Last week, Microsoft announced the general availability of the Azure Linux Container Host for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). It is based on Azure Linux a secure, and reliable open-source Linux distribution created by Microsoft. The Azure Linux Container Host is lightweight, containing only the packages needed to run container workloads. Azure Linux Container Host offers reliability and consistency from cloud to edge across AKS, AKS for Azure Stack HCI, and Azure Arc.
Benefits of Azure Linux Container Host OS:
- Secure supply chain: Microsoft builds, signs, and validates the Azure Linux Container Host packages from source, and hosts its packages and sources in Microsoft-owned and secured platforms.
- Small and lightweight: The Azure Linux Container Host only includes the necessary set of packages needed to run container workloads – as a result, it consumes limited disk and memory resources.
- Secure by default: The Azure Linux Container Host has an emphasis on security and follows the secure-by-default principles, including using a hardened Linux kernel with Azure cloud optimizations and flags tuned for Azure. It also provides a reduced attack surface and eliminates patching and maintenance of unnecessary packages.
- Extensively validated: The AKS and Azure Linux teams run a suite of functional and performance regression tests with the Azure Linux Container Host before releasing to customers, which enables earlier issue detection and mitigation.
- Operational consistency: Because the same container host is used across AKS in the cloud and edge scenarios like Azure Arc or AKS-HCI, customers know exactly what’s inside, which simplifies management and administrative tasks. This consistency lets customers more effectively shift their workloads to take advantage of true hybrid cloud functionality as well.
Microsoft highlighted that several Azure customers are already using Azure Linux Container Host in production for more than a year. It is important to note that the Azure Linux Container Host supports the NCv3 series and NCasT4_v3 series VM sizes. The NC A100 v4 series is currently not supported.