The Microsoft Azure Incubations Team launches Radius, a new open application platform for the cloud

October 26, 2023

The Microsoft Azure Incubations team is excited to announce Radius, a cloud-native application platform that enables developers and platform engineers who support them to collaborate on delivering and managing cloud-native applications that follow corporate best practices for cost, operations, and security by default. Radius is an open-source project that supports deploying applications across private cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services, with more cloud providers to come. To get started or learn more about Radius, visit, join the discussions on Discord, or dial into an upcoming community meeting

Microsoft innovating via open source software

Microsoft is a major contributor to open-source projects across the industry and its Azure Incubations team is focused specifically on open-source innovation that enables everyone to accelerate their journey to the cloud. In addition to Radius, the team has launched multiple popular open source projects including Dapr, KEDA, and Copacetic, all available at via the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF). 

The evolution of cloud computing has increased the speed of innovation for many companies, whether they are building second and third-tier applications or complex microservice-based applications. Cloud native technologies like Kubernetes have made building applications that can run anywhere easier. At the same time, many applications have become more complex, and managing them in the cloud is increasingly difficult, as companies build cloud-native applications composed of interconnected services and deploy them to multiple public clouds and their private infrastructure. While Kubernetes is a key enabler, we see many customers building abstractions over Kubernetes, usually focused on compute, to work around its limitations: Kubernetes has no formal definition of an application, it mingles infrastructure and application concepts and it is overwhelmingly complex. Developers also inevitably realize their applications require much more than Kubernetes, including support for dependencies like application programming interface (API) front ends, key-value stores, caches, and observability systems. Amidst these challenges for developers, their corporate IT counterparts also must enforce an ever-growing matrix of corporate standards, compliance, and security requirements, while still enabling rapid application innovation. 

Introducing Radius

Radius was designed to address these distinct but related challenges that arise across development and operations as companies continue their journey to the cloud. Radius meets application teams where they are by supporting proven technologies like Kubernetes, existing infrastructure tools including Terraform and Bicep, and by integrating with existing continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) systems like GitHub Actions. Radius supports multi-tier web-plus-data to complex microservice applications like eShop a popular cloud reference application from Microsoft.

This is an architecture diagram of Radius. It shows the value propositions of Radius, like the application graph. It shows technologies that work with Radius, like Docker an Redis. And it shows infrastructure Radius runs upon, like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Kubernetes

Radius enables developers to understand their applications and it knows your application is more than just Kubernetes. Radius helps developers see all the components that comprise their application, and when they add new components, Radius automatically connects those components to their application by taking care of permissions, connection strings, and more.

Radius also ensures the cloud infrastructure used by applications meets cost, operations, and security requirements. These requirements are captured in recipes, which are defined by the IT operators, platform engineers, and/or security engineers that support cloud native developers. Radius binds an application to its dependent infrastructure, which enables Radius to provide an application graph that shows precisely how the application and infrastructure are interconnected. This graph enables team members to view and intuitively understand what makes up an application.

Many enterprises are multi-cloud and want solutions that work well not on just Azure, but on other clouds, as well as on-premises. So, Radius is open-source and multi-cloud from the start. Companies like Microsoft, BlackRock, Comcast, and Millenium BCP have worked together to ensure applications defined and managed with Radius can run on any cloud. Anyone in the open-source community can contribute to Radius, ensuring Radius evolves along with the broader cloud native community. Initial observations from these companies include:

“In today’s landscape of ever-evolving cloud complexities, there’s an imperative need to streamline the application development lifecycle. It’s essential that our internal developers can rapidly access the infrastructure they require, all while adhering to compliance standards and requirements. We see Radius as a promising enabler in this context. Through its unique offering of Radius recipes, the platform empowers developers to tap into vital cloud resources like Kubernetes and storage solutions, without the necessity to grasp the intricate details of these underlying systems. Our engagement with Radius stems from our advocacy for open-source solutions within our own technology platform, Aladdin, and we believe this approach holds significant potential to resonate with the cloud-native community. Mike Bowen, Senior Principal Engineer and OSPO Director, BlackRock.

“Radius is strongly aligned with our platform engineering vision to enable Comcast engineers to innovate at the speed of thought.  We are prototyping on Radius to understand how Comcast might both consume and contribute to this promising open-source project.”  Paul Roach, VP of Developer Experience, Comcast 

“At Millennium bcp our focus on security, compliance, best practices, and agility is paramount, and we must ensure these requirements are continuously met. To align expectations and lifecycles across multiple teams and technologies we are working to make common Application definitions and lifecycles first-class citizens in our IT landscape, while abstracting custom internal IT patterns and service contracts. We find this same vision in Radius. Our infrastructure can be handled exclusively by internal infra product teams, exposing only the Recipe to our developers to abstract complexity and ensure design decisions are made by the right people. Developers can focus on identifying what is relevant for their Applications, leveraging the correct Recipes without having to go into implementation concerns. This common contract correctly refocuses teams: developers focus exclusively on evolving the Application while infrastructure teams now manage infrastructure with a clear understanding of Application dependencies.” Nuno Guedes, Cloud Compute Lead, Millennium BCP

With Dapr, the Microsoft Azure Incubations Team helped developers write microservices with best practices, abstraction, portability, and separation from infrastructure. Now, we are doing the same for defining an application’s architecture. The two technologies strongly complement each other: Radius works with Dapr, simplifying Dapr configuration. Together, they enable, not just portable code, but portable applications.

Getting started with Radius

We’re looking for people to join us! To get started with Radius today, please see:


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