The cloud-native world just got a bit more exciting with Microsoft's announcement of Radius. This open-source, language-neutral application platform is designed to simplify building and operating cloud-native applications. It's the brainchild of Microsoft Azure Incubation team, which has an impressive track record with the launch of other open source initiatives like Dapr, KEDA, and Copacetic. Notably, Microsoft aims to present Radius for inclusion in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in the coming months.
Radius stands out in its ability to deploy applications across various cloud environments including private clouds, Microsoft's Azure, Amazon's AWS, and soon, Google Cloud. While Kubernetes has revolutionized application building with its 'run anywhere' philosophy, it has also added layers of complexity. Radius aims to clear this clutter, enabling developers to center their energies on crafting applications.
Historically, we've seen platforms, like Cloud Foundry and VMware’s Tanzu Application Service, aiming to remove infrastructure concerns from developers. However, according to Azure's CTO, Mark Russinovich, Radius is charting its own unique course. Unlike platforms that limit the architecture or require specific app design patterns, Radius remains non-restrictive, embracing a vast array of application types, from traditional two-tier designs to intricate microservices.
An integral feature of Radius is its ability to describe not just the compute parts but also the cloud resources linked with applications. This complete application graph offers a holistic view and hands-on control to developers. Furthermore, Radius collaborates smoothly with existing tools, including Terraform and Bicep, and seamlessly integrates with CI/CD services, such as GitHub Actions.
Radius boasts a universal control plane rooted in the Azure Resource Manager deployment engine. In line with its open-source commitment, Microsoft plans to make this resource manager's code public in the near future. Significant collaborations are also on the horizon, with Microsoft already partnering with giants like Comcast and Millennium BCP, fortifying Radius's capability to function across any cloud.
As Microsoft trails the successful path it paved with the Dapr distributed application runtime, Radius might soon spark commercial ventures and possibly integrate into Azure's application platform offerings. The future looks radiant for Radius, and developers worldwide await its transformative impact on cloud-native applications.