Deploy a Service Fabric Windows container application on Azure

Azure Service Fabric is a distributed systems platform for deploying and managing scalable and reliable microservices and containers.

Running an existing application in a Windows container on a Service Fabric cluster doesn't require any changes to your application. This quickstart shows you how to deploy a pre-built Docker container image in a Service Fabric application. When you're finished, you'll have a running Windows Server 2016 Nano Server and IIS container. This quickstart describes deploying a Windows container, read this quickstart to deploy a Linux container.

IIS default web page

Using this quickstart you learn how to:

  • Package a Docker image container
  • Configure communication
  • Build and package the Service Fabric application
  • Deploy the container application to Azure


Package a Docker image container with Visual Studio

The Service Fabric SDK and tools provide a service template to help you deploy a container to a Service Fabric cluster.

Start Visual Studio as "Administrator". Select File > New > Project.

Select Service Fabric application, name it "MyFirstContainer", and click OK.

Select Container from the list of service templates.

In Image Name, enter "microsoft/iis:nanoserver", the Windows Server Nano Server and IIS base image.

Name your service "MyContainerService", and click OK.

Configure communication and container port-to-host port mapping

The service needs an endpoint for communication. You can now add the protocol, port, and type to an Endpoint in the ServiceManifest.xml file. For this quickstart, the containerized service listens on port 80:

<Endpoint Name="MyContainerServiceTypeEndpoint" UriScheme="http" Port="80" Protocol="http"/>

Providing the UriScheme automatically registers the container endpoint with the Service Fabric Naming service for discoverability. A full ServiceManifest.xml example file is provided at the end of this article.

Configure the container port-to-host port mapping by specifying a PortBinding policy in ContainerHostPolicies of the ApplicationManifest.xml file. For this quickstart, ContainerPort is 80 and EndpointRef is "MyContainerServiceTypeEndpoint" (the endpoint defined in the service manifest). Incoming requests to the service on port 80 are mapped to port 80 on the container.

  <ConfigOverrides />
    <ContainerHostPolicies CodePackageRef="Code">
      <PortBinding ContainerPort="80" EndpointRef="MyContainerServiceTypeEndpoint"/>

A full ApplicationManifest.xml example file is provided at the end of this article.

Create a cluster

To deploy the application to a cluster in Azure, you can either join a party cluster or create your own cluster on Azure.

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. The cluster uses a single self-signed certificate for-node-to node as well as client-to-node security.

Sign in and join a Windows cluster. Download the PFX certificate to your computer by clicking the PFX link. The certificate and the Connection endpoint value are used in following steps.

PFX and connection endpoint

On a Windows computer, install the PFX in CurrentUser\My certificate store.

PS C:\mycertificates> Import-PfxCertificate -FilePath .\party-cluster-873689604-client-cert.pfx -CertStoreLocation Cert:

  PSParentPath: Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\Certificate::CurrentUser\My

Thumbprint                                Subject
----------                                -------

Remember the thumbprint for the following step.

Deploy the application to Azure using Visual Studio

Now that the application is ready, you can deploy it to a cluster directly from Visual Studio.

Right-click MyFirstContainer in the Solution Explorer and choose Publish. The Publish dialog appears.

Copy the Connection Endpoint from the Party cluster page into the Connection Endpoint field. For example, Click Advanced Connection Parameters and fill in the following information. FindValue and ServerCertThumbprint values must match the thumbprint of the certificate installed in the previous step.

Publish Dialog

Click Publish.

Each application in the cluster must have a unique name. Party clusters are a public, shared environment however and there may be a conflict with an existing application. If there is a name conflict, rename the Visual Studio project and deploy again.

Open a browser and navigate to You should see the IIS default web page: IIS default web page

Complete example Service Fabric application and service manifests

Here are the complete service and application manifests used in this quickstart.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ServiceManifest Name="MyContainerServicePkg"
    <!-- This is the name of your ServiceType.
         The UseImplicitHost attribute indicates this is a guest service. -->
    <StatelessServiceType ServiceTypeName="MyContainerServiceType" UseImplicitHost="true" />

  <!-- Code package is your service executable. -->
  <CodePackage Name="Code" Version="1.0.0">
      <!-- Follow this link for more information about deploying Windows containers to Service Fabric: -->
    <!-- Pass environment variables to your container: -->
      <EnvironmentVariable Name="VariableName" Value="VariableValue"/>

  <!-- Config package is the contents of the Config directoy under PackageRoot that contains an 
       independently-updateable and versioned set of custom configuration settings for your service. -->
  <ConfigPackage Name="Config" Version="1.0.0" />

      <!-- This endpoint is used by the communication listener to obtain the port on which to 
           listen. Please note that if your service is partitioned, this port is shared with 
           replicas of different partitions that are placed in your code. -->
      <Endpoint Name="MyContainerServiceTypeEndpoint" UriScheme="http" Port="80" Protocol="http"/>


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ApplicationManifest ApplicationTypeName="MyFirstContainerType"
    <Parameter Name="MyContainerService_InstanceCount" DefaultValue="-1" />
  <!-- Import the ServiceManifest from the ServicePackage. The ServiceManifestName and ServiceManifestVersion 
       should match the Name and Version attributes of the ServiceManifest element defined in the 
       ServiceManifest.xml file. -->
    <ServiceManifestRef ServiceManifestName="MyContainerServicePkg" ServiceManifestVersion="1.0.0" />
    <ConfigOverrides />
      <ContainerHostPolicies CodePackageRef="Code">
        <PortBinding ContainerPort="80" EndpointRef="MyContainerServiceTypeEndpoint"/>

    <!-- The section below creates instances of service types, when an instance of this 
         application type is created. You can also create one or more instances of service type using the 
         ServiceFabric PowerShell module.

         The attribute ServiceTypeName below must match the name defined in the imported ServiceManifest.xml file. -->
    <Service Name="MyContainerService" ServicePackageActivationMode="ExclusiveProcess">
      <StatelessService ServiceTypeName="MyContainerServiceType" InstanceCount="[MyContainerService_InstanceCount]">
        <SingletonPartition />

Next steps

In this quickstart, you learned how to:

  • Package a Docker image container
  • Configure communication
  • Build and package the Service Fabric application
  • Deploy the container application to Azure