Public Preview of Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Now Available

Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise, the fully-managed, enterprise-ready service for the Spring framework developed jointly by VMware and Microsoft, is now available in a public preview.

Aimed at enterprise Java developers, the service incorporates features from VMware Tanzu to enable more secure deployment and management of Spring Boot applications. It was designed to help devs creating those applications to focus on writing code -- such as microservices -- rather than pedestrian tasks, such as configuring infrastructure.

Tanzu is a suite of products for running and managing multiple Kubernetes clusters across public and private clouds. Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise was designed to utilize those capabilities to deliver advanced configurability, flexibility, and portability, and it comes with enterprise-ready VMware Spring Runtime 24x7 support.

The Azure Spring Cloud service was originally unveiled in 2019 as a partnership between Microsoft and Pivotal Software, which was later acquired by VMware. The enterprise version entered a private preview last September. The service would be "optimized for the needs of enterprise developers," Microsoft said in a blog post, to fit enterprise needs for such typical use cases as:

  • Customers seeking an upgrade from the standard Tier of Azure Spring Cloud.
  • Customers who are new to Tanzu, all in on Azure, and don't have an ops teams.
  • Customers who want an Azure native experience and want to transition their Tanzu Application Service (TAS) workloads.

The preview allowed users to mix and match VMware Tanzu components on managed Azure infrastructure, which can be chosen during or after creating an instance. Some of those components included Tanzu Build Service, Tanzu Application Configuration Service and Tanzu Service Registry.

With Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise, the company is adding commercially supported Spring runtime components specifically aimed at helping enterprise customers ship faster and "unlock Spring's full potential," said Julia Liuson president of Microsoft's Developer Division in a blog post.
"Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise represents our continued collaboration with VMware to combine Microsoft’s cloud platform expertise with VMware’s innovative Tanzu portfolio," Liuson wrote. "We’re also committed to making it an application platform where you can deploy polyglot applications that are inherently portable across any Azure service, any cloud, or any on-premises system. With Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise, you gain productivity and access to Spring experts for Spring app development and deployments. Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise builds on top of all the features available in the Standard tier, including the ability to leverage the broader Azure ecosystem to supercharge your Spring Boot applications."

The Spring Framework provides a comprehensive programming and configuration model for modern Java-based enterprise applications for any kind of deployment platform. And Spring Boot speeds up the development of web application and microservices with Spring Framework.

Ryan Morgan, VP of VMware's Software Engineering group, pointed to new functionality in this preview in his blog post, including API discovery and routing using Spring Cloud Gateway for VMware Tanzu and API portal for VMware Tanzu, which "enables developers and operators to easily manage and discover existing APIs and create controllers for new APIs from within their Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier environment." Also new is advanced and long-term support for Spring, which provides access to Spring experts and releases for critical bug fixes and security issues.

Morgan underscored some key features of this release, including:

  • Portability and flexibility in workload management: "Seamlessly lift and shift Spring workloads between Azure Spring Cloud, public & private clouds, and on-premises."
  • Advanced configuration and integration: "Easily control your build dependencies or configure buildpacks to manage existing build environments and deploy non-Spring workloads in your environment."
  • Azure-native experience for Spring: Ensure the security and stability of your Spring application portfolio with 24x7 VMware Spring Runtime support, including extended support after OSS End-of-Life and access to releases for critical bug fixes and security issues."

The Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier item in the Azure Marketplace includes a FAQ for more information, along with links to documentation and guidance.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.