Microsoft Azure has two container services:
- Azure Container Service (generally available since April 2016 – you can also use Kubernetes as an orchestrator)
Azure Container Service - AKS (preview) - also known as container services (managed) is a dedicated managed Kubernetes service, in preview since Oct 2017 There are also the following services:
- Container Groups (preview) - a top level resource for Azure Container instances. A container group is a collection of containers that get scheduled on the same host machine. They share a lifecycle, local network and storage volumes.
- Container Registries - a private docker registry to store and manage container images.
- Container Instances (preview) - a service for easily running containers without needing to worry about orchestration. I think this service is aimed at testing/development.
Azure Container Service
- Available in all regions
- The master Kubernetes machines are exposed to you in the Azure portal and are yours to manage (and pay for).
Azure Container Service (AKS)
- Kubernetes as a service. Currently in preview
- Only available in the East US and Central US regions
- The master Kubernetes machines are a managed service grouped and referred to as the “Hosted Control Plane”. You still control if/when Kubernetes version is upgraded (which can be done without downtime) but you aren’t having to otherwise pay for or manage the management machines.
- Only pay for the virtual machines instances, storage and networking resources consumed by your Kubernetes cluster.
- Azure Container Service is a free service, therefore it does not have a financially backed SLA. However, for the availability of underlying virtual machines, the Virtual Machine SLA applies.