Microsoft unveiled the fourth technical preview of the Windows server 2016 today. Apart from the Hyper-V virtualization capability the company has been making much of — which will allow administrators the capability of running multiple virtual machines on a single physical server — the company also announced the first public preview of Hyper-V containers.
While many of us are still unfamiliar with the nuances of containers, the past two years have seen them emerge as a favorite for packaging and serving source codes in lieu of the traditional virtual machines. They were essentially brought to the fore and employed by Linux after which Microsoft decided to include them to its arsenal of virtualization tools.
While Containers have a whole bunch of good stuff in their favor, their major edge over virtual machines lies in the fact that they are usually more lightweight than virtual machines that need to run on physical servers, leading to faster application development
Microsoft is not the first of the tech giants to turn to containers either. While Linux is ofcourse already hands in glove with the tech, Cannonical is involved with LXD container for its Ubuntu platform. Similarly, Citrix and VMware — both virtualization giants — announced previews for the Docker conatiner and the vSphere integrated containers respectively, months ago.
That left Microsoft, which is finally making a concrete move in this direction with its latest preview of the Windows server 2016. Speaking on the topic, Mike Neil, Corporate VP, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft said in a blog post,
With Hyper-V Containers, you get the flexibility of the container model with the additional isolation provided by a container-optimized version of Hyper-V. Security needs can vary based on a wide variety of factors, and we’re excited about giving you expanded choices for using containers across enterprise scenarios including multi-tenant environments.
Apart from containers, the preview build also sports new capabilities for Nano Server, Windows Server Containers updates, Software-defined datacenter capabilities and Enhanced management tools.
You can download the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4 by clicking here.