Microsoft has announced that the preview of Microsoft Dev Box is now available to the public. Microsoft Dev Box is a tool that allows developers “to create on-demand, high-performance, secure, ready-to-code, project-specific workstations in the cloud”. The platform is in place to help enhance productivity for developers, in that they will have the flexibility required to be productive and at the same time allow them to maintain and secure their workstations.
With Microsoft Dev Box in place, developers can focus more on writing code. “Dev boxes are ready-to-code and preconfigured by the team with all the tools and settings developers need for their projects and tasks”. Previously, developers would need to establish a working environment that would allow them to build and run these codes, however, developers will still be able to create their own dev boxes if they need to switch between projects easily.
According to the blog post,
Microsoft Dev Box supports any developer IDE, SDK, or tool that runs on Windows. Developers can target any development workload that can be built from Windows including desktop, mobile, IoT, and web applications. Microsoft Dev Box even supports building cross-platform apps thanks to Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Subsystem for Android. Remote access gives developers the flexibility to securely access dev boxes from any device, whether it’s Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, or a web browser.
Using the tool, “Developer leads can instantly deploy the right size dev box for specific roles in a team anywhere in the world, selecting from 4 vCPU / 16GB to 32 vCPU / 128GB SKUs to scale to any size application”. Through Azure region as well as Azure Global Network, dev teams are able to establish “a smooth and responsive experience with gigabit connection speeds” which is available for all developers.
Moreover, through Azure Directory groups, admins have the capability of granting access to sensitive source code and customer data for each project. This way vendors get controlled access to the resources they require to take part in a project, preventing the need to have hardware moved over to short-term contractors, thus ultimately enhancing security.
The tool builds on Windows 365, meaning IT admins can easily manage dev boxes simultaneously with physical devices and Cloud PCs using both Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Microsoft Intune. What’s more. admins have control over which devices can access the service. The boxes are kept up-to-date, thus allowing zero-day patches to quickly identify threats that may compromise the integrity of the entire system. Endpoint Manager is also in place to lift the load off the developer’s back as it analyses the entire system allowing them to focus on writing code thus enhancing their productivity.
In terms of pricing, organizations will only pay for the services they use. “Microsoft Dev Box uses a consumption-based compute and storage pricing model.” Developers can make use of the automated schedules that will get them started by warming up the dev boxes and hit pause when no one is making use of them. Microsoft has also indicated that hibernation should be available in the next couple of weeks, which allows developers to pause and resume dev box.
Sign up for Microsoft Dev Box through the Azure portal where organizations will get the first 15 hours of the dev box 8vCPU and 32 GB Memory SKU for free every month, along with the first 365 hours of the dev box Storage SSD 512 GB SKU.