Sneak peek #3: Windows Server, version 1709 for developers

This blog post was authored by Patrick Lang, Senior Program Manager, Windows Server.

Windows 10 and Windows Server are built on customer feedback. We use the tools built right into Windows to maintain a continuous cycle of feedback from our customers used to drive refinements and new features. After the launch of Windows Server 2016, we continued to listen to our customer feedback channels and the repeated message we heard is that you want access to new Windows Server builds more frequently to test new features and fixes. First, we announced that Windows Server would be joining the Windows Insider program so you can download and test the latest builds. However, previews alone aren’t enough so we launched the Windows Server Semi-annual Channel to ship supported releases twice per year, and this fall will be the first release on that cadence.

Since the launch of Windows Server 2016, container adoption has skyrocketed, with many customers using a “lift and shift” approach to migrate existing applications and start the journey to modernize their deployments. Hyper-V can also provide unprecedented isolation between containers, and you can leverage your existing Active Directory infrastructure for apps in containers with Group Managed Service Account support.

We heard loud and clear that developers need a platform that provides great density and performance as well as flexibility to run containerized applications. Here’s a glimpse on what’s coming in Windows Server, version 1709 for developers:

Faster downloads, builds, and deployments with Nano Server container image

In the Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel, we’ve optimized Nano Server as a container base OS image and decreased it from 390 MB to 80 MB. That’s a nearly 80% savings! This gives developers a much smaller image ideal for building new applications or adding new services to existing applications.

We launched Windows Server containers with a getting started guide and open-source documentation on GitHub. The community response has been excellent, and we’ve had over 150 people share their expertise and contribute back. Check out our documentation page to learn more. For those of you who joined the Windows Insiders program, you can also check out the documentation on how to use containers with Insider images.

Linux containers

We knew developers were eager to run any container, Windows or Linux, on the same machine. The crowd went wild when we announced this at Dockercon earlier this year and it showed how much demand there was for this work. This feature uses Hyper-V isolation to run a Linux kernel with just enough OS to support containers. Since then, we’ve been hard at work building this technology with new functionality in Hyper-V,  joint work with the Linux community, and contributions to the open source Moby project on which Docker technology is built. Now it’s time to share a sneak peek of how to run Linux containers and start getting feedback on how it’s working for Windows Insiders.

You can get started with these features right away as a Windows Insider. To try this out, you’ll need:

  • Windows 10 or Windows Server Insider Preview build 16267 or later
  • A build of the Docker daemon based off the Moby master branch
  • Your choice of compatible Linux image

Our joint partners have published guides with steps on how to get started:

More to come!

Of course, this is just a glimpse on the news for developers in this release. We have a bunch more we’ll talk about in the blogs to come. Keep an eye out for other blogs in this series and join the Windows Insiders program to have access to the preview releases. Feedback is always welcome! Please use the Windows Feedback tool Hub if you’re a Windows 10 Insider, or join us at the Windows Server Insiders Tech Community.

Check out other blogs in this series: