Tutorial: Deploy a multi-container group using a Resource Manager template

Azure Container Instances supports the deployment of multiple containers onto a single host using a container group. A container group is useful when building an application sidecar for logging, monitoring, or any other configuration where a service needs a second attached process.

In this tutorial, you follow steps to run a simple two-container sidecar configuration by deploying an Azure Resource Manager template using the Azure CLI. You learn how to:

  • Configure a multi-container group template
  • Deploy the container group
  • View the logs of the containers

A Resource Manager template can be readily adapted for scenarios when you need to deploy additional Azure service resources (for example, an Azure Files share or a virtual network) with the container group.

Note

Multi-container groups are currently restricted to Linux containers.

If you don’t have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. Cloud Shell lets you use either bash or PowerShell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell pre-installed commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To launch Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to https://shell.azure.com or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser.
Select the Cloud Shell button on the top-right menu bar in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Launch Cloud Shell.
  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.
  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session with Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux, or Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.
  4. Press Enter to run the code.

Configure a template

Start by copying the following JSON into a new file named azuredeploy.json. In Azure Cloud Shell, you can use Visual Studio Code to create the file in your working directory:

code azuredeploy.json

This Resource Manager template defines a container group with two containers, a public IP address, and two exposed ports. The first container in the group runs an internet-facing web application. The second container, the sidecar, makes an HTTP request to the main web application via the group's local network.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "containerGroupName": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "myContainerGroup",
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Container Group name."
      }
    }
  },
  "variables": {
    "container1name": "aci-tutorial-app",
    "container1image": "mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld:latest",
    "container2name": "aci-tutorial-sidecar",
    "container2image": "mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-tutorial-sidecar"
  },
  "resources": [
    {
      "name": "[parameters('containerGroupName')]",
      "type": "Microsoft.ContainerInstance/containerGroups",
      "apiVersion": "2018-10-01",
      "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
      "properties": {
        "containers": [
          {
            "name": "[variables('container1name')]",
            "properties": {
              "image": "[variables('container1image')]",
              "resources": {
                "requests": {
                  "cpu": 1,
                  "memoryInGb": 1.5
                }
              },
              "ports": [
                {
                  "port": 80
                },
                {
                  "port": 8080
                }
              ]
            }
          },
          {
            "name": "[variables('container2name')]",
            "properties": {
              "image": "[variables('container2image')]",
              "resources": {
                "requests": {
                  "cpu": 1,
                  "memoryInGb": 1.5
                }
              }
            }
          }
        ],
        "osType": "Linux",
        "ipAddress": {
          "type": "Public",
          "ports": [
            {
              "protocol": "tcp",
              "port": "80"
            },
            {
                "protocol": "tcp",
                "port": "8080"
            }
          ]
        }
      }
    }
  ],
  "outputs": {
    "containerIPv4Address": {
      "type": "string",
      "value": "[reference(resourceId('Microsoft.ContainerInstance/containerGroups/', parameters('containerGroupName'))).ipAddress.ip]"
    }
  }
}

To use a private container image registry, add an object to the JSON document with the following format. For an example implementation of this configuration, see the ACI Resource Manager template reference documentation.

"imageRegistryCredentials": [
  {
    "server": "[parameters('imageRegistryLoginServer')]",
    "username": "[parameters('imageRegistryUsername')]",
    "password": "[parameters('imageRegistryPassword')]"
  }
]

Deploy the template

Create a resource group with the az group create command.

az group create --name myResourceGroup --location eastus

Deploy the template with the az group deployment create command.

az group deployment create --resource-group myResourceGroup --template-file azuredeploy.json

Within a few seconds, you should receive an initial response from Azure.

View deployment state

To view the state of the deployment, use the following az container show command:

az container show --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myContainerGroup --output table

If you'd like to view the running application, navigate to its IP address in your browser. For example, the IP is 52.168.26.124 in this example output:

Name              ResourceGroup    Status    Image                                                                                               IP:ports              Network    CPU/Memory       OsType    Location
----------------  ---------------  --------  --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  --------------------  ---------  ---------------  --------  ----------
myContainerGroup  danlep0318r      Running   mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-tutorial-sidecar,mcr.microsoft.com/azuredocs/aci-helloworld:latest  20.42.26.114:80,8080  Public     1.0 core/1.5 gb  Linux     eastus

View container logs

View the log output of a container using the az container logs command. The --container-name argument specifies the container from which to pull logs. In this example, the aci-tutorial-app container is specified.

az container logs --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myContainerGroup --container-name aci-tutorial-app

Output:

listening on port 80
::1 - - [21/Mar/2019:23:17:48 +0000] "HEAD / HTTP/1.1" 200 1663 "-" "curl/7.54.0"
::1 - - [21/Mar/2019:23:17:51 +0000] "HEAD / HTTP/1.1" 200 1663 "-" "curl/7.54.0"
::1 - - [21/Mar/2019:23:17:54 +0000] "HEAD / HTTP/1.1" 200 1663 "-" "curl/7.54.0"

To see the logs for the sidecar container, run a similar command specifying the aci-tutorial-sidecar container.

az container logs --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myContainerGroup --container-name aci-tutorial-sidecar

Output:

Every 3s: curl -I http://localhost                          2019-03-21 20:36:41

  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
  0  1663    0     0    0     0      0      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:--     0
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Cache-Control: public, max-age=0
Last-Modified: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 06:40:40 GMT
ETag: W/"67f-16006818640"
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Length: 1663
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 20:36:41 GMT
Connection: keep-alive

As you can see, the sidecar is periodically making an HTTP request to the main web application via the group's local network to ensure that it is running. This sidecar example could be expanded to trigger an alert if it received an HTTP response code other than 200 OK.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you used an Azure Resource Manager template to deploy a multi-container group in Azure Container Instances. You learned how to:

  • Configure a multi-container group template
  • Deploy the container group
  • View the logs of the containers

For additional template samples, see Azure Resource Manager templates for Azure Container Instances.

You can also specify a multi-container group using a YAML file. Due to the YAML format's more concise nature, deployment with a YAML file is a good choice when your deployment includes only container instances.