Focus on… Azure Service Fabric!

"Build and operate always-on, #scalable, distributed apps. Data-aware platform for low-latency, high-throughput workloads with stateful #containers or #microservices. All you need to get up to speed, in one post!"

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> Last Updated: 14th September 2017 (periodically updated as a reference / index to relevant Azure Service Fabric resources)

Having just spent a week coding along side folk from our engineering teams with a number of customers as part of a hack-fest focused on Azure Service Fabric, I wanted to take the opportunity to collate as many of the Service Fabric resources currently available into this single 'Focus on...' post, such that anyone can quickly skill-up in understanding how Service Fabric may benefit the evolution of workloads to microservices within your own businesses, but also where you may already be working with Service Fabric, gain further insight into some of the latest updates available and how it is currently being used out in the community.


>> Introducing... Azure Service Fabric!

Azure Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform that makes it easy to package, deploy, and manage scalable and reliable microservices, while also addressing the significant challenges in developing and managing cloud applications.


Video: Watch a 4-minute primer on Azure Service Fabric


Here at Microsoft, we’ve been on a journey to the cloud, just like our customers - to support our own internal evolution from on-premises to cloud and from monolithic to microservice-based applications, we created Service Fabric to deal with these challenges.

As a mature, feature-rich microservices application platform, Service Fabric provides built-in support for lifecycle management, stateless and stateful services, performance at scale, 24x7 availability, and cost efficiency, allowing developers and administrators to avoid complex infrastructure problems and focus on implementing mission-critical, demanding workloads that are scalable, reliable, and manageable. Service Fabric represents the next-generation middleware platform for building and managing these enterprise-class, cloud-scale apps.


Video: A brief history of Service Fabric


Service Fabric has now been in production use at Microsoft for over eight years, powering a range of services including Azure SQL Database, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service, Azure Event Hubs, Intune, Cortana, Dynamics 365, Power BI and Skype for Business. Within the largest of these clusters, Service Fabric manages hundreds of thousands of stateful and stateless microservices across hundreds of servers - in fact, over 30% of Azure cores globally are now managed through Service Fabric! You can create clusters for Service Fabric in many environments, not just in Azure but also on premises, on Windows Server, or on Linux, on any cloud platform. In addition, the development environment in the SDK is identical to the production environment - no emulators are involved. In other words, what runs on your local development cluster deploys in exactly the same way to clusters running in any other environments.


>> Documentation

For over a year now, has been running as our new unified technical documentation experience; to learn more check out our blog post: For additional documentation on Microsoft products or services, please visit MSDN ( or TechNet (


Service Fabric Documentation

The primary documentation source for Service Fabric, updated in the open via GitHub ( As a constantly evolving series of articles, I've only linked to some relevant highlights - visit the docs site for further detail on implementation, use, and more.

It's also useful to be aware of the differences between Service Fabric on Linux and Windows, or where you may have used Cloud Services in the past and need to understand key differences before starting to migrate any code.


Azure Architecture Center

The Azure Architecture Center is the official centre for guidance, blueprints, patterns, and best practices for building solutions with Microsoft Azure, curated by the Microsoft patterns & practices team.

A number of design patterns were recently added by the AzureCAT team (, detailed as follows:


>> Updates & Roadmap

As a the product continues to evolve, there are a number of locations to be aware of so you can subscribe to the latest updates and feature releases.


Azure Service Fabric Team Blog

The engineering team maintain a public facing blog hosted on MSDN - I've included a number of relevant recent posts, but it's worth keeping this site in your favorite RSS feed reader.

The team have also posted a number of Customer Profile posts to help detail how other customers have implemented Service Fabric.

There is also a regular community call hosted directly by the Service Fabric Team - details of these are also posted to the Service Fabric Team Blog with the last call having taken place Thursday 15th June 2017 @ 10am PDT, and the next on 20th July 2017.

Detail on specific releases are also posted, but will be in a constant state of change with regular releases every month.


Azure Blog

Hear from Azure experts and developers about the latest information, insights, announcements, and Azure news in the Microsoft Azure blog.


Azure Updates Blog

In addition to the Azure Blog, further detail on all updates into Azure are available on the Azure Updates Blog.


>> Podcasts

Listening to Podcasts can be a great way to keep up to date, especially when you're out and about, perhaps in the car on the way to work for example. While much of the Channel 9 content is also available in audio format, there are a number of podcasts that have covered Service Fabric in the past.


Azure Podcast

Short podcasts on Azure by Cale Teeter, Evan Basalik, Russell Young & Sujit D'Mello. Here are a number of previous episodes of relevance.


Microsoft Cloud Show

Whether you are new to the cloud, old hat or just starting to consider what the cloud can do for you this podcast is the place to find all the latest and greatest news and information on what's going on in the cloud universe. Join long time Microsoft aficionados and SharePoint experts Andrew Connell and Chris Johnson as they dissect the noise and distil it down, read between the lines and offer expert opinion on what is really going on. Just the information … no marketing … no BS, just two dudes telling you how they see it.


MS Dev Show

A podcast for Microsoft developers covering topics such as Azure/cloud, Windows, Windows Phone, .NET, Visual Studio, and more! Hosted by Jason Young and Carl Schweitzer.

  • Episode 63: Service Fabric with Mark Fussell (11th July 2015)
    "Mark is a principal Program Manager at Microsoft that works on the Azure Service Fabric team. He's been working on that team since it was founded 6 years ago. Previously he worked on projects like WCF, Developer Platforms, and Application Platforms."
  • Episode 126: Image2Docker with Trevor Sullivan (25th October 2016)
    "We talk with Trevor Sullivan about Image2Docker. All Tesla's have self-driving hardware, but can they drive? And apparently the internet is unreliable because of DNS."


.NET Rocks

.NET Rocks! is a weekly talk show for anyone interested in programming on the Microsoft .NET platform. The shows range from introductory information to hardcore geekiness. There have been a number of episodes covering Service Fabric and microservices in general.

  • Azure Service Fabric with Mark Fussell (4th August 2015)
    "So what does it take to make scalable, resilient services in the cloud? Carl and Richard talk to Mark Fussell about Azure Service Fabric, the underlying infrastructure inside Azure to provide these capabilities. And the Azure Service Fabric doesn't only run on Azure - it runs on Windows Server too! Mark talks about creating your application in a way that allows it to scale into the cloud, whether its running there or not. In theory the fabric is just plumbing, but its the kind of plumbing that's hard to do right, and easy to mess up - and you don't want to find out you got it wrong when your customers are growing and demanding more!"
  • Building Microservices using Azure Service Fabric with Corey Sanders (24th November 2015)
    "Microservices and Azure together! While at the Stockholm stop of the Azure Tour, Carl and Richard chatted with Corey Sanders in front of a live audience about the announcement at the Microsoft Connect event about Azure Service Fabric's direct support for microservices. Corey digs into the core concepts of microservices, focusing on single domain APIs that use HTTPS and REST to connect and communicate. The challenge of microservices is proliferation - between redundancy and scalability, a large application can have hundreds, even thousands of instances. Azure Service Fabric provides tooling and resources to manage the complexity of microservices while keeping the flexibility and power. Check it out!"
  • Containers and Microservices in Azure with Michele Bustamante (26th January 2016)
    "What's the current situation with containers in Azure? While at NDC London, Carl and Richard talk to Michele Leroux Bustamante about the continuing evolution of containers in the cloud, especially around Azure. Michele digs into the story of Docker and the idea of configuration-as-code extending to the virtual machine. Then the discussion turns to analyzing the various tiers of container service provide by the major cloud provides, including Microsoft. Ultimately there is a vision of a Platform-as-a-Service offering around containers, but what that looks like is still evolving. Could Azure Service Fabric be the solution? What about Windows 2016? There's more to come!"
  • Containers and Microservices Panel at NDC London (1st March 2016)
    "So where are containers and microservices going? While at NDC London, Carl and Richard hosted a panel discussion with Michele Bustamante, Mark Rendle and Ben Hall to talk about microservices and the role that containers play in making microservices manageable and practical. Docker is the most well-known of the container services, but its not alone, and the panel debates the relative merits of the different container technologies. When it comes to the microservices, how important are containers? How micro is micro, and how many do we need? Could Azure Service Fabric be an example of how to do microservices at a platform level, rather than container? Lots of questions and discussion on this hot topic!"
  • Mobile Games using Xamarin Forms and Azure Service Fabric with Jon Peppers (25th April 2017)
    "You can make a game in Xamarin Forms? Yes! Carl and Richard talk to Jonathan Peppers about his latest work on NBA Life, a role-playing game for iOS and Android built with Xamarin Forms. Jonathan talks about the process they went through to decide on this particular architecture for the game, having done prototyping with Unity and Xamarin Native. The conversation also digs into the back end using Azure Service Fabric and it's Actor Model support - yes, everything is an actor! Lots of discussion around testing, deployment, crash handling and dealing with app stores. Building mobile games isn't always a pure native experience - you have choices!"
  • Azure Service Fabric and Microservices with James Sturtevant (8th June 2017)
    "Azure Service Fabric is here - should your application take advantage of it? Carl and Richard talk to James Sturtevant about his experiences moving applications into Azure Service Fabric. Yes, it is possible to "lift and shift" your application into Service Fabric via Guest Executables, but that doesn't mean you'll get much of the benefit that Service Fabric can provide. James talks about picking a feature in your application to peel off into a microservice, perhaps as an Azure Function or other serverless strategy - or even into a container! Instrumentation is a key aspect to understanding what will improve your application, and it takes time - all apps are on a continuum of development!"


>> Training

If you're looking for a structured training approach, there are an increasing number of resources available online, curated both by Microsoft, partner organisations and other interested individuals.


Azure Learning Paths

Use Azure learning paths to guide yourself through the documentation for our services so you can start to build effective cloud applications on Azure. There is a specific learning path available for Service Fabric:


Microsoft Learning

The material available via Microsoft Learning is slightly different than that traditionally found on Microsoft Virtual Academy, being a Microsoft curated Azure Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) catalog featuring in-depth courseware, videos, labs, and assessments. The current 'Azure Application Deployment and Management' MOOC covers detail on Service Fabric as part of module 3.


Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy is a website for Developers and IT Pros, which offers free Microsoft training delivered by experts. There are a number of courses available on MVA, depending on your current level of Service Fabric knowledge - a good starting point I can recommend is the 'Building Microservices Applications on Azure Service Fabric', while the 'Introduction to Microservices' course covers the core concepts of microservices and 12-factor applications.

  • Build Always-On, Hyper-Scalable Microservice-based Cloud Services (11th December 2015)
    "Microservices is an approach to application development in which every part of the application is deployed as a fully self-contained component that can be individually scaled and updated. With a good microservice architecture, customers can solve the management, deployment, orchestration, and patching needs of a container-based service, with reduced risk of availability loss while maintaining high agility. In this course, learn how Microsoft Azure Service Fabric, our own microservices application platform, includes a rich collection of microservice lifecycle management capabilities, including rolling update with rollback, partitioning, placement constraints, and more. Notably, it also supports stateful microservices, which are differentiated by the fact that the microservice manages data that’s co-resident with it on the same server. Learn how to get started building microservices with Azure Service Fabric."
  • Introduction to Microservices (9th June 2016)  * recommended for new users
    "Are you new to microservices? Don’t miss this look at the fundamentals of microservices-based applications. Learn about what microservices are, the benefits of microservices architectures, and what to consider when building microservices-based applications. Find out about the pros and cons of microservices, review the Azure Compute platform and Virtual Machine Scale Sets, see how to get started using Azure Container Services, and explore the fundamentals of Azure Service Fabric. Wrap the course with a look at how containers on both Linux and Windows fit into the microservices stories, and check out next steps."
  • Microservices Design and Patterns (22nd June 2016)
    "Are you designing microservices-based applications? Join us for a closer look at the basic patterns that are required. Take a look at some of the common concerns that arise in the building of high-scale distributed systems solutions. Learn about designing high-scale systems, design layers and tiers, explore enabling clusters, and create autonomous layers. Review some of the operational objectives that architects and developers aim to meet when building high-scale distributed systems solutions."
  • Building Microservices Applications on Azure Service Fabric (21st September 2016) * recommended for new users
    "Want to work with a distributed systems platform to build scalable, reliable, and easily managed applications for the cloud? Take this on-demand Azure Service Fabric course, and explore the free Windows component that works with any cloud, including Azure, Amazon, on-premises, and more. Hear a brief history of Service Fabric, and take a look at the fundamentals, along with the different kinds of service you build and deploy with it. Get an overview of Service Fabric, and explore its developer tools and core concepts. Then, learn about an application’s lifetime management, including how to create, deploy, scale, upgrade, and delete an application. Wrap up the course with some customer success stories."
  • Service Fabric Patterns and Practices (28th November 2016)
    "If you’re looking at building large-scale microservices using Azure Service Fabric, learn from the experts who designed and built this platform as a service (PaaS). Get started with proper architecture, and then learn how to optimize resources for your application. The course is built around the answers to the questions most often asked by real-world customers about Azure Service Fabric scenarios and application areas. Find out how to design, develop, and operate your microservices on Service Fabric using best practices and proven, reusable patterns. Get a Service Fabric overview, and then dive deep into topics that cover cluster optimization and security, migrating legacy apps, IoT at scale, hosting game engines, and more. Look at continuous delivery for various workloads, and even get the details on Linux supports and containers. Explore the blueprint to design your first cloud app with the pros who know."
  • Cloud Application Development (28th February 2017)
    "Wondering how cloud app development can help solve business problems? MVPs and popular instructors Colin Dembovsky and Steven Borg of Northwest Cadence offer helpful guidance on the subject, in this up-close look at Azure app development, platform as a service (PaaS), and DevOps on Visual Studio Team Services. In this demo-rich course, see how Azure can help increase developer productivity in a tool-agnostic way, find out how to build cross-platform mobile apps, and learn about data services provided by Azure. Take a look at microservices and containers, explore identity as the core of enterprise mobility, see how to set up a DevOps pipeline, and much more, in this practical cloud app development tutorial."



Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries. As part of the recently updated Visual Studio and Dev Essentials benefits (, you can now receive a 3-month free subscription to one of the most comprehensive video libraries of Microsoft Azure curriculum available.

There is currently one course on Service Fabric, which also includes a hands-on lab.

  • Introduction to Service Fabric (18 November 2016; Level 300)
    "This course will introduce microservices and the Microsoft Service Fabric platform. It starts with basic architectural concepts and walks through instructions on scaling, self-healing, partitioning and load balancing. Learn how to create a service fabric application with both stateless and stateful services and how to communicate, both internally and externally to those microservices across HTTP."



Unlimited online developer training, creative and IT courses authored by industry experts. Learn the most in-demand tech skills from Pluralsight's extensive library. As part of the recently updated Visual Studio and Dev Essentials benefits (, you can now receive a 3-month free subscription to some of the most detailed developer focused courses available. This 3-month offer is also available through the free IT Pro Cloud Essentials program (

Pluralsight don't currently have specific Service Fabric courses as yet, but I can recommend a couple regarding microservices and clean architecture approaches.

  • Microservices Architecture (2nd November 2015)
    "Microservices architecture is a better way of implementing a service oriented architecture. After years of varying interpretations of a service oriented architecture, microservices is the conclusive design which provides all the advantages of the service oriented architecture approach. This course introduces microservices, discusses design, lists technology considerations, and highlights how to move forwards with microservices."
  • Clean Architecture: Patterns, Practices, and Principles (11th January 2017)
    "As software grows more complex, you need to manage this complexity by using various architectural patterns, practices, and principles. In this course, Clean Architecture: Patterns, Practices, and Principles, you will learn how software experts keep their architecture clean using a modern approach to software architecture called Clean Architecture. First, you'll learn about domain-centric architecture, application layers, CQRS (Command-Query Responsibility Separation), event sourcing, functional cohesion, bounded contexts, microservices, testable architecture, and more. In addition, you'll use these practices to replace the out-dated three-layer database-centric architecture that has been used for decades. Most important though, you'll see how these practices, when combined, create an architecture that is simple, understandable, flexible, testable, and maintainable. By the end of this course, you'll have the skills necessary to understand and implement these clean architecture practices on your own software projects."
  • Microsoft Azure for .NET Developers - Building Secure Services and Applications (30th June 2017)
    "There are many approaches you can use to building and deploying secure applications in the cloud. In this course, Microsoft Azure for .NET Developers - Building Secure Services and Applications, you'll mainly be focusing on different techniques you can use with Microsoft Azure. You'll see how to use both software containers and Microsoft service fabric. You will also integrate with Azure Active Directory to secure both web application pages and web APIs using standard protocols like OpenID Connect. By the end of the course, you'll have a solid knowledge of these different technologies and make informed decisions about the architecture for the systems you build."
  • Microsoft Azure for .NET Developers - Cloud Patterns and Architecture (11th July 2017)
    "Building applications in the cloud gives you the ability to write highly available, highly scalable applications, and services that are resistant to failure. In this course, Microsoft Azure for .NET Developers - Cloud Patterns and Architecture, you'll learn a different architectural approach to building cloud applications, and see how various Windows Azure services and resources fit into those architectures. First, you'll explore how to use specific Azure resources to add redundancy, fail-over, and load balancing to a system. Next, you'll discover how to utilize the Azure Content Delivery Network. Finally, you'll delve into learning how to create an API gateway. By the end of the course, you'll have the patterns and architectural knowledge you need to build scalable, resilient cloud services and applications." / LinkedIn Learning is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts. All courses are also available through LinkedIn Learning, both of which support a 30-day trial account. One course was recently added covering microservices and Service Fabric, targeted towards developers.

  • Microservices and Azure Service Fabric Basics for Developers (3rd April 2017)
    "Microsoft Azure Service Fabric is a platform as a service (PaaS) for creating and deploying highly scalable microservices-based cloud applications. In this course, get an overview of this powerful platform and learn the key development techniques necessary to produce cloud applications in Azure. Instructor Chander Dhall shows how to create stateful and stateless services locally and on the cloud, explains how to create a secure cluster in Azure that's deployed to the cloud, shows how to debug an application remotely, and more."


>> Certification

While there isn't a specific exam dedicated to Service Fabric, it does form part of the required curriculum within at least one exam, the '70-532 Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions', which forms part of the wider 'MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure' certification.


Microsoft Certification

Get hired, demonstrate clear business impact, and advance your skills. Microsoft offers a wide range of online certification programs designed to take your career to the next level. The 70-532 exam is primarily focused towards those looking to develop solutions on Azure and so includes elements of Service Fabric within the curriculum - at a high level you need to be able to 'Create a Service Fabric application; build an Actors-based service; add a web front end to a Service Fabric application; monitor and diagnose services; migrate apps from cloud services; create, secure, upgrade, and scale Service Fabric Cluster in Azure; scale a Service Fabric app'.

There is currently an offer available which discounts the cost of the exam, as well as bundle together some other useful resources - this includes if you're looking to go the full hog towards the 'MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure' certification, as one of the bundles includes all three exam vouchers and supporting material.

Once you have successfully passed your exam, Microsoft has partnered with Acclaim to award badges for your certifications.


>> Presentations

Throughout the year, Microsoft hosts a number of public events allowing both in-person and online attendance, while common to all is on-demand access to the recordings of most, if not all sessions presented. These are often given by the engineering teams working closely on the Service Fabric product itself, or by experienced architects who are working deep in the field in implementing Service Fabric to solve customer's business challenges.


Microsoft Azure Cloud Cover Show

Presented as a weekly show, Microsoft Azure Cloud Cover is your eye on the Microsoft Cloud. Join Chris Risner and Thiago Almeida as they cover Microsoft Azure, demonstrate features, discuss the latest news + announcements, and share tips and tricks. Over the past 12 months there have been a number of sessions focused on Service Fabric, in particular a 3-part series which provides good coverage of Service Fabric components.

  • Episode 210: Service Fabric Series (1 of 3) - Introduction (26th August 2016) * recommended for new users
    "In this episode,Haishi Bai and Bruno Medina are joined by Mark Fussell, Principal Program Manager Lead working on Azure Service Fabric. In this first installment of a 3-part series, Mark gives a comprehensive introduction of Service Fabric. He talks about different service types, programming models, tools and services provided by Service Fabric to help developers to build cloud-scale applications. He also answers some of the commonly asked questions such as capacity plan, Cloud Service migration, state management and overall application lifecycle management."
  • Episode 211: Service Fabric Series (2 of 3) - Service Fabric with Containers (9th September 2016)
    "In this episode, Haishi Bai is joined by Jeffrey Richter, Partner Software Engineer, and Rajeet Nair, Principal Software Engineer working on Azure Service Fabric to talk about Service Fabric with containers. Jeff introduces how containers bring runtime and resource isolations, and how containerized applications are deployed and managed on a Service Fabric cluster. Then, Rajeet shows several live demonstrations of deploying containers, performing failovers, using stateful containers and defining resource constraint policies."
  • Episode 212: Service Fabric Series (3 of 3) - Service Fabric on Linux (13th September 2016)
    "In this episode, Haishi Bai and Bruno Medina are joined by Subramanian Ramaswamy, Principal Program Manager working on Azure Service Fabric to talk about the preview of Service Fabric on Linux – a key milestone on our journey to make Service Fabric available for any cloud and any OS. This latest release includes Eclipse and Jenkins support, so developers can use the tools they know to build and deploy on Service Fabric on Linux. With .NET Core made available on Linux and Mac, we are offering enterprise developers with C# background an option to do C# Microservices on Linux using Service Fabric, making the Linux ecosystem easier to navigate."
  • Episode 218: DDD and CQRS on Service Fabric with MediaValet  (4th November 2016)
    "In this episode Haishi Bai is joined by Jean Lozano, Sergiy Chernets and Stanley Chen from MediaValet. Jean, CTO of MediaValet, shares MediaValet's journey to Azure, and reviews how MediaValet's system evolves with the platform. Then, Sergiy reviews several key concepts and principles in Domain Driven Design (DDD), and how MediaValet maps these concepts to Microsoft Service Fabric Actor programming model. The team also discusses how they implement the Command and Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) pattern and Event Sourcing on Service Fabric. Finally, Stanley walks through some conceptual codes showing how to implement a Process Manager using reminders that allow actors to communicate in an asynchronous fashion."
  • Episode 228: Building Games with Service Fabric (21st April 2017)
    "In this episode Thiago Almeida and Etienne Margraff are joined by Mark Fussell, Principal Program Manager Lead working on Azure Service Fabric, and Haishi Bai, Senior Software Engineer on Azure. Mark and Haishi join us to go over demos and real world examples and architectures for running new and legacy games using Azure Service Fabric."


NDC Oslo 2017 - 14th to 16th June 2017

From 12-16 June 2017, Oslo Spektrum hosted the 10th consecutive NDC Oslo, as e a 5-day event with 2 days of pre-conference workshops and 3 days of conference. The conference covered topics such as:
NET Framework - Agile - C++ - Cloud - Database - Design - Devops - Embedded - Front-End Framework - Fun - Functional Programming - Gadgets - Internet of Things - Javascript - Microsoft - Misc Languages - Mobile - People - Programming Languages - Security - Techniques - Testing - Tools - UX – Web and more.

  • Talk: Microservices and the Inverse Conway Manoeuvre (13th June 2017) * added: 18th July 2017
    "Go faster than your competitors. That’s the promise of microservices – deploy faster, scale faster, be more robust. It’s all about outcomes and the way your organisation is structured has a tremendous impact on those outcomes. it’s easy to say “Conway’s Law” and then move swiftly on. “But but but, but how?” In early 2014, James and Martin Fowler called out “Organised around business capabilities“ as a core characteristic of microservices. This was based on feedback from successful teams around the world about how important this aspect was on the systems they were building. In this talk, James explores some of these structures and provides some practical guidance on what he and Martin meant when they said “business capability”."
  • Talk: Microservices and Rules Engines – a blast from the past (13th June 2017) * added: 18th July 2017
    "Search service, price service, risk service – when you model them as services, you end up with a tangled web of dependencies between them and almost all the other services in your system – a horrible distributed monolith. There’s a reason for that – they were never meant to be services in the first place. Join Udi for a blast from the past looking at how rules engines can fit in the missing dimension of your Microservice architectures. Things will look very, very different."


Build 2017 - 10th to 12th May 2017

Microsoft Build (often stylised as //build/) is an annual conference event held by Microsoft, aimed towards software engineers and web developers using Microsoft Azure and other Microsoft technologies. First held in 2011, it serves as a successor for Microsoft's previous developer events, with the most recent held just last month and so currently provides some of the latest updates regarding Service Fabric.

  • Containerizing your Microsoft ASP.NET 4.x apps (Level 300; 8th May 2017) * added: 18th July 2017
    "What can Container do for me and my "old" ASP.NET application? How can that help me get on a path to modern DevOps, cloud, and easy maintenance? In this session we walk through containerizing a Microsoft ASP.NET Framework application and getting it deployed to Azure."
  • Distributed Applications with Docker and Service Fabric (8th May 2017)
    "In this session we meet with Corey Sanders and Mark Fussell to discuss some of the latest Build 2017 announcements"
  • Developing on Windows Server: Innovation for today and tomorrow - containers, Docker, .NET Core, Service Fabric, and more (Level 300; 8th May 2017) * recommended
    "Windows Server 2016 is the most advanced server platform ever built. New features including containers, Docker Enterprise support, nested virtualization, shielded VMs, improved Linux support, .NET Core, and many others make this the best release of Windows Server for developers and IT professionals alike. This session focuses on the amazing innovations developers can and should be taking advantage of in Windows Server 2016 along with a preview of future innovation coming to Windows Server."
  • Microservice architecture with ASP.NET Core (Level 300; 8th May 2017)
    "Microservices are a hot topic and in this session, get an overview of microservices and how ASP.NET Core helps solve those challenges."
  • ASP.NET Core + Azure Service Fabric (Level 200; 10th May 2017)
    "Learn how to use ASP.NET Core in Azure Service Fabric to host scalable, highly-available web applications and HTTP services."
  • Managing Secure, Scalable, Azure Service Fabric Clusters and Applications (Level 300; 10th May 2017) * recommended
    "This session covers best practices for creating and managing secure Service Fabric clusters both on premises and in Azure and how to scale them based on demand. We deploy and upgrade applications with no downtime and use Azure Application Insights to rapidly troubleshoot issues with these deployed applications."
  • Application Insights for .NET Microservices and Containers (Level 300; 10th May 2017)
    "Come to this session to learn how you can use Application Insights to tame the complexity of .NET microservices and containers. We take a quick tour of how to make the most of the Application Map and Analytics with Service Fabric and Docker with Service Fabric and Kubernetes."

A number of customer case studies were also presented, showing more specific Service Fabric implementations.

  • Service Fabric architecture in the Swiss Re Digital Platform: An IoT scenario (Level 200; 8th May 2017)
    "Service Fabric builds the foundation of the digital platform at Swiss Re. The platform is highly scalable and able to process millions of messages. This session demonstrates how to process and enrich messages in Service Fabric using reliable actors and state full/stateless services. Swiss Re starts with an architecture overview of the solution and will then immediately dive into the implementation. We show two parts in detail: how to consume messages from EventHubs at scale by leveraging stateful services; and using Stream Analytics with the Avro protocol to prepare hopping windows for maneuver detection."
  • Learn how ASOS built its ecommerce platform using microservices on Microsoft Azure and had a record-breaking holiday season (Level 200; 8th May 2017)
    "Last year ASOS re-platformed their ecommerce suite on Azure PAAS, using a microservice approach. Doing so required them to adapt their engineering approach to allow 30+ teams work in parallel. In this session, they walk through the architecture and focus on the engineering approaches, practices, and tooling that allowed them to deliver."
  • How Wolters Kluwer created an isolated job system and containerization strategy on Azure Service Fabric (Level 300; 8th May 2017)
    "How Wolters Kluwer built their massive scale, compute, data, and tenant isolated job system and mapped their containerization strategy to Azure Service Fabric. Wolters Kluwer moved from a monolith existing design to a microservices design, leveraging multiple Azure platforms including Service Fabric for building mission-critical applications. Hear about lessons learned and best practices including monitoring, isolation, and containerization, in transforming to a microservice architecture."

Finally, a couple of sessions discussed upcoming features with Service Fabric and compute services in general.

  • Azure Compute: New features and roadmap (Level 200; 8th May 2017)
    "A can’t-miss session for everyone building in the cloud! We take a look at some of the newest features and upcoming capabilities in the Azure Compute platform. We show some new sizes, new experiences, and new integration technology available at //build or coming soon across VMs, Azure Service Fabric, Azure Container Service, Azure Functions, and more."
  • Azure Service Fabric, microservices, containers, and the road ahead (Level 300; 8th May 2017)
  • "Service Fabric is the Microsoft Azure microservices platform. This session is a developer’s tour and roadmap and dives into the latest Service Fabric capabilities, including containerized services, container orchestration including using Docker Compose, ASP.NET Core service support, integration with other Azure services and the latest developments in Visual Studio 2017 tooling, all sprinkled with customers scenarios."


Ignite Australia 2017 - 14th to 17th February 2017

Although maybe known for the primary once per year Ignite conference, last held in Atlanta back in September 2016, a number of local events also share the Ignite brand, most recently in Australia on the 14th to 17th February 2017.

  • Architectural Patterns for Hyperscale Service Fabric Implementations (Level 200; 10th February 2017)
    "Microservices architecture portrays efficient mechanisms of solving modern enterprise problems. However, this simplification comes at a cost. Manually managing hyper-scale deployments of Microservices is nearly impossible. Automating Microservices life cycle management becomes an inevitable requirement to achieve enterprise grade environment stability. This is where the role of Azure Service Fabric becomes significant. We will walk you through 10 design patterns that will propel your solution through common architectural hurdles. These patterns are tried, tested and have repeatedly proven successful. Following are a few of the patterns that we would cover. 1. Latency optimized load balancing 2. Cluster orchestrator 3. Auto scaling 4. High density deployment 5. Message Broker 6. Compensating Transaction 7. Sagas Each pattern that we discuss addresses specific challenges that are related Microservices based solutions. We will cover the motivation, solution, considerations and use cases for each design pattern in detail."
  • Azure for Developers - From App Services to Service Fabric (Level 300; 10th February 2017)
    "As a developer, you’ll go through the platform as a service capabilities of Azure. Particularly focussing on Azure App Service - for web, mobile, api, functions and workflows and Service Fabric - for cloud-scale microservices. You'll come out of the session with an understanding of how the Azure PaaS platform works, how to choose which technology is to use when and best practices in using and scaling the platform."
  • From Spaghetti to Microservices Architecture (Level 400; 10th February 2017)
    "Hopefully, the time when systems were built like monolith and integrated with point-to-point connection is behind us… right? More likely, though, many software applications are developed with a convoluted design that, eventually, hit the wall of maintainability and scalability. In this context, how can a microservice-based architecture help organisations focus on building features that add business value to their applications, without the overhead of designing and writing additional code to deal with issues of reliability, scalability, or latency in the underlying infrastructure? Explore the agility of architecting fine-grained microservice applications that benefit continuous integration and development practices, and accelerated delivery of new functions into production, with the help of Azure Service Fabric. It also presents the Publish-Subscribe design pattern of an enterprise-level service bus built on Azure Service Bus, which guarantees message queueing and delivery, on-premises and in the Cloud. Targeted at software architects and developers, a significant emphasis is posed on demoing the ESB capability available in Azure, how to avoid spaghetti-like intricate architecture designs, and how to design for microservices and API-based applications."


IglooConf 2017 - 19th to 20th January 2017

The IglooConf was a two-day one-track 10-speaker learning festival for all things Azure back on the 19th to 20th of January 2017 held at Microsoft Flux, Helsinki. Alan Smith presented how Service Fabric Reliable Actors can be leveraged in cloud-based applications. Starting with a detailed overview of the actor model, he explained the key concepts of the actor model and introduced telemetry processing for a demo fitness application.

  • Azure Service Fabric Reliable Actors (24th January 2017)
    "The actor model adopts the philosophy that everything is an actor. It provides a pattern for concurrent communication allowing discrete units of computation called "Actors". Actors maintain their own private state and interact with the outside world, and other actors using messages. Microsoft Azure Service Fabric introduces Reliable Actors, building on the Virtual Actor pattern to provide a programming model build on the scalability and reliability of the Azure Service Fabric platform. In this session Alan will show how Service Fabric Reliable Actors can be leveraged in cloud-based applications. Starting with a detailed overview of the actor model explaining the key concepts of the actor model the session will introduce telemetry processing for a fitness application as a scenarios. The implementation of this scenario will then be demonstrated, showing how the functionality of Reliable Actors can be used to implement the concurrent processing of multiple telemetry streams."


Connect(); // 2016 - 16th to 17th November 2016

Connect(); is Microsoft's annual developer event, most recently held back on 16th to 17th November 2016 and included a panel discussion about how you can build microservice applications leveraging a number of Azure technologies, including Azure Functions, Service Fabric, and Azure containers.


Ignite New Zealand 2016 - 25th to 28th October 2016

Another local Ignite event was held in New Zealand back in October 2016, not long after the main Ignite event last held in Atlanta back in September 2016..

  • Azure for Developers - From App Services to Service Fabric (Level 300; 24th October 2017)
    "This session will take you, as a developer, through the platform as a service capabilities of Azure, particularly focussing on Azure App Service (for web, mobile, api, functions and workflows) and Service Fabric (for cloud-scale microservices). You'll come out of the session with an understanding of how the Azure PaaS platform works, how to choose which technology is to use when and best practices in using and scaling the platform."


Ignite 2016 - 26th to 30th September 2016

Microsoft Ignite brings together the best of previously individual conferences - Microsoft Management Summit; Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and TechEd conferences - into a single annual event, last held 26th to 30th September 2016 and showcases the company’s enterprise products and services, while providing incredibly valuable IT training. It also provides plentiful opportunities for IT professionals to get together for collaboration and networking. Be sure to register for this year's Ignite conference, being held 25th to 29th September 2017 in Orlando:


Microsoft UK TechDays Online - 12th to 16th September 2016

As a regular scheduled event (which last took place back in September 2016), TechDays Online is Microsoft UK's biggest online conference for techies, broadcast from the Microsoft Campus in Reading. Over the last 5 years, TechDays has become synonymous with quality technical content for Developers and IT Pros. The event focus was Data and DevOps, with a session dedicated to Service Fabric.


>> Books & Magazines

Technology in the cloud space is changing at such a rapid pace that generally by the time a book hits the shelves it can already be partly out of date. There are a few options regarding books covering Service Fabric, as well as a few articles covered in MSDN Magazine.


Microsoft Press Store

Microsoft Press books, eBooks, and online resources are designed to help advance your skills with Microsoft Office, Windows, Visual Studio, .NET and other Microsoft technologies. There is currently one published book, dedicated to Service Fabric.


MSDN Magazine

MSDN Magazine brings you solutions to the real-world problems you face every day. The MSDN Magazine is published monthly by Microsoft and 1105 Media, and is available in printed or digital formats. The MSDN Magazine is available free of charge to Visual Studio subscribers in the USA; low "postage only" rates are also available for Visual Studio subscribers worldwide.


Packt Publishing

Founded in 2004 in Birmingham, UK, Packt’s mission is to help the world put software to work in new ways, through the delivery of effective learning and information services to IT professionals. A recent publication through Packt covers Microservices with Azure.

  • Microservices with Azure by Namit Tanasseri, Rahul Rai  (June 2017) * added: 18th July 2017
    "Microsoft Azure is rapidly evolving and is widely used as a platform on which you can build Microservices that can be deployed on-premise and on-cloud heterogeneous environments through Microsoft Azure Service Fabric. This book will help you understand the concepts of Microservice application architecture and build highly maintainable and scalable enterprise-grade applications using the various services in Microsoft Azure Service Fabric. We will begin by understanding the intricacies of the Microservices architecture and its advantages over the monolithic architecture and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles. We will present various scenarios where Microservices should be used and walk you through the architectures of Microservice-based applications. Next, you will take an in-depth look at Microsoft Azure Service Fabric, which is the best–in-class platform for building Microservices. You will explore how to develop and deploy sample applications on Microsoft Azure Service Fabric to gain a thorough understanding of it. Building Microservice-based application is complicated. Therefore, we will take you through several design patterns that solve the various challenges associated with realizing the Microservices architecture in enterprise applications. Each pattern will be clearly illustrated with examples that you can keep referring to when designing applications. Finally, you will be introduced to advanced topics such as Serverless computing and DevOps using Service Fabric, to help you undertake your next venture with confidence."


Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online is a digital library providing on-demand subscription access to thousands of books, videos & interactive learning tools from the world's leading publishers -- anytime, anywhere. If you have an account, you're able to access the 'Programming Microsoft Azure Service Fabric' book from Microsoft Press. There are a few other books not wholly dedicated to Service Fabric, but do cover some aspects in relation to the core subject material.

  • Programming WCF Services, 4th Edition (November 2015) - see chapter 11
    "Programming WCF Services is the authoritative, bestselling guide to Microsoft’s unified platform for developing modern, service-oriented applications on Windows. Hailed as the definitive treatment of WCF, this guide provides unique insight, rather than documentation, to help you learn the topics and skills you need for building maintainable, extensible, and reusable WCF-based applications."
  • Programming Microsoft Azure Service Fabric (June 2016)
    "Microsoft Azure Service Fabric makes it easier than ever before to build large-scale distributed cloud applications. You can quickly develop and update microservice-based applications, efficiently operate highly reliable hyperscale services, and deploy the same application code on public, hosted, or private clouds. This book introduces all key Azure Service Fabric concepts and walks you through implementing several real-world applications. You’ll find advanced design patterns, tuning tips, and lessons learned from early adopters—all from the perspective of developing and operating large projects in production."
  • Microservices with Azure (June 2017) * added: 18th July 2017
    "Microsoft Azure is rapidly evolving and is widely used as a platform on which you can build Microservices that can be deployed on-premise and on-cloud heterogeneous environments through Microsoft Azure Service Fabric. This book will help you understand the concepts of Microservice application architecture and build highly maintainable and scalable enterprise-grade applications using the various services in Microsoft Azure Service Fabric. We will begin by understanding the intricacies of the Microservices architecture and its advantages over the monolithic architecture and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles. We will present various scenarios where Microservices should be used and walk you through the architectures of Microservice-based applications. Next, you will take an in-depth look at Microsoft Azure Service Fabric, which is the best–in-class platform for building Microservices. You will explore how to develop and deploy sample applications on Microsoft Azure Service Fabric to gain a thorough understanding of it. Building Microservice-based application is complicated. Therefore, we will take you through several design patterns that solve the various challenges associated with realizing the Microservices architecture in enterprise applications. Each pattern will be clearly illustrated with examples that you can keep referring to when designing applications. Finally, you will be introduced to advanced topics such as Serverless computing and DevOps using Service Fabric, to help you undertake your next venture with confidence."


>> Labs

We're now at the point past theory where hands on access and practice is required. Even if you don't have an Azure subscription, you can still develop and test locally or spin up a free 'Party Cluster'. There are a number of structured labs available, as well as guidance on how to start building out your first clusters and Service Fabric services.


Microsoft Azure Service Fabric - Try for Free!

Party clusters are free, limited-time Service Fabric clusters hosted on Azure and run by the Service Fabric team where anyone can deploy applications and learn about the platform. For free! Just sign in with an account of your choice and we'll give you information on how to connect to your cluster and deploy your applications. No subscriptions required.

Your cluster runs for an hour, then it's automatically taken down. At that point, all your applications will be removed and you'll have to connect to a new cluster to keep partying. You can only connect to one party cluster at a time, but you can come back as many times as you like.

The source code has been published and made available via GitHub.


Azure Service Fabric Team Blog

While already highlighted earlier, a couple of getting started labs have also been published via the Team Blog.


Service Fabric Documentation

The primary documentation source for Service Fabric, updated in the open via GitHub (, which also contains a number of lab guides. A new quick start has recently been added:

Firstly, you'll need to get your development environment configured appropriately, dependant on your chosen platform.

Next, the follows lab guides get you developing your first set of Service Fabric applications.

Once you have code, you can then run through deploying locally, then running through deployment onto a Service Fabric cluster.

Additionally, some additional tutorials have been added - firstly, to deploy a .NET app.

And secondly, to lift and shift an app.



Opsgility is the leading Microsoft cloud technology trainer for developers and IT professionals, built around an esteemed network of industry experts and technical authors that includes MVPs and Microsoft Insiders in more than 10 countries. As part of the recently updated Visual Studio and Dev Essentials benefits (, you can now receive a 3-month free subscription to one of the most comprehensive video libraries of Microsoft Azure curriculum available.

There are currently a couple of Service Fabric labs available via Opsgility, covering both deployment on Windows and Linux.


>> Code Samples

Various sample and introductory code snippets, to help with building out applications on Service Fabric, and automate cluster deployment along with associated services.


Azure Code Samples

Learn to interact with Azure services through code. A number of Service Fabric code samples are published via the Azure Code Samples library.

All Azure Code samples are available via GitHub.


Azure Quickstart Templates

Deploy Azure resources through the Azure Resource Manager with community contributed templates to get more done. Deploy, learn, fork and contribute back. With Resource Manager, you can create a template (in JSON format) that defines the infrastructure and configuration of your Azure solution. By using a template, you can repeatedly deploy your solution throughout its lifecycle and have confidence your resources are deployed in a consistent state.

The Azure Quickstart Template library contains a number of ARM templates to support Service Fabric deployment.

All Azure Quickstart Templates are available via GitHub.


>> Community

There are a large number of users of Service Fabric out in the community, with many taking the time to document and share their experiences of Service Fabric. I've included a selection of individuals and articles here, but please let me know if you've found and can recommend other good resources.


AzureCAT Guidance

CAT stands for “Customer Advisory Team” who work with customers that act as feedback Advisors back to our product teams, by working on engagements with those customers and building ground-breaking solutions! We then have unique lessons we’ve learned from those solutions. And, thus, we publish them back to you to show you these insights, architectures, lessons learned, best practices, and emerging patterns, with Microsoft products, like Azure, SQL Server, Power BI, Visual Studio (and dev tools), and more!


Cloud Solution Architect

From the global teams of Cloud Solution Architects across Microsoft, this blog presents a place where many of the CSAs published guest posts, which has included a couple on Service Fabric.


Enterprise Mobility and Security Blog

Enterprise software for true mobility solutions. Get a cloud solution built to deliver apps and data access across all devices, while helping keep your business secure. This is the blog for the EM+S team.


Operations Management Suite Blog

Microsoft Operations Management Suite is an IT management solution for the era of the cloud; SaaS for IT Professionals. This the blog for the OMS team.


Premier Developer - Premier Support for Developers Team Blog

Microsoft Premier Support for Developers provides end-to-end managed support across the full Microsoft developer platform: on-premises, hybrid, or in the cloud—helping your company throughout the development lifecycle. By working side by side with experts from Microsoft and engaging in training programs, workshops, and labs, we will help your organization to enhance skills, to develop with Microsoft standards and recommended practices in mind, and create more secure and high performing applications.

Members of the PSfD team regularly post to the Premier Developer blog, which has included a number of articles on Service Fabric.


Jamie Dalton

Jamie currently works here at Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist in the UK.


Larry Wall

With a current focus on Azure technologies as a Senior Cloud Consultant at Microsoft, Larry has posted a number of Service Fabric articles to his blog.


Mahesh Kshirsagar

Mahesh is a Senior Program Manager working within the AzureCAT team at Microsoft.


Mark West

Mark West, a developer at Microsoft, currently working with applications on Containers - his blog covers patterns and notes on how to get your Apps Working on Containers.


Monu Bambroo

Monu works as a Consultant within the Premier Support for Developers team here at Microsoft.


Ross Smith

Ross Smith is a Technical Evangelist here at Microsoft, working with test driven development (TDD), continuous integration, code coverage, code analysis, specialising in automated builds and deployment.


Tsuyoshi Ushio

Working for Microsoft as a Senior Technical Evangelist, his blog has a focus on DevOps.



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Andrei Dzimchuk

As a software architect at ScienceSoft, more recently mostly focused on Microsoft Azure and .NET, he actively shares experiences and knowledge on his blog and at various local events as a speaker.


Brent Stineman

In his role as a Technical Evangelist with the Technical Evangelism and Development (TED) team within Microsoft’s corporate Developer Experience (DX, formerly DPE) group, he pursues his passion for cloud and works with an even more complex problems while knocking down the barriers of cloud adoption.


Claus Asbjørn Sørensen

Claus Sørensen, founder of Geist AS and working as an independent contractor wrote a series of posts last year to his blog, as a primer to getting Service Fabric up and running.



Gonzalo Ruiz, previously working as a Lead Cloud Architect here at Microsoft, now working as CTO at the Microsoft London Accelerator, has a couple of interesting posts on his blog regarding the use of Application Gateway and Microsoft Bot Framework with Service Fabric.


James Sturtevant

Currently working as a Technical Evangelist here at Microsoft, working with developers, Students and Startups to help them build innovative applications using Microsoft's leading edge technology for a mobile first, cloud first world. On his personal blog, there are a number of interesting articles in regards to Service Fabric.


Joni Collinge

As a Developer at Microsoft, among his other posts, Joni put together a useful video on setting up CI/CD to Service Fabric via VSTS.


Oliver Thomlinson

Oliver Tomlinson is currently working at Esendex and recently put together a post on testing VMSS Auto Scaling with ASF.


Rahul Rai

Rahul Rai, a programmer and technophile working as a consultant at Readify, Sydney, Australia who recently presented the 'Architectural Patterns for Hyperscale Service Fabric Implementations' at Ignite Australia ( He currently posts various aspects of Service Fabric to his blog.


Ronald Wildenberg

As a developer working for Microsoft in the Netherlands, Ronald posted a number of articles on ASF last year.

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