October 3, 2023

Microsoft announced the preview of Azure  Application Gateway for Containers, new layer 7  load balancing and dynamic traffic management product for workloads running in a Kubernetes cluster. It extends Azure’s Application Load Balancing portfolio and is a new offering under the  Application Gateway product family.

Microsoft claims the Application Gateway for Containers is the next evolution of Application Gateway and Application Gateway Ingress Controller.


Enhancements introduced

  • Achieving nearly real-time convergence times for reflecting changes in Kubernetes YAML configuration, including adding or removing pods, routes, probes, and load balancing configurations.
  • Exceed current AGIC limits by supporting more than 1400 backend pods and 100 listeners with Application Gateway for Containers.
  • Provides a deployment experience using ARM, PowerShell, CLI, Bicep, and Terraform or enables configuration within Kubernetes with Application Gateway for Containers managing the rest in Azure.
  • Supports the next evolution in Kubernetes service networking through expressive, extensible, and role-oriented interfaces.
  • Enables blue-green deployment strategies and active/active or active/passive routing.

The Application Gateway for Containers consists of various components Application Gateway for Containers core, Frontends, Associations, and Azure Load Balancer Controller. Deploying the gateway requires a private IP address, subnet delegation, and user-assigned managed identity.

Overall, the new service has very promising capabilities; however, there are a couple of design limitations today:

  • Limitation of exactly 1 ALB per cluster, 5 frontend per ALB
  • Only supporting Azure CNI in the backend cluster
  • No multi-region or multi-cluster support

The Application Gateway for Containers is available in several Azure Regions globally, and no pricing details are available before the general availability.

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