Microsoft Previews Hyper-V Containers for Windows Server 2016
Wondering how Hyper-V containers work in Microsoft's upcoming server software release? Intrepid administrators and developers can get an early look today.Seeking an adaptive and responsive IT foundation for their business applications, CIOs are training their sights on container technologies. Microsoft is catering to that crowd with its next version of Windows Server. This week, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant released the fourth technical preview of Windows Server 2016 operating system (OS) and System Center 2016 management software. The new OS includes Hyper-V Container support, marking the first time the public can put Microsoft's homegrown container platform through its paces since the technology was officially announced in April. "With Hyper-V Containers, you get the flexibility of the container model with the additional isolation provided by a container-optimized version of Hyper-V," Microsoft's answer to competing virtualization platforms like VMware, said Mike Neil, corporate vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise, in a Nov. 19 announcement. "Security needs can vary based on a wide variety of factors, and we're excited about giving you expanded choices for using containers across enterprise scenarios including multi-tenant environments." In addition, the new beta includes enhancements to the Hyper-V hypervisor. New evaluation builds contain "an early preview of nested virtualization, along with Direct Device Assignment, and improved PowerShell support for VM upgrades," Neil stated. "Nested virtualization can be used in dev and test scenarios and is a key enabling technology for Hyper-V Containers," he explained.
On the storage front, Microsoft has included new optimizations aimed at flash-based hardware. "We have improved Storage Spaces Direct to support all-flash configurations with NVMe SSD and SATA SSD devices, and Erasure Coding for increased storage efficiency," said Neil. "Also in this release, support for Storage Health Service provides easier health monitoring and more streamlined operations, with a single monitoring point per cluster."