Service Fabric in Azure

Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform used to build hyper-scale, agile and fault-tolerant microservices on the cloud. It provides set of services for orchestrating the functioning of the applications deployed on the cluster. It abstracts complexities around provisioning, deploying, fault handling, scaling and optimizing the applications that are deployed to the cluster.

It is responsible for fault handling and recovery of services, should something fail. Service Fabric plays the same role as some of the other microservice orchestration platforms such as Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Mesosphere, Core OS etc.,

Service Fabric supports quite a few programming models to make it easy to develop variety of microservices. Each service can be either stateful or stateless. Stateless services are typically used for creating Web APIs or any other service that doesn’t need to maintain their state on the nodes. These services will treat each request as an independent one and will assume all the information required to process the request is contained with-in it. State is maintained in external data-stores like SQL Server, CosmoDB or Redis cache etc.,

Stateful services on the other hand maintain their state on the same cluster. Service Fabric provides data-structures that can replicate state through all the nodes in a cluster. It provides APIs for storing, retrieving and updating data structures. Any time an update is made to a data structure, it’s automatically replicated to all the nodes in the cluster and made available to other instances of the service running on other nodes in the cluster. Since the data and the services are co-located, it can significantly reduce the latency in processing the data.

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