Azure Service Fabric is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering from Azure that is designed to facilitate development, deployment, and management of scalable and customizable applications that are targeted for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform alone.
Fabric in this context tends to mean a Framework, hence Azure Service Fabric becomes Azure Service Framework.
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Azure Service Fabric can be well understood as a distributed systems platform that aims at ease of use during packaging, deploying and managing scalable and reliable microservices and containers. Azure Service Fabric allows individuals to build and run always-on, hyper-scale services using the exact same technology that powers Microsoft’s Cloud offerings.
Azure’s Service Fabric aims at representing the next-generation platform to build and manage enterprise-class tier-1 cloud-scale applications that will run on containers.
Azure Service Fabric can be described as a layer that imbibes all the features and understands the binding between micro-services and the infrastructure that stands to underlie on which the micro-services run on.
Since the micro-services existence is modular in nature, this makes it very possible for the scalability of each of these components of the application separately. The whole idea of micro-services is completely different from the orthodox and traditional architecture where modules of the program are independent and hence makes it inevitable to address the whole program as such for any small change.
Azure Service Fabric forms the core of any of the Azure’s core infrastructure. Azure’s Service Fabric currently runs Microsoft’s own products that include Azure SQL datawarehouse, Azure DocumentDB, Azure InternetOfThings, Cortana, Power BI, Microsoft Intune and Skype for Business.
Azure Service Fabric for Linux, Windows servers and also for the Java APIs preview versions are made available for either the deployments on-premises or the other cloud environments. These environments always include these options namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), OpenStack and VMWare.
The following are the capabilities that Azure Service Fabric comes along with its own package. So let us take a close look at each and every one of these points to understand the capabilities precisely:
With Azure Service Fabric we deploy applications to Azure Cloud or to on-premises datacenters which run on either Windows or Linux with absolutely no code changes. This is called “Write once, deploy anywhere on any Service Fabric cluster
We can develop scalable applications constituting micro-services using Service Fabric programming models or containers or any other code in specific too.
We can develop very reliable state-less or stateful micro-services (with which you can simplify the design of your micro-services altogether)
Cloud objects with self-contained code and state can be created with the usage of novel ‘reliable actors’ programming model.
We can deploy and also orchestrate containers including both Windows and Linux containers. Azure Service Fabric is completely a data-aware, stateful and also a container orchestrator.
Application deployments are quicker than ever and the deployments can be done with numerous applications or containers per single machine
Versions of the same application can be run, both on the same Azure Service Fabric cloud and you can upgrade these applications independently without even the other application knowing about its existence.
Managing the lifecycle of the applications with 0 downtimes can be achieved with Azure Service Fabric deployments, which includes both breaking and non-breaking upgrades.
We can scale-out or scale-in the number nodes that constitute a cluster, thereby letting your application scale along with the number of nodes used in the cluster
The health of the applications that are deployed can be easily monitored and diagnosed with a set of policies that perform the automatic repairs of your applications.
Azure Service Fabric has the ability and capability to recover from a failure and also optimize the distribution of available resources with the utmost ease.
In this article, we have tried to understand what Azure’s Service Fabric is all about and also we have tried to understand the features that are provided with the Azure Service Fabric as such. We even have taken a step ahead to understand how this framework can better your application development/deployment activities and also the smart ways of managing it with the use of Azure Service Fabric.
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Anji Velagana is working as a Digital Marketing Analyst and Content Contributor for Mindmajix. He writes about various platforms like Servicenow, Business analysis, Performance testing, Mulesoft, Oracle Exadata, Azure, and few other courses. Contact him via email@example.com and LinkedIn.