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  5. Introduction to Azure Container Service (ACS)

Summary and Conclusion

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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.

Now we have successfully reviewed all three orchestrators through the Azure container service, so let's summarize what we learned in this course. Overall, containers represent a unit of development. Fundamentally, this is the game changer and the reason why containers offer so much power over the traditional virtual machine.

Orchestrators manage containers at scale, and the Azure Container Service works with these three popular orchestrators to facilitate the creation and deployment of the underlying infrastructure, and you saw that both through the portal UI, as well as the command line interface. To recap Kubernetes, it uses a concept known as "pods," and it can leverage several open-source projects. There's projects like Helm and Draft that make it easier to template systems and understand how applications can interact and actually develop applications through the orchestrator.

And the Kubernetes implementation in the Azure Container Service works with the Azure API to load balance your applications. For the data center/operating system, we used an SSH tunnel to access a browser-based UI, so we had a very nice dashboard, and then we drilled down to Marathon to manage our applications. We learned that the data center/operating system provides private and public agent sets, and we deployed a load balancer on the public set to load balance the containers that we deployed on the private set, and exposed them to the outside world. And we saw that there was a broad ecosystem of packages and add-ons for the data center/operating system.

Finally for Docker Swarm, we learned that the Azure Container Service uses the legacy Swarm implementation at the current time. However, in that implementation you can use native Docker commands to manage your various containers, and Swarm automatically load balances the publicly-exposed ports. Thank you for your time in this course. I appreciate you learning about the Azure Container Service. If you have any feedback, positive or negative, please leave a comment on the landing page. We can only improve these courses through your feedback. Please follow me on Twitter to learn more about Azure in the days to come. My name is Jeremy Likness, and I appreciate you. This is a Cloud Academy course.

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.