Microsoft Azure Service Fabric Enables Autonomic PaaS and IaaS Delivery for IoT?

azureMicrosoft is enhancing its Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities for developers writing applications on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure CTO recently announced Azure Service Fabric that as per his blog on microsoft website defines it as a high control platform that enables developers and ISVs to build cloud services with a high degree of scalability and customization. Russinovich states that Service Fabric is a home grown solution that Microsoft is already using to run some of its mission critical services in the cloud and has been in production for more than five years.

It provides the foundational technology upon which we run our Azure core infrastructure and also powers services like Skype for Business, InTune, Event Hubs, DocumentDB, Azure SQL Database (across more than 1.4 million customer databases) and Bing Cortana – which can scale to process more than 500 million evaluations per second.

This announcement follows Microsoft’s Azure App Service which is a high productivity  solution for developers who need to create enterprise-grade web and mobile app experiences. App Service provides a complete PaaS solution that enables you to deploy and elastically scale applications in the cloud, and seamlessly integrate them with on-premises resources and Software as Service (SaaS) based applications. Companies like Heineken, Hogarth Worldwide, Telenor and Smartvue are already using App Service.

nadellaMicrosoft sees the Azure Service Fabric as critical to achieving the scale and infrastructure needs of the Internet of Things (IoT). All major cloud providers are making a rush for a piece of the IoT market. At Convergence 2015, Microsoft’s annual conference for its business customers, Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft outlined the importance of data, insight and Microsoft’s focus on IoT. The company announced Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, an integrated offering that takes advantage of Azure IaaS and PaaS capabilities, simplified billing and easy provisioning to help businesses connect, manage and analyze connected things. Service Fabric can help Microsoft realize its IoT vision. OSIsoft, a San Francisco Bay Area software company, has selected Service Fabric to enhance their on-premises PI System with new Azure-based offerings to try and reach IoT scale.

VCloudNews feels that Microsoft is also trying to close the gap between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and PaaS through this fabric. VCloudNews has previously published on the trend of convergence of IaaS and PaaS. The Service Fabric architecture supports breakdown of applications into small and independent services that can be consumed by applications as stateless or stateful microservices. As per Russinovich,

This experience has enabled us to design a platform that intrinsically understands the available infrastructure resources and needs of applications, enabling automatically updating, self-healing behavior that is essential to delivering highly available and durable services at hyper-scale.

Microservices help in reducing latency and increasing scalability required for IoT data and applications. The idea of bringing this internal technology to mainstream is very unlike the old Microsoft. Nadella is transforming the company – as Russinovich states, “while our initial offering will target Windows, we will also support Linux in the future.” This open approach is very different and novel for Microsoft.

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