Docker to Power Containers in Windows Server 2016


Containers are no longer exclusive to Linux

Microsoft and Docker Inc. have forged a commercial partnership that bakes Docker containers right into the upcoming Windows servers. As a result of this collaboration, Docker containers will be powering containers in Windows 2016 Server, to be launched later this year.

Under the partnership, the Commercially Supported Docker Engine (CS Docker Engine) will be available to Windows Server 2016 customers for free. The two companies will jointly promote Docker Datacenter to enable IT pros to secure the Windows Server software supply chain and manage containerized Windows Server workloads, whether on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid. The two companies will also offer enterprise support for CS Docker Engine for Windows 2016 customers.

The Linux kernel has had containers for ages, and Docker made it easier for customers to use these containers to deploy applications. Now, similar capabilities are coming to Windows.

Michael Friis, Product Manager at Docker Inc. wrote in a company blog, “With Docker Engine and containers now available natively on Windows, developers and IT pros can begin the same transformation for Windows-based apps and infrastructure and start reaping the same benefits: better security, more agility, and improved portability, and freedom to move on-prem apps to the cloud.”

The two companies have been working together for more than two years on growing containerization primitives in the Windows kernel. The companies also worked on porting the Docker Engine and command-line interface to Windows. As a result of this work, users can enjoy docker run in PowerShell.

The Windows kernel containerization features, including a Windows-native Docker daemon, are available in all versions of Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10. Because of this work, Windows users now will finally reap the same benefits that Linux has enjoyed for ages, most notably “the isolation and release-artifact-stability benefits of VMs, without the resource overhead and lost agility inherent in hardware virtualization,” wrote Friis.

Windows Server 2016 will be available in October 2016.


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