ACS deploys Swarm.
  • Summary and Conclusion: A wrap-up and summary of what we’ve learned in this course.

Although containers have several advantages, they're not ready by themselves for the enterprise. Things like resiliency or ensuring that there's an active container always running, things like load balancing, things like scale and elasticity, or adding and removing containers require something more than just a container engine and host. They require an orchestrator. Let's talk a little bit about orchestrators.

A host is a single point of failure, so we need to cluster hosts to have true resiliency so that if one host goes down, another host can be spun up to handle the missing load. Orchestrators also provide services like load balancers that enable running multiple containers of the same image. For example, you may have a web service that scales out to multiple containers, even though it's accessed by a single endpoint and port.

Containers require a way to scale on demand without manually spinning up images so an orchestrator can provide that ability to react to CPU usage load and other indicators in order to spin up new containers and/or hosts. Finally, orchestrators manage resiliency by auto-healing when containers crash. They'll automatically bring up new containers whether it's on the existing host or a new host within the cluster.

Last but not least, orchestrators provide versioning deployment and rollback. So in other words as you stage new versions of containers, you're able to stage them in a way that minimizes or completely eliminates downtime. The table that you see is a list of the popular orchestrators all supported by Azure Container Service. The first is Kubernetes.

This is a Google-based solution that's an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Mesos DC/OS is another orchestration solution. Called the data center operating system, this is a mature open-source product that's been around for several years and did not start as a container management host but does that very well. Finally Docker, the standard for containers, has its own engine called Docker Swarm that manages clusters of Docker hosts.

About the Author
Jeremy Likness

Jeremy Likness is an experienced entrepreneur who has worked with companies to catalyze growth and leverage leading edge development technology to streamline business processes and support innovation for two decades. Jeremy is a prolific author with four published books and hundreds of articles focused on helping developers be their best. Jeremy speaks at conferences around the country and covers topics ranging from technologies like Docker, Node.js and .NET Core to processes and methodologies like Agile and DevOps. Jeremy lives near Atlanta with his wife of 19 years and teen-aged daughter. His hobbies including hiking, climbing mountains, shooting 9-ball, and regularly attending CrossFit classes while maintaining a vegan diet.