Docker Compose deployment support in Azure Service Fabric (Preview)

Docker uses the docker-compose.yml file for defining multi-container applications. To make it easy for customers familiar with Docker to orchestrate existing container applications on Azure Service Fabric, we have included preview support for Docker Compose deployment natively in the platform. Service Fabric can accept version 3 and later of docker-compose.yml files.

Because this support is in preview, only a subset of Compose directives is supported. For example, application upgrades are not supported. However, you can always remove and deploy applications instead of upgrading them.

To use this preview, create your cluster with version 5.7 or greater of the Service Fabric runtime through the Azure portal along with the corresponding SDK.


This feature is in preview and is not supported in production. The examples below are based on runtime version 6.0 and SDK version 2.8.

Deploy a Docker Compose file on Service Fabric

The following commands create a Service Fabric application (named fabric:/TestContainerApp), which you can monitor and manage like any other Service Fabric application. You can use the specified application name for health queries. Service Fabric recognizes "DeploymentName" as the identifier of the Compose deployment.

Use PowerShell

Create a Service Fabric Compose deployment from a docker-compose.yml file by running the following command in PowerShell:

New-ServiceFabricComposeDeployment -DeploymentName TestContainerApp -Compose docker-compose.yml [-RegistryUserName <>] [-RegistryPassword <>] [-PasswordEncrypted]

RegistryUserName and RegistryPassword refer to the container registry username and password. After you've completed the deployment, you can check its status by using the following command:

Get-ServiceFabricComposeDeploymentStatus -DeploymentName TestContainerApp

To delete the Compose deployment through PowerShell, use the following command:

Remove-ServiceFabricComposeDeployment  -DeploymentName TestContainerApp

To start a Compose deployment upgrade through PowerShell, use the following command:

Start-ServiceFabricComposeDeploymentUpgrade -DeploymentName TestContainerApp -Compose docker-compose-v2.yml -Monitored -FailureAction Rollback

After upgrade is accepted, the upgrade progress could be tracked using the following command:

Get-ServiceFabricComposeDeploymentUpgrade -DeploymentName TestContainerApp

Use Azure Service Fabric CLI (sfctl)

Alternatively, you can use the following Service Fabric CLI command:

sfctl compose create --deployment-name TestContainerApp --file-path docker-compose.yml [ [ --user --encrypted-pass ] | [ --user --has-pass ] ] [ --timeout ]

After you've created the deployment, you can check its status by using the following command:

sfctl compose status --deployment-name TestContainerApp [ --timeout ]

To delete the compose deployment, use the following command:

sfctl compose remove  --deployment-name TestContainerApp [ --timeout ]

To start a Compose deployment upgrade, use the following command:

sfctl compose upgrade --deployment-name TestContainerApp --file-path docker-compose-v2.yml [ [ --user --encrypted-pass ] | [ --user --has-pass ] ] [--upgrade-mode Monitored] [--failure-action Rollback] [ --timeout ]

After upgrade is accepted, the upgrade progress could be tracked using the following command:

sfctl compose upgrade-status --deployment-name TestContainerApp

Supported Compose directives

This preview supports a subset of the configuration options from the Compose version 3 format, including the following primitives:

  • Services > Deploy > Replicas
  • Services > Deploy > Placement > Constraints
  • Services > Deploy > Resources > Limits
    • -cpu-shares
    • -memory
    • -memory-swap
  • Services > Commands
  • Services > Environment
  • Services > Ports
  • Services > Image
  • Services > Isolation (only for Windows)
  • Services > Logging > Driver
  • Services > Logging > Driver > Options
  • Volume & Deploy > Volume

Set up the cluster for enforcing resource limits, as described in Service Fabric resource governance. All other Docker Compose directives are unsupported for this preview.

Ports section

Specify either the http or https protocol in the Ports section that will be used by the Service Fabric service listener. This will ensure that the endpoint protocol is published correctly with the naming service to allow reverse proxy to forward the requests:

  • To route to unsecure Service Fabric Compose services, specify /http. For example, - "80:80/http".
  • To route to secure Service Fabric Compose services, specify /https. For example, - "443:443/https".


The /http and /https Ports section syntax is specific to Service Fabric to register the correct Service Fabric listener URL. If the Docker compose file syntax is programmatically validated, it may cause a validation error.

ServiceDnsName computation

If the service name that you specify in a Compose file is a fully qualified domain name (that is, it contains a dot [.]), the DNS name registered by Service Fabric is <ServiceName> (including the dot). If not, each path segment in the application name becomes a domain label in the service DNS name, with the first path segment becoming the top-level domain label.

For example, if the specified application name is fabric:/SampleApp/MyComposeApp, <ServiceName>.MyComposeApp.SampleApp would be the registered DNS name.

Compose deployment (instance definition) versus Service Fabric app model (type definition)

A docker-compose.yml file describes a deployable set of containers, including their properties and configurations. For example, the file can contain environment variables and ports. You can also specify deployment parameters, such as placement constraints, resource limits, and DNS names, in the docker-compose.yml file.

The Service Fabric application model uses service types and application types, where you can have many application instances of the same type. For example, you can have one application instance per customer. This type-based model supports multiple versions of the same application type that's registered with the runtime.

For example, customer A can have an application instantiated with type 1.0 of AppTypeA, and customer B can have another application instantiated with the same type and version. You define the application types in the application manifests, and you specify the application name and deployment parameters when you create the application.

Although this model offers flexibility, we are also planning to support a simpler, instance-based deployment model where types are implicit from the manifest file. In this model, each application gets its own independent manifest. We are previewing this effort by adding support for docker-compose.yml, which is an instance-based deployment format.

Next steps