Azure Container Instances (ACI) vs Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

ACI

AKS

Description

Run containers without managing servers.

Orchestrate and manage multiple container images and applications.

Deployment

For event-driven applications, quickly deploy from your container development pipelines, run data processing, and build jobs.

Uses clusters and pods to scale and deploy applications.

Web Apps (Monolithic)

Yes

Yes

N-Tier Apps (Services)

Yes

Yes

Cloud-Native (Microservices)

Yes

Yes, recommended for Linux containers

Batch/Jobs (Background tasks)

Yes

Yes

Use cases

  • Dev/Test scenarios
  • Task automation
  • CI/CD agents
  • Small/scale batch processing
  • Simple web apps
  • Containers and application configuration portability
  • Enables you to select the number of hosts, size, and orchestrator tools
  • Transfer container workloads to the cloud without changing your current management practices.

Major Difference

You should use AKS if you need full container orchestration, such as service discovery across multiple containers, automatic scaling, and coordinated application upgrades.

 

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/container-instances/container-instances-overview
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/aks/intro-kubernetes
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/architecture/modernize-with-azure-containers/

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