Azure Container Registry Review

Easy to use, private, secure, and it performs well


What is our primary use case?

I am a DevOps consultant. I provide the architecture, assessments, and optimization of the services that we use to build a better infrastructure, and other services.

We are basically using Azure Container Registry for a project that we have in the healthcare domain. There, we use the container registry and as well as Azure DevOps, apart from the Azure Cloud and the built release pipeline, along with this container registry and the self-hosted server. 

I would say that this allows us to build, store, and manage the container images and the artifact in the private registry that Azure provides. 

It's a managed container registry that we don't need to configure or set up within our premises. It's all in the cloud. The login and the portal id where we can store that information, and the containers. 

We can also see a list of images located in the repository. For example, I can pull any Docker image using the Docker command. I can then store that image within the repository, within this Docker Registry Container.

I don't have to go to the Docker Hub or any other hub. This is one of the safest private repositories over the cloud that I have, that I can use.

This is one of the most beneficial solutions to be used over the cloud.

What is most valuable?

One of the benefits of this solution is that it's private and secure. It's easy to use, it's fast, and it's scalable. 

We can have that OCA format that we can use and it's a multi-tenant service, which we use for the endpoint data that we have. 

We can automate container builds for testing and other purposes, and we can use the CLI (command-line interface) to interact with the registry. 

We can manage Windows and Linux containers within a single registry. We don't have to create multiple container registries, different images, and containers. 

These are the benefits of having the Container Registry and we can use the Webhook as well, for security purposes and for pushing the container image using the CI/CD pipeline. 

These are the benefits we get using the Container Registry.

This solution has multiple features and I can't really say that I can rely on, or that there is only one feature or one that I love more. 

The app services and the DC/OS and the KS, also the service tiers that they are providing, security using the logins, images, artifacts, and many more.

The task of pushing and deploying images that we use in the containers is very good.

It's very secure and it uses authentication.

Security, the deployment pipelines, and the developers are using the ACR task instead of using other third-party products.

What needs improvement?

It's difficult to find areas of improvement. I have always found it to be better than any CI/CD pipeline.

The deployment is an area that needs improvement, as it can take some time to deploy.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable because it has security integration as well.

It's integrated with the echo security, which helps the developmental production life cycle controls, in the container application that we use.

It's very efficient and stable to use.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

I'm not using it that extensively. I have a 40/50GB of data that I am storing using the container images. That hasn't cost me very much, I am using it in a very optimal way.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not contacted technical support. We haven't needed it yet.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I used open-source only. 

I never used the AWS (Amazon Web Services) providing the ECR, the elastic container Registry. It's a bit expensive compared to Azure. I am certified, but I haven't used that.

Cons of an open-source product are that it has limited security features, that I am looking for without replication. It doesn't have the access key features and the policies which are positive with ACR.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward for me. It was not complex.

I didn't find it to be difficult in setting up the ACR with the Docker containers that we were using.

It took time to deploy this containerization and the application. For example, when creating the ACR and you click to deploy it and create the replication, it takes some time to create the replication.

I feel that It took more than thirty minutes to complete the deployment.

My initial strategy was to secure the images that we use for the microservices and the web services for production. I didn't want to include any other repository. I just wanted to have a secure ability instead of creating my own or using the open-source repository.

That was my initial purpose because it provides the access key and the web host, which other third-party open-sourced solutions are not providing. This allows us to use the active directory to access the services.

The solution doesn't require any further maintenance post-deployment.

What was our ROI?

It gives me exposure and learning in this technology. Apart from that, it's the client who is paying me to manage and service the infrastructure. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Azure is a bit expensive.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this solution is very beneficial. If my infrastructure or our services are within the Azure Cloud, and if I'm using the ECR, it's very helpful to maintain the images that we use for the web services or the microservices for the ATS and the dockers. We don't have to maintain those images for other third parties or other repositories.

It's very good and for those who don't use it, you must look into it, and just go for it.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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