Microsoft has released an evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 with native support for Docker that can run Windows applications in containers.
For those opting for the evaluation version, Microsoft has confirmed that it will be providing an upgrade path from evaluation to RTM version that could be released as early as the end of October. Microsoft announced at its Ignite conference last week that it will be releasing Windows Server 2016 soon and at the same time it was also announced that Microsoft and Docker are joining hands to offer commercial support for Docker and that the Commercially Supported Docker Engine is included in the Windows Server 2016 licensing cost.
Windows Server 2016 customers will be provided with Commercially Supported Docker Engine aka “CS Docker Engine” at no additional cost. The CS Docker Engine is Docker’s tested, validated, and supported package of Docker Engine.
While Docker is free and open source, the company has been providing commercial solutions since 2015 and the core of the commercial variant is the CS Engine that Windows Server 2016 will incorporate.
Microsoft joining hands with Docker is nothing but logical considering that the latter has been keeping Windows users in the loop through its tools like Docker Toolbox and Docker for Windows. An official partnership between the two means that Microsoft will put Docker in front of a very large customer base and Microsoft’s paying customers could be attracted to Docker’s commercial product Docker Datacenter.
While Docker’s enthusiasm with the partnership is understandable, Microsoft is also set to gain a whole lot with the collaboration. Considering how cloud computing is garnering increased adoption around the world, containers are a key technology underpinning a new generation of cloud-native applications and microservices. With Windows Server 2016 now natively supporting Docker, Microsoft will be able to appeal to a larger customer base. Microsoft has been working with customers who have wanted to use containers to transform existing applications to take advantage of cloud architectures and a modern DevOps environment and this native support for Docker will make it all the more easier for Microsoft to deliver the right solutions.