Azure Container Instances (ACI)

  • Run containers without managing servers.
  • For event-driven applications, quickly deploy from your container development pipelines, run data processing, and build jobs.
  • Azure Container Instances is a regional service.

Features

  • Containers have less overhead than VMs and can be deployed consistently.
  • All the dependencies for an application are included in the container image.
  • Applications running in containers can be deployed easily to multiple operating systems and hardware platforms.
  • Select an image source using Quickstart images, Azure Container Registry, and Docker Hub.
  • Create a container image only when you need it and process data on-demand.
  • You can choose to always restart the container regardless of how it stopped, to only restart if it failed, to exit successfully, or to never restart.
  • Enables you to set a command to be executed first when running the container.
  • Resources can be tagged with values that you define, to help you organize and identify them.
  • By default, Azure Container Instances are stateless.
  • You can’t deploy an image from an on-premises registry to ACI.
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Storage

  • You can mount Azure Files shares in your ACI for persistent storage.
  • To mount an Azure file share as a volume in Azure Container Instances, you need: Storage account name, Share name, and Storage account key.

Networking

  • Choose between three networking options: Public, Private, and None.
  • Private IP is not yet available for Windows Containers.
  • None IP containers (logs) can still be accessed using the CLI.
  • DNS name label: <tutorialsdojo>.<region>.azurecontainer.io

Security.

  • Deploy Azure WAF in front of critical web applications hosted in ACI for additional inspection of incoming traffic.
  • Use Azure Key Vault to safeguard encryption keys and secrets for containerized applications.

Pricing

  • You pay based on what you need and get billed by the second.
  • The assigned public IP addresses to your container group are billed.
  • You are billed for each GB and vCPU your container group consumes.

Azure Container Instances (ACI) vs Functions:
https://tutorialsdojo.com/azure-container-instances-aci-vs-functions/

Want to learn more about Azure? Watch the official Microsoft Azure YouTube channel’s video series called Azure Tips and Tricks.

Validate Your Knowledge

Question 1

Question Type: Multiple-choice

Your company has an Azure Subscription that contains an Azure Container named TDContainer.

There is a requirement to launch a new Azure container instance that uses a docker image named TDImage. The container image contains a Microsoft SQL Server instance that requires persistent storage.

You need to create a storage service that will meet the requirements for TDContainer.

What should you use?

  1. Azure Table storage
  2. Azure Queue storage
  3. Azure Blob storage
  4. Azure Files

Correct Answer: 4

Containers are becoming the preferred way to package, deploy, and manage cloud applications. 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.

Azure Container Instances is a solution for any scenario that can operate in isolated containers, without orchestration. Run event-driven applications, quickly deploy from your container development pipelines, and run data processing and build jobs.

Containers offer significant startup benefits over virtual machines (VMs). Azure Container Instances can start containers in Azure in seconds, without the need to provision and manage VMs.

Bring Linux or Windows container images from Docker Hub, a private Azure container registry, or another cloud-based docker registry. Azure Container Instances caches several common base OS images, helping speed deployment of your custom application images.

By default, Azure Container Instances are stateless. If the container crashes or stops, all of its states are lost. To persist state beyond the lifetime of the container, you must mount a volume from an external store. Azure Container Instances can mount an Azure file share created with Azure Files.

Azure Files offers fully managed file shares hosted in Azure Storage that are accessible via the industry standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Using an Azure file share with Azure Container Instances provides file-sharing features similar to using an Azure file share with Azure virtual machines.

Azure Disks or Files are commonly used to provide persistent volumes for Azure Container Instances and Azure VMs.

Hence, the correct answer is: Azure Files.

Azure Queue Storage is incorrect because this service is simply used for storing large numbers of messages to enable communication between components of a distributed application.

Azure Table Storage and Azure Blob Storage are both incorrect because Azure Container Services does not support direct integration of these services.

References:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/container-instances/container-instances-overview
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/container-instances/container-instances-volume-azure-files

Note: This question was extracted from our AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator Practice Exams.

For more Azure practice exam questions with detailed explanations, check out the Tutorials Dojo Portal:

Microsoft Azure Practice Exams Tutorials Dojo

Sources:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/container-instances/container-instances-overview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/container-instances/#overview

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