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Azure Container Instance

Azure Container Instances (ACI) is a managed service that allows you to run containers directly on the Microsoft Azure public cloud, without requiring the use of virtual machines (VMs).

Azure Container Instances offers the fastest and simplest way to run a container in Azure, without having to manage any virtual machines and without having to adopt a higher-level service such as AKS.

When to use AKS?

Azure Container Instances is a great solution for any scenario that can operate in isolated containers, including simple applications, task automation, and build jobs. For scenarios where you need full container orchestration, including service discovery across multiple containers, automatic scaling, and coordinated application upgrades, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is recommended

How to ACI?

Azure Container Instances enables exposing your container groups directly to the internet with an IP address and a fully qualified domain name (FQDN). When you create a container instance, you can specify a custom DNS name label so your application is reachable at

Features of ACI

  • Support for both Linux and Windows containers
  • Ability to launch new containers through the Azure portal or command line interface (CLI)
  • Support for standard Docker images and the use of public container registries, such as Docker Hub, as well as Azure Container Registry
  • Ability to provide access to containers over Internet using a fully qualified domain name and IP address
  • Ability to specify the number of CPU cores and memory required for container instances
  • Support for persistent storage by mounting Azure file shares to the container.

Container Group/Pod

A container group is a collection of containers that get scheduled on the same host machine. The containers in a container group share a lifecycle, resources, local network, and storage volumes. It's similar in concept to a pod in Kubernetes.

No Autoscaling

No autoscaling is available in ACI and manual redeployment of container group is required.

Restart Policy

It can be

  • Always
  • Never
  • OnFailure

Persistent storage

Azure Files are used for this purpose.

Linux and Windows containers

Azure Container Instances can schedule both Windows and Linux containers with the same API. Simply specify the OS type when you create your container groups.

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