The new Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier, introduced at the SpringOne 2021 conference, is a managed service for Spring that is optimized for the needs of enterprise developers, Julia Liuson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division, told The New Stack.
Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise provides components of VMware’s Tanzu Kubernetes deployment and management platform, “specifically to address enterprise requirements around configuration, integration, flexibility, and support,” Liuson said in a blog post.
Initially introduced in September 2020, Azure Spring Cloud is a fully managed service for Spring Boot applications created to help developers run Spring Boot applications at scale by managing dynamic scaling, security patching, and providing out-of-the-box instrumentation for monitoring and more.
In addition, nearly three-quarters of Spring developers use Spring to build business and backend applications, primarily in large enterprises, said Jean Atelsek, research analyst with S&P Global Market Intelligence’s 451 Research.
“Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier packages open-source Spring components into enterprise-grade Tanzu offerings to solve for issues that arise as Java applications increasingly land in hybrid public/on-premises environments,” Atelsek said. “Developers want to use managed services to compose software, but handling dependencies becomes a big issue in microservices-based deployments. IT teams want to monitor the software supply chain for compliance purposes, but life-cycling applications across on-premises and cloud is hard.”
The goal of the Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier is to offer a fully managed Kubernetes-based service that lets developers focus on applications rather than infrastructure, speeding the path from source code to production while accommodating existing investments in tools and workflows, Atelsek noted.
Thus, as Aleyner put it, Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier is a Microsoft-managed service for Spring that includes VMware Tanzu technology and offers enterprise-grade support, configurability, flexibility, and portability for enterprise Spring developers. Enterprise Tier adds to the existing two tiers of Azure Spring Cloud, Basic and Standard.
The service is available in private preview now. The private preview for Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier is available for sign-up on Azure Marketplace.
Meanwhile, VMware Tanzu components such as Tanzu Build Service, Tanzu Application Configuration Service, and Tanzu Service Registry will be available during the preview. And Microsoft and VMware plan to add more Tanzu components such as Tanzu Spring Cloud Gateway and Spring Cloud Data Flow to the service, Aleyner said. Moreover, the Tanzu Build Service supports customizable buildpack configurations that automate container creation and governance, Liuson said.
“There’s a lot to gain for Microsoft and VMware, as there are still approximately 75% of enterprise applications to modernize or re-platform, almost half of them are Java apps,” said Torsten Volk, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. “VMware can show developers that Tanzu services help them increase their productivity, while Azure can offer a turnkey enterprise-grade environment for easy onboarding of Java applications. Developers and DevOps teams get to test-drive this new platform without much risk, as a fully managed service. This is definitely a step into the right direction for all three sides of this equation: Microsoft, VMware, and Java developers.”
Indeed, as part of the service, customers get 24×7 VMware Spring Runtime support for Spring projects and access to Spring experts, as well as access to packaged versions of popular projects designed for enterprise use, Aleyner said. Enterprise Tier customers also will be able to open support tickets for bugs or CVEs encountered while using Spring libraries, he added.
“As VMware has no public cloud platform it has partnered with Microsoft in the past with Azure Spring Cloud. Now the Tanzu innovation is coming to Azure with Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise — making it easier for Spring developers to benefit from Tanzu innovation,” said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research. “This is good news for Spring developers building their next-generation applications on Azure, as the partnership is working and delivering the next innovations with the various Tanzu components.”
In addition, VMware plans to soon ship API Grid, a solution for API management in large enterprise organizations, and App Accelerator, a templated solution to allow architects in large enterprises to specify allowed enterprise patterns of Spring Microservices that individual teams can use to speed their development, said Ajay Patel, senior vice president and general manager of Modern Applications Business at VMware. These components will help enterprise developers establish effective patterns and guidance that can help their systems to scale and evolve with changing business needs, he said.
VMware is a sponsor of The New Stack.