Using Azure Files with Azure Container Services and Docker volumes

As a continuation to my last post about setting up an Azure Container Service, I thought it might be a good idea to have a look at persistent storage for the containers. Even if I prefer “outsourcing” my storage to external services, having persistent storage can be really useful in some cases.

Docker sets up storage using volumes, which are bascially just some form of storage that is mounted to a path in the container. By default, the volumes are just directories on the host that are mounted inside the container. However, this has a couple of drawbacks.


A brief look at Azure Container Service

Yesterday I had a couple of hours left over as I was on a train on the way to do a presentation. So I thought i would play around a little with the Azure Container Service. Seeing that I have gotten hooked on Docker, having the ability to spin up a Docker cluster while on the train using just my mobile phone for the connection, seems like a really cool thing. I guess normal people read books and watch Netflix on the train. Me...I spin up 5 Docker clusters...

Setting up an Azure Container Service is really simple, so let's have a look at it.

Setting up a new Container Service

You just go to the portal and choose to add a new Azure Container Service, and accept that it will use the Resource Manager deployment model. Then you have to fill out a bit of information.


My intro to Docker - Part 5 of something

In the previous posts, I have talked about everything from what Docker is, to how you can set up a stack of containers using docker-compose, but all of the posts have been about setting up containers on a single machine. Something that can be really useful, but imagine being able to deploy your containers just as easily to a cluster of machines. That would be awesome!

With Docker Swarm, this is exactly what you can do. You can set up a cluster of Docker hosts, and deploy your containers to them in much the same way that you would deploy to a single machine. How cool is that!

Creating a cluster, or swarm

To be able to try out what it’s like working with a cluster of machines, we need a cluster of machines. and by default, Docker for Windows/Mac includes only a single Docker host when it’s installed. However, it also comes with a tool called docker-machine that can be used to create more hosts very easily.