Windows Containers in Docker Enterprise Edition 2.0 – Top 7 Questions from the Docker Virtual Event

Staff - May 15, 2019 -

The recent Docker Virtual Event, Unveiling Docker Enterprise Edition (EE) 2.0, gave us the opportunity to highlight some of the great reasons to adopt a containerization strategy across your entire application portfolio. In Part 1 of this blog, we covered some of the top questions we received about Swarm and Kubernetes orchestration in Docker Enterprise – the world’s leading enterprise-ready container platform. Today, we will cover some of questions about running Windows containers.

If you missed the live event, don’t worry! You can still catch the recording on-demand here.

Docker Enterprise Edition: Only Fully-Supported Solution for Running Containers on Windows Server 2016

Q: I thought containers were based on Linux processes. How do Windows-based Docker containers work?

A: Docker has been partnering with Microsoft since 2014 to deliver all the same benefits of Docker containers to Windows Server so that customers can easily run .NET and IIS applications in Docker containers. We worked closely together on changes to the Windows Server kernel to support containerization primitives, added Windows Server support to the Docker Engine and CLI  and added multi-architecture support for Windows images. The result is Docker containers run natively on Windows Server 2016, leveraging the same CLI commands in Powershell that you use in a Linux-based environment.

Q: Is Windows Server supported with Kubernetes?

A: Support for Windows Server containers in Kubernetes is currently in beta with full support anticipated later this year. To run Windows Server containers in production, customers of Docker Enterprise Edition 2.0 can deploy these workloads with Docker Swarm. This is a feature that has been generally available for over a year.

Q: Can you run full Windows Server clusters?

A: With Docker Enterprise Edition 2.0, you can run clusters of mixed Linux and Windows Server 2016 workers or all Windows Server workers. Note that even if you are running all Windows Server workers, the Docker Enterprise Edition 2.0 management stack is deployed onto Linux-based nodes. For many of our enterprise customers who are Windows shops, they deploy these management nodes as Hyper-V virtual machines with a Linux OS.

Q: Can Windows and Linux containers in the same environment talk to each other?

A: Yes! Windows and Linux containers in the same cluster can share a common overlay network.

Q: Do you support Windows Server 1709 or Windows Server 1803?

A: Support for Windows Server 1709 and Windows Server 1803 will be coming in a patch release in Q2 2018.

Q: How does licensing work for Docker EE 2.0 and Windows Server?

A: Docker EE 2.0 Basic (i.e. EE Engine) is included in Windows Server 2016, however EE Standard and Advanced tiers, which provide the unified management UI and private registry capabilities, require additional licensing. Please contact sales for more information around pricing and licensing.

Q: What solutions are available for my .NET development team building containerized applications?

A: In addition to Docker for Mac, Mirantis also delivers Docker for Windows – a free desktop solution for local container development. There are two releases of Docker for Windows; the edge release includes a standalone Kubernetes server and client, as well as Docker CLI integration. The Kubernetes server runs locally within your Docker instance allowing your .NET developers to begin working with both Swarm and Kubernetes locally.

To learn more about Windows containers, check out these resources:

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