Nano Server, Hyper-V Containers and Swarm

Yesterday Microsoft announced a couple things, Nano Sever in Server vNext, which is available to partners and I would guess to the public at Ignite.  The other announcement which is more interesting is the Hyper-V containers, running on Nano Server of course.  They also kind of snuck in support for Swarm.

So What?

To put this in context, you can run containers on Windows Server (Nano), using Windows container and Hyper-V containers.  This would allow you to take advantage of Swarm to deploy containers into virtual or real operating systems.  And when you add the isolation that Microsoft has added to containerization this is the virtual server killer app.

Still, So What???

Instead of installing a server OS on your server, and then multiple virtual servers, all running their own OS on that hardware, this completely removes the need for any virtualized OS.  Instead you have a single OS running on your hardware and your apps / services / processes are virtualized without the overhead of the virtual OS.  And then add in hyper-scale.

Interesting Details

I recommend you read the full article as it has many interesting items in it that I don’t include below, but here are some of my favorites.

“we are taking containerization one step further by expanding the scenarios and workloads developers can address with containers:

  • Hyper-V Containers, a new container deployment option with enhanced isolation powered by Hyper-V virtualization.
  • Nano Server, a minimal footprint installation of Windows Server that is highly optimized for the cloud, and ideal for containers.”

“Microsoft will now offer containers with a new level of isolation previously reserved only for fully dedicated physical or virtual machines”

“Hyper-V Containers will ensure code running in one container remains isolated and cannot impact the host operating system or other containers running on the same host.”

“Windows Server Containers can be deployed as a Hyper-V Container without modification”

“Finally, we’ve added integration for Swarm, Machine and Compose into Azure and Hyper-V.”

“Nano Server, a minimal footprint installation option of Windows Server that is highly optimized for the cloud, including containers. Nano Server provides just the components you need – nothing else, meaning smaller server images, which reduces deployment times, decreases network bandwidth consumption, and improves uptime and security.”