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Microsoft: How To Use Docker Containers in Azure

Microsoft's announcement back in October that it has partnered with Docker to enable Linux containers to run in Windows was an important step forward for enabling what promises to be the next wave in computing beyond virtualization. While things can change on a dime, it looks like Microsoft is going all in by supporting a widely endorsed (including IBM, Google, VMware and others) new computing model based on application portability and a more efficient use of compute, storage and network resource.

It sounds quite grand but so did virtualization -- and the idea of consolidating server resources -- when it hit the scene a decade ago. Of course, the proof will be in the implementation. It's very likely we'll hear about how to enable Linux containers in Windows Server at the upcoming Build and Ignite conferences in late April and early May, as Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Jeffrey Snover hinted last week.

"We're also going to talk about containers, Docker containers for Windows," Snover said. "There will be two flavors of the compute containers. There'll be a compute container focused in on application compatibility, so that will be server running in a containers, and then there will be containers optimized for the cloud. And with those containers you'll have the cloud optimized server."

Those wanting to start running Linux containers in Azure can start now, based on documentation posted by Microsoft yesterday. "Docker is one of the most popular virtualization approaches that uses Linux containers rather than virtual machines as a way of isolating data and computing on shared resources," according to the introduction. "You can use the Docker VM extension to the Azure Linux Agent to create a Docker VM that hosts any number of containers for your applications on Azure."

The documentation explains the following:

It also aims to explain how to:

In its description of Docker containers, it points out they're currently one of the most popular virtualization alternatives to virtual machines in that they isolate data and computing on shared resources, enabling developers to build and deploy apps across Docker resources, which may run in different environments.

As I noted earlier in the week, DH2i is now offering a platform that enables containers that run in Windows Server -- the difference being that they're Windows, not Linux-based, though they purport to work with Docker containers as well.

But if you're looking to start with Docker in Azure, Microsoft is making the push.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/12/2015 at 1:27 PM


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