Azure Spring Cloud Service for Java Goes GA

The Azure Spring Cloud, which was developed jointly by Microsoft and VMware, is now generally available, the two companies announced.  

The service for developers of Spring Boot-based Java applications was released last year as a private preview. It was built by Microsoft and Pivotal before the latter company was acquired by VMware. Microsoft and VMware now operate the Azure Spring Cloud service jointly.

Spring Boot is an extension of the Spring Framework for Java developers. It automatically configures certain Spring functionality within the code to relieve developers of infrastructure concerns.

Azure Spring Cloud is hosted on Microsoft Azure datacenters. It's a fully managed service with a 99.9 percent service-level agreement on the Standard offering's uptime from Microsoft. Any issues apparently get addressed by Microsoft, or perhaps by both companies.

"As a native Azure service, it is operated by Microsoft, but VMware has partnered closely with Microsoft in the development of the service and fully supports Microsoft in its operation of Azure Spring Cloud," explained Ryan Morgan, vice president of software engineering at VMware, in a statement.

The Azure Spring Cloud service provides a bundle of frameworks and tools for Spring Cloud that includes a service registry, client-side load balancing, and circuit breakers, Morgan said. The open-source kpack Kubernetes build service is also included; it's part of VMware's Tanzu Build Service for containers. Also available as part of the Azure Spring Cloud service is the Azure Kubernetes Service, which is Microsoft's managed service for Kubernetes container orchestration on clusters. 

The Azure Spring Cloud service also comes with an autoscale capability at the preview stage that lets organizations set boundaries on their applications' use of resources. Application performance can be monitored using the Azure Monitor portal, but the patching and maintenance of the service gets handled by Microsoft. Also available is so-called "Spring Starters," which makes it easier for developers to hook their applications into various Azure services, such as " Active Directory and Cosmos DB, Morgan explained.

A Managed Virtual Network capability is also available at the preview stage in Azure Spring Cloud. It helps control inbound and outbound network communications when interacting with systems in on-premises datacenters or Azure services in virtual networks, explained Julia Liuson, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, in a statement.

Spring Boot Java developers can access the Azure Spring Cloud currently in 10 Azure "regions:" West US2, Central US, South Central US, East US, East US2, UK South, North Europe, West Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia East, Liuson said. "We expect to add 10 more regions in the coming months," she added.

Microsoft sells the service in a Basic offering ($0.719 per hour) for individual developer-testers, but this offering lacks a service-level agreement. The Standard offering ($2.03 per hour) is for production work and includes a service-level agreement, per Microsoft's pricing page. Standard subscribers start off with a specific virtual CPU and memory allocation and then get billed extra if their apps exceed those capacities. 

"For each app instance, you'll be charged for one standard vCPU and memory group duration, which includes 32 GB of memory and 16 vCPUs," the Azure Spring Cloud landing page explained regarding the Standard offering.


About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.