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Since the launch of Windows Server 2016 six months ago, adoption has been nothing short of amazing. Customers like Tyco started adopting Windows containers even before general availability and in day two of DockerCon 2017, Northern Trust highlighted their own success with containers on Microsoft Azure with Docker Enterprise Edition (EE).  The list of customers succeeding with Windows and Docker Inc. is growing each day.  In Azure, we continue to see explosive growth in our container offerings with customers looking toward cloud and hybrid deployments of both Linux and Windows container workloads.  Developers have also benefited with new container support in the recent launch of Visual Studio 2017 and continued innovation on the cross-platform Visual Studio Code.

Docker has been an important part of how we’ve brought container advancements to our customers. In the first announcement of our relationship with Docker, we asserted our vision – “Developers and organizations that want to create container applications using Docker will be able to use either Windows Server or Linux with the same growing Docker ecosystem of users, applications and tools.” We are excited to further this commitment, and our engagement with Docker, with new programs and innovations designed to deliver even more choice to containers users.

Yesterday we showed for the first time, a Linux container running natively on Windows Server using the Hyper-V isolation technology currently available only to Windows Server Containers.  Today we’re again joining forces with Docker and Avanade to share a new program – Modernize Traditional Applications – to help enterprises embrace containerization and application modernization. We’re also making container networking improvements to now support Docker swarm mode and Docker Enterprise Edition (Docker Datacenter).

Helping enterprises modernize applications & move to Azure

The benefits of containers are extensive, but we’ve heard from many enterprise customers that need support and guidance to get on the right path to modernize their current applications. Today, Microsoft, Docker and Avanade are launching a new comprehensive program to help these enterprise customers launch their own journey to containers.  This program is based on successful application modernization projects, like those Northern Trust shared, to increase portability and speed of deployment while also being able to decommission old hardware.

It provides a low-cost engagement focused on containerizing an existing application with Docker EE in Azure in less than five days and with an overall engagement of four weeks. In the process, dramatically improving the agility of managing and redeploying this application in the future.
This gives customers firsthand experience in the process, methodology and benefits of containerization with minimal overhead or risk. Customers can then choose to continue deploying additional containerized applications to Azure – in a public, hybrid or hosted environment. For more information on how to take advantage of this program, check out: www.docker.com/MTA.

Networking support for Docker Swarm Mode

Docker Swarm mode streamlines container development and orchestration for developers and IT admins building and deploying containerized applications. At the heart of Docker Datacenter (Docker Enterprise Edition Standard), one of the key features in swarm mode is overlay networking which enables services to be scaled-out across multiple, heterogeneous independent of the physical network configuration.  Partnering with Docker and the Docker community we are happy to announce that Windows Server 2016 now supports overlay networking enabling IT admins to create a Docker swarm cluster spanning multiple Windows Server 2016 and Linux Docker hosts without worrying about separately configuring the underlying network fabric.  You can read more about how to enable this feature here.

Linux Container options for Windows Server

Just in case you missed it, during the DockerCon 2017 opening keynote we demonstrated a Linux container running natively on Windows Server through our Hyper-V isolation technology.  We are looking forward to working on this new project with the community over the coming weeks and months to build a first-class experience for developers and IT Professionals to run their Linux and Windows containers side by side driving more choice than ever before.  The support from top Linux distributions including Canonical, Intel, RedHat and SuSE is a strong validation of how valuable this is to the ecosystem and the forthcoming work with the LinuxKit project will only further the community’s options and experiences.

As we start to wrap up another DockerCon, we want to thank our customers and our partners for their continued support in our container journey.  Stay tuned for more on these announcements in the near future.  And, as always, we want your feedback.  Let us know what you think in the comments.