Microsoft today announced that it will deliver new container technologies in the upcoming wave of Windows Server releases. In addition, a new partnership between Microsoft Corp. and Docker Inc. will bring Windows Server support to Docker tools. MS Open Tech will contribute to this partnership, and will build upon our existing support for Linux hosted containers on Microsoft Azure.
As part of this announcement, MS Open Tech is contributing code to the Docker client that supports the provisioning of multi-container Docker applications on Azure. This code removes the need for our cross-platform CLI to bootstrap the Docker host. In other words, we have taken a simple process and made it even simpler. A demonstration of this new capability will be a part of Docker’s Global Hack Day as well as the Microsoft TechEd Europe conference. For more information on other aspects of this partnership, see the Azure blog.
Docker is an open source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a portable, self-sufficient container that can run almost anywhere. This partnership will enable the Docker client to manage multi-container applications using both Linux and Windows containers, regardless of the hosting environment or cloud provider. This level of interoperability is what we at MS Open Tech strive to deliver through contributions to open source projects such as Docker.
Docker containers simplify the development of software applications that consist of micro-services. Each service then operates as an isolated execution unit on the host. Common use cases for Docker include:
- Automating the packaging and deployment of applications
- Creation of lightweight, private PaaS environments
- Automated testing and continuous integration/deployment
- Deploying and scaling web apps, databases and backend services
Docker’s container technology aims to drive developer productivity and agility. Containers do not include a full operating system, consequently rapid development and scaling of container-based applications is possible through very quick boot and restart operations. Furthermore, highly efficient creation of modified container images, by virtue of only capturing the differences between the original and new containers, enables improved management and distribution of containerized applications; the resulting images are both small and highly portable across almost any platform.
This partnership brings the .NET and Windows Server ecosystem together with Docker's expertise and open source community to deliver uniform container functionality across Linux and Windows Server containers.
In June MS Open Tech announced the availability of Docker Engine on Microsoft Azure, to coincide with the 1.0 release of the Docker tools. That work provided the ability to create Azure virtual machines with the Docker Engine already installed. The resulting virtual machines become hosts for Docker containers, the standard Docker tooling then provides management of containers on those hosts. Our goal with this project is to make it as simple as possible to get started with Docker on Azure. Since June, we have continued to work with the Docker community to make things even simpler.
I am personally looking forward to joining the Docker community at DockerCon14 EU in December. Look for me at the Microsoft table in the exhibit area, or ping me at @rgardler if you want to meet up to talk more about our Docker collaborations.