More than a decade ago, I started my professional career writing Spring-powered microservices. Spring has come a long way—from being a novelty to becoming the framework powering some of the world's largest companies and most important workloads. With the emergence of Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and the community’s continued support and contribution, Spring is now more popular than ever. A recent industry report found that almost 60 percent of all Java developers utilize Spring. In addition, Spring developers are increasingly building more complicated systems and deploying them to the public cloud.
What Spring developers value most is building applications and delivering business value; maintaining and operating large environments detracts from developer productivity. Thus, in September 2020, Microsoft and VMware announced the general availability of Azure Spring Cloud, a fully managed service for microservices that enables customers to quickly deploy, operate, and scale Spring Boot and Spring Cloud applications in a Microsoft Azure environment.
Azure Spring Cloud can be utilized in environments ranging from dev to production. However, as we spoke with customers utilizing the service, we identified a few common opportunities to deliver even more value:
Managed services require additional configurability and flexibility to fit enterprise requirements
Developer organizations value flexibility but also seek established effective patterns and guidance that can help their systems scale and evolve with changing business needs
IT teams need enterprise and operational support—both for cloud infrastructure and for open source software utilized by their teams, and ideally with full integration between the two
To address these customer concerns and put forward the next great piece of the Azure Spring Cloud story, we are excited to announce the launch of Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier, a new offering for enterprise Spring developers.
Purpose-built for the enterprise
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.
Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier is applicable for use by a wide variety of customers. For example, current Azure Spring Cloud Standard Tier customers who are seeking enterprise-grade support may choose to upgrade to the Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier. Enterprise Tier offers a premium experience for enterprise Spring developers, who may be utilizing Spring Boot for common use cases such as exposing APIs to internal and external customers or building business applications.
Architecture diagram for Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise and Standard tiers
Tap into enterprise-grade benefits
Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier packs a punch for our enterprise Spring developers. Here are some of the benefits.
Commercial Tanzu products as a managed service
Enterprise Tier includes proprietary VMware Tanzu components, such as VMware Tanzu Build Service, Application Configuration Service for VMware Tanzu, and VMware Tanzu Service Registry. And there’s more. As the Tanzu team continues to innovate on top of the Spring framework, we will deliver even more enterprise-ready components into Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier. This will further simplify activities such as building microservices using Spring Boot.
Advanced configuration and integration
With Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier, customers can fully customize buildpacks, by controlling the build dependencies used to create images and configuring buildpacks to match existing build environments. Moreover, customers can tap into the proprietary Tanzu buildpack ecosystem and even beyond—Enterprise Tier enables use of independent software vendor integrations for these buildpacks. Finally, Enterprise Tier also enables native integration with Azure services.
Left: A view of buildpack configuration options in Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier; Right: A nonexhaustive set of ISV buildpack integrations available with Enterprise Tier
Ultra-portability and flexibility
Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier offers customers a way to quickly lift and shift Spring workloads built on Tanzu components to Azure Spring Cloud. Further, the same Tanzu configurations can be run on the existing Basic or Standard tiers as well as the new Enterprise Tier. Enterprise Tier also offers great flexibility in utilizing Tanzu components on demand and comes with limitless scaling options.
Developers have flexibility in configuring Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier's VMware Tanzu components.
Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier offers unparalleled enterprise-grade support for developers, through VMware’s world-class 24x7 VMware Spring Runtime support. Further, customers are empowered to realize the full potential of Spring with access to Spring experts, as well as access to packaged versions of popular projects designed for enterprise use. Finally, with Enterprise Tier, customers are now able to open support tickets for bugs or CVEs encountered while using Spring libraries.
Next steps and resources
If you are interested in joining the Private Preview of Azure Spring Cloud Enterprise Tier, please reach out to us through our Azure Marketplace listing here.
Resources to read more about Enterprise Tier: