Azure Kubernetes Service(AKS)

5 min readMar 4, 2021

AKS is Microsoft Azure’s managed Kubernetes solution that lets you run and manage containerized applications in the cloud. Since this is a managed Kubernetes service, Microsoft takes care of a lot of things for us such as security, maintenance, scalability, and monitoring. This makes us quickly deploy our applications into the Kubernetes cluster without worrying about the underlying details of building it.

Azure AKS Overview

With AKS, you can deploy, scale, and manage Docker containers and applications. Azure AKS gives developers greater flexibility, automation and reduced management overhead for administrators and developers. This is because it’s a managed service, which takes some of the management burden off the user.

As applications grow to span multiple containers deployed across multiple servers, operating them becomes more complex. To manage this complexity, Azure AKS provides an open source API to deploy, scale and manage Docker containers and container-based applications across a cluster of container hosts.

Use cases for AKS include:

  • Easily migrating existing applications to Kubernetes
  • Simplifying the deployment and management of microservices based applications
  • Easily integrated DevSecOps
  • IoT device deployment and management on demand
  • Machine Learning model training with AKS

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Benefits

Azure Kubernetes Service is currently competing with both Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). It offers numerous features like creating, managing, scaling, and monitoring Azure Kubernetes Clusters, which is attractive for users of Microsoft Azure. The subsequent are some benefits offered by AKS:

Efficient resource utilization: The fully managed AKS offers easy deployment and management of containerized applications with efficient resource utilization that elastically provisions additional resources without the headache of managing the Kubernetes infrastructure.

Faster application development: Developers spent most of the time on bug-fixing. AKS reduces the debugging time while handling patching, auto-upgrades, and self-healing and simplifies the container orchestration. It definitely saves tons of your time and developers will specialize in developing their apps while remaining more productive.

Security and compliance: Cybersecurity is one of the foremost important aspects of recent applications and businesses. AKS integrates with Azure Active Directory (AD) and offers on-demand access to the users to greatly reduce threats and risks. AKS is additionally completely compliant with the standards and regulatory requirements like System and Organization Controls (SOC), HIPAA, ISO, and PCI DSS.

Quicker development and integration: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) supports auto-upgrades, monitoring, and scaling and helps in minimizing the infrastructure maintenance that results in comparatively faster development and integration. It also supports provisioning additional computing resources in Serverless Kubernetes within seconds without fear about managing the Kubernetes infrastructure.

Common uses for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Lift and shift to containers with AKS

Easily migrate existing application to container(s) and run within the Azure managed Kubernetes service (AKS). Control access via integration with Azure Active Directory and access SLA-backed Azure Services such as Azure Database for MySQL using OSBA (Open Service Broker for Azure) for your data needs.


Microservices with AKS

Use AKS to simplify the deployment and management of microservices based architecture. AKS streamlines horizontal scaling, self-healing, load balancing, secret management.


Secure DevOps for AKS

DevOps and Kubernetes are better together. Implementing secure DevOps together with Kubernetes on Azure, you can achieve the balance between speed and security and deliver code faster at scale. Put guardrails around the development processes using CI/CD with dynamic policy controls and accelerate feedback loop with constant monitoring. Use Azure Pipelines to deliver fast while ensuring enforcement of critical policies with Azure Policy. Azure provides you real-time observability for your build and release pipelines, and the ability to apply compliance audit and reconfigurations easily.


Bursting from AKS with ACI

Use the AKS virtual node to provision pods inside ACI that start in seconds. This enables AKS to run with just enough capacity for your average workload. As you run out of capacity in your AKS cluster, scale out additional pods in ACI without any additional servers to manage.


Azure IoT reference architecture

This reference architecture shows a recommended architecture for IoT applications on Azure using PaaS (platform-as-a-service) components.

IoT applications can be described as things (devices) sending data that generates insights. These insights generate actions to improve a business or process. An example is an engine (the thing) sending temperature data. This data is used to evaluate whether the engine is performing as expected (the insight). The insight is used to proactively prioritize the maintenance schedule for the engine (the action).

Machine Learning model training with AKS

Training of models using large datasets is a complex and resource intensive task. Use familiar tools such as TensorFlow and Kubeflow to simplify training of Machine Learning models. Your ML models will run in AKS clusters backed by GPU enabled VMs.


Data Streaming scenario

Use AKS to easily ingest & process a real-time data stream with millions of data points collected via sensors. Perform fast analysis and computations to develop insights into complex scenarios quickly.



Azure Kubernetes Service is a powerful service for running containers in the cloud. Best of all, you only pay for the VMs and other resources consumed, not for AKS itself, so it’s easy to try out. With the best practices described in this post and the AKS Quickstart, you should be able to launch a test cluster in under an hour and see the benefits of AKS for yourself.