Microsoft has introduced a new container service, Azure Container Instances (ACI), that is intended to provide a more lightweight and granular way to run containerized applications than its Azure Container Service (ACS).
ACI runs individual containers that you can configure with specific amounts of virtual CPU and memory, and that are billed by the second. Containers can be pulled from various sources – Docker Hub, the Azure Container Registry, or a private repository – and deployed from the CLI or by way of an Azure template.
Microsoft is emphasizing how ACI is complementary to ACS, rather than a replacement for it. ACI is meant for smaller, more burst-able workloads, or as a way to temporarily satisfy a surge in demand, rather than as a way to deploy complex, long-running applications with many interdependencies between containers.