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Microsoft and VMware Release Azure Spring Cloud Service for Java App Development

Microsoft and VMware on Wednesday announced the "general availability" commercial release of Azure Spring Cloud, which provides infrastructure support for Spring Boot Java application developers.

Last year, the Azure Spring Cloud service was introduced as private preview offering from Microsoft and Pivotal Software. Pivotal back then was an EMC Corp. spinoff, but it was later acquired by VMware in December.

Fully Managed by Microsoft
Azure Spring Cloud, while hosted on Microsoft Azure datacenters, was built by the two companies. 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 VMware's announcement.

The Azure Spring Cloud service provides frameworks and tools for Spring Cloud, which include "a service registry, client-side load balancing and circuit breakers," according to Morgan. In addition, for containers, the open source kpack Kubernetes build service is included, which is 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 includes an autoscale capability at the preview stage that lets organizations set boundaries on their application's use of resources. Application performance can be monitored using the Azure Monitor portal, but the patching and maintenance of the service get 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 "Azure 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 data centers or Azure services in virtual networks," explained Julia Liuson, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, per Microsoft's announcement.

Availability and Pricing
Spring Boot Java developers can currently access the Azure Spring Cloud in 10 Azure regions, namely "West US2, Central US, South Central US, East US, East US2, UK South, North Europe, West Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia East," according to Liuson. "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.

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