Lift and shift to containers with Azure App Service

Microsoft Entra ID
Azure Container Registry
Azure App Service

Solution ideas

This article describes a solution idea. Your cloud architect can use this guidance to help visualize the major components for a typical implementation of this architecture. Use this article as a starting point to design a well-architected solution that aligns with your workload's specific requirements.

This solution migrates existing web apps to containers that are deployed in App Service, which allows you to focus on composing containers not worrying about managing container orchestration.


Architecture diagram shows existing application migration to containers in Azure Kubernetes Service with Open Service Broker for Azure to access Azure databases.

Download a Visio file of this architecture.


  1. Developer converts existing web application to container.
  2. Developer publishes container image to:
    1. A private registry or Docker Hub.
    2. Or, an Azure Container Registry.
  3. App Service pulls image with:
    1. Credentials for private registry or Docker Hub, if used.
    2. Or, managed identity, which uses a Microsoft Entra security principal to access to Azure Container Registry.
  4. Service connectors to access other Azure resources.
  5. Developer pushes new image to the container registry, which triggers App Service updates when continuous deployment is enabled.


Web App for Containers: With App Service, you can deploy and run containerized web apps on Windows and Linux. Web App for Containers provides an easy on-ramp for developers to take advantage of a fully managed platform, but who also want a single deployable artifact containing an app and all of its dependencies. Another target scenario is developers who want to work with a custom framework or version beyond the defaults built into the Azure App Service platform. Containerized web apps on Azure App Service can scale as needed and use streamlined CI/CD workflows with Docker Hub, Azure Container Registry, and GitHub.

Azure Container Registry: A registry of Docker and Open Container Initiative (OCI) images, with support for all OCI artifacts. Use container images in Azure services like App Service, Machine Learning, and Batch. For example, when configuring Web App for Containers for your web app, you can specify a container image from Azure Container Registry.

Azure Cosmos DB: A fully managed NoSQL database service for building and modernizing scalable, high-performance applications. Azure Cosmos DB is integrated with key Azure services including Azure Functions, IoT Hub, AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service), App Service, and more. You can choose from multiple database APIs including the native Azure Cosmos DB for NoSQL, Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB, Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Cassandra, Azure Cosmos DB for Apache Gremlin, and Azure Cosmos DB for Table.

Azure SQL Database: A fully managed relational database with built-in intelligence. Azure SQL Database helps you build applications locally or in the cloud on popular platforms and frameworks with driver support for the most common languages. SQL Database enables you to simplify development with native support for websites running in Azure App Service.

Azure Storage: Azure Storage offers a durable, highly available, massively scalable cloud storage solution and includes object, file, disk, queue, and table storage. Azure storage includes services for object, block, and file storage to meet your website's demands. For example, websites can easily use Azure Blob Storage for scalable and secure block storage for website media like photos and videos.

Azure Monitor: Application Insights, provides health and performance monitoring, and diagnostics. Azure Monitor can be used with Web App for Containers (App Service) to monitor website metrics like number of connections and counts of request resulting in HTTP status codes.

Azure Service Connector: Service Connector helps you connect Azure compute services to other backing services. For example, use a service connector between Azure App Service and Azure Database for MySQL or PostgreSQL, Azure Storage, and Azure Key Vault. For a full list of supported services, see Services are supported in Service Connector.

Scenario details

Easily migrate existing web applications to containers and run the containerized web apps in Web App for Containers in Azure App Service. Web App for Containers allows you to focus on composing your containers without worrying about managing and maintaining an underlying container orchestrator. When you build web apps, Web App for Containers is a good option for taking your first steps with containers. Your containers can easily integrate other Azure resources like storage and database services.

When you integrate existing web apps with Azure resources, you can also take advantage of Passwordless connections for Azure services. Passwordless connections is a language-agnostic feature spanning multiple Azure services. When you use passwordless connections, your web apps connect to Azure-based services without any need to rotate passwords. All you need is configuration - no new code is required.

Potential use cases

This solution idea is ideal for migrating current web applications to containers run on Azure. This solution idea can be used to create a website when the following apply:

  • Uses existing programming experience used to create code-deployed websites to create container-deployed websites. Lift and shift existing web apps to containers on App Service.

  • Simplified development and deployment with tools like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, Azure CLI, and Azure Cloud Shell.

  • Portability across different environments from dev to production and different clouds. You can test locally, on a different platform than what is deployed for production.

  • Scalability in App Service means you can scale out number of workers used on demand.

  • Modularity for future website work either in App Service or in other services like Azure Container Apps and Azure Kubernetes Service. Web App for Containers can be a good first step for moving to containers.

  • A container deployed in Web App for Containers is ready for continuous integration and continuous deploy (CI/CD). CI/CD capabilities allow you to ship updates faster.


This article is maintained by Microsoft. It was originally written by the following contributors.

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Next steps

Example language deployments of containers in App Service:

Related architectural guidance: