Think Small; Microsoft Supports Containers, Releases Nano Server

Microsoft is thinking small(er), proving that it understands the appeal of building and running applications in containers, showing off two new tools for deploying applications in containers.

First, Microsoft is announcing the development of Hyper-V Containers - containers that are managed by the Hyper-V hypervisor software for running virtual machines, each of which can hold an application. Such capability should come in handy for large companies that have to maintain regulatory compliance but would like to try running apps inside of containers - which are perceived to be an alternative or even a competitor to virtual machines (VMs).

Microsoft is also announcing Nano Server, a dramatically smaller version of its Windows Server operating system. At just 5 percent of the size of the current Windows Server, it's just the right kind of thing to run inside of a container. Nano Server will ship as part of the next preview of Windows Server next month, while Hyper-V Containers will come in a later preview. The two technologies will both become generally available in the next edition of Windows Server, in 2016.