Azure Kubernetes Service vs Azure Service Fabric

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Azure Kubernetes Service

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Azure Service Fabric

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Azure Kubernetes Service vs Azure Service Fabric: What are the differences?

Azure Kubernetes Service: Simplify Kubernetes management, deployment, and operations. Fully managed Kubernetes container orchestration service on Microsoft Azure; Azure Service Fabric: Distributed systems platform that simplifies build, package, deploy, and management of scalable microservices apps. Azure Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform that makes it easy to package, deploy, and manage scalable and reliable microservices. Service Fabric addresses the significant challenges in developing and managing cloud apps.

Azure Kubernetes Service belongs to "Containers as a Service" category of the tech stack, while Azure Service Fabric can be primarily classified under "Microservices Tools".

Some of the features offered by Azure Kubernetes Service are:

  • Deploy and manage Kubernetes with ease
  • Scale and run applications with confidence
  • Secure your Kubernetes environment

On the other hand, Azure Service Fabric provides the following key features:

  • Simplify microservices development and application lifecycle management
  • Reliably scale and orchestrate containers and microservices
  • Data-aware platform for low-latency, high-throughput workloads with stateful containers or microservices

Azure Service Fabric is an open source tool with 2.57K GitHub stars and 304 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Azure Service Fabric's open source repository on GitHub.

Cuemby, Veris, and Universal Electronics Inc. are some of the popular companies that use Azure Kubernetes Service, whereas Azure Service Fabric is used by Starbucks, OneWire, and eVestor. Azure Kubernetes Service has a broader approval, being mentioned in 10 company stacks & 9 developers stacks; compared to Azure Service Fabric, which is listed in 6 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.

Advice on Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Service Fabric


We have a requirement to develop a few web services which mostly interact with each other. The solution has to be deployed in both the Azure cloud and also On-premise. This is because the on-premise consumers will not have access to the internet and we want to keep it completely independent. The solution we are planning to go with is Service fabric. It allows both cloud & On-Premise deployment and comes with orchestration, monitoring, and other things. Can you share your experience with a similar scenario or implementation or some feedback about this approach?. Thanks.

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Hi Sabarish,

If you are deploying the whole solution on both AKS and on-premise, perhaps you can use Azure AKS and Azure Arc to jointly manage both AKS and your ad-hoc customized on-premise Kubernetes. Azure Arc is still in Preview, but I guess it would fit your needs. If you are just deploying some of the services in each environment this would no be your solution.

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Pros of Azure Kubernetes Service
Pros of Azure Service Fabric
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    • 5
      Intelligent, fast, reliable
    • 4
      Runs most of Azure core services
    • 3
    • 3
      Superior programming models
    • 3
      More reliable than Kubernetes
    • 3
      Open source
    • 2
      Quickest recovery and healing in the world
    • 1
      Deploy anywhere
    • 1
      Is data storage technology
    • 1
      Battle hardened in Azure > 10 Years

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Azure Kubernetes Service?

    Deploy and manage containerized applications more easily with a fully managed Kubernetes service. It offers serverless Kubernetes, an integrated continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) experience, and enterprise-grade security and governance. Unite your development and operations teams on a single platform to rapidly build, deliver, and scale applications with confidence.

    What is Azure Service Fabric?

    Azure Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform that makes it easy to package, deploy, and manage scalable and reliable microservices. Service Fabric addresses the significant challenges in developing and managing cloud apps.

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    What are some alternatives to Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure Service Fabric?
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    Azure Container Service
    Azure Container Service optimizes the configuration of popular open source tools and technologies specifically for Azure. You get an open solution that offers portability for both your containers and your application configuration. You select the size, the number of hosts, and choice of orchestrator tools, and Container Service handles everything else.
    Azure App Service
    Quickly build, deploy, and scale web apps created with popular frameworks .NET, .NET Core, Node.js, Java, PHP, Ruby, or Python, in containers or running on any operating system. Meet rigorous, enterprise-grade performance, security, and compliance requirements by using the fully managed platform for your operational and monitoring tasks.
    Azure Container Instances
    It 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.
    Azure Functions
    Azure Functions is an event driven, compute-on-demand experience that extends the existing Azure application platform with capabilities to implement code triggered by events occurring in virtually any Azure or 3rd party service as well as on-premises systems.
    See all alternatives