Microsoft Cozies Up To Docker

Microsoft and Docker will work on integrating Docker's open source container technology with Windows Server, with native deployment and management from any Azure cloud.

Imagine being able to leverage the open source containerization technology from Docker Inc. right within the Microsoft .NET Framework itself. That's the goal of a joint effort between Microsoft and Docker that was announced via a blog post by Microsoft Azure Team Corporate Vice President Jason Zander.

Docker technology, which can be thought of as a more compact, more portable and modularized alternative to VMs, has been a Linux-only proposition for the most part, even though there has been some internal work at Microsoft to tie into Docker containers. In June at DockerCon, Microsoft announced a feature called Virtual Machine Extensions that would enable the creation and management of Docker containers from within a Microsoft Azure cloud.

Zander's blog highlights a bolder effort that goes beyond extensions, and it will unfold in the coming months in four ways:

  • Microsoft will work to make the Docker Engine available from within Windows Server, and Docker Engine images for Windows Server will be made available via the Docker Hub community for access to Windows Server and Linux environments.
  • Microsoft will integrate Docker Hub into the Azure Management Portal and Azure Gallery to make it easier to deploy Windows Server or Linux-originated Docker images in an Azure cloud.
  • Microsoft will contribute code to the Docker Open Orchestration APIs, to allow developers the ability to launch Docker apps via a development machine (using the Docker command-line client) to an Azure cloud.
  • Microsoft will participate as an active community member to help develop Docker Engine for Windows Server, which will be managed and developed as a Docker open source project.

Lots of the information is preliminary, and we'll continue to bring more developer-related information on the Microsoft/Docker effort here.

Meanwhile, for a comprehensive analysis of the work that Microsoft is doing to integrate Docker on the Windows Server platform, see "Docker Containers Are Coming to Windows Server" by Redmond Editor Jeffrey Schwartz.

(Image source: Microsoft)

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