Tag: Windows Container

Book Windows Containers for IT Pros

Book: Windows Containers for IT Pros

One of the big topics for IT Pros is how they can leverage containers to modernize their application landscape. Getting started with that topic can be challenging since it includes a couple of new concepts. Luckily, there is a great new book written by Vinicius Ramos Apolinario is Senior Program Manager on the Windows Container Platform team at Microsoft, called Windows Containers for IT Pros: Transitioning Existing Applications to Containers for On-premises, Cloud, or Hybrid.

I was lucky and had the chance to read and review the book before it got published, and I can tell you I can highly recommend it. It is very focused on the basics and practical examples, not just the concepts. I think this is the ideal book for IT Pros who want to get started with Windows Containers.

This book is for Windows IT pros and technical professionals deploying Windows Server and server applications today, such as .NET, ASP.NET, IIS, and more. The book assumes little to no experience with scripting as readers deploy their workloads via one of the Windows UIs (Hyper-V, Server Manager, Windows Admin Center, etc.). Knowledge of VMs and infrastructure, such as clustered operating systems, is recommended but not required.

You can get the Windows Containers for IT Pros book directly here from Amazon (affiliate link).

Also, make sure you check out my current content on how to modernize Windows Server Apps on Microsoft Azure using Containers with Windows Admin Center and AKS.

You can find the full blog post on ITOpsTalk.com. In that video and blog post, we will see how we can create a new custom Docker container image using Windows Admin Center, upload that to an Azure Container registry and deploy it to our Azure Kubernetes Service cluster.

I hope you enjoyed that Windows Containers for IT Pros book recommendation and it helps you to get started with your Windows Containers journey. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment.

Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive Sessions

Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive Sessions

As mentioned before, our team created a virtual free event called ITOps Talks – All Things Hybrid.  ITOps Talks – All Things Hybrid is an initiative of our Cloud Advocacy AzOps team, to bring you Azure Hybrid Cloud deep dive sessions from your favorite speakers and program managers at Microsoft. You can learn directly from the people behind the products how you can make your on-premises environment better using build-in technologies in Windows Server, Microsoft Azure, and many more! ☁

I am happy to let you know that the Azure Hybrid Cloud deep dive sessions from our ITOps Talks All Things Hybrid event are now available! You can find the full list of sessions from our team here on YouTube. 📺

I had the chance to work with some top Program Managers within Microsoft, to create some Hybrid Cloud deep-dive sessions. So I am happy to share my list of sessions directly embedded here for you. ⚡

OPS109 – Getting started with Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI

with Matt McSpirit (@mattmcspirit) – Senior Program Manager

In this session, you’ll learn about the new Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI, how you can use it to run your containerized Windows and Linux apps, how it integrates with Azure, and how it provides the best platform to run additional Azure services, including Arc-enabled Data Services. This will help you to modernize your existing applications on our Azure Stack HCI Hybrid Cloud Platform.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
2:00 Azure Hybrid Overview
5:10 Kubernetes on Azure
8:39 What is Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI
15:34 High-Level Architecture
18:51 Architecture AKS-HCI Components
21:21 Demo: Deployment
33:19 Demo: Deploy Worker Nodes
43:41 Demo: Deploy an Application
59:27 How to evaluate the new AKS on Azure Stack HCI
1:00:58 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS111 – Learn the 5 key areas to consider for your hybrid workloads

with David Kurth (@TheDaveKurth) – Senior Product Marketing Manager

In this whiteboard session (after a few slides for context), we will discuss the 5 key areas of any hybrid cloud workload, connectivity, application, data, identity, security & management.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
0:55 About Dave
3:56 Why Hybrid
11:38 Azure Hybrid Overview
19:08 Whiteboard Session Hybrid areas
30:15 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS112 – Azure Stack HCI Hybrid is built-in: How does it really work?

with Kerim Hanif (@kerimhanif) – Senior Program Manager

Ready to deploy Azure Stack HCI, the new hyperconverged infrastructure operating system delivered as an Azure service? Join this session to learn everything you need to know about how Azure Stack HCI’s hybrid connectivity works. Is it hard to register? (Hint: no.) Is there an agent? (Hint: no.) Does Azure see my VMs and their data? (Hint: no.) Do I need to open my firewall to freely allow Internet traffic? (Hint: no.) All these answers and more.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
1:50 What is Azure Stack HCI?
5:55 Azure Stack HCI as a Hybrid services
8:30 Native OS-level integration with Azure
11:20 Demo: Azure Stack HCI
14:10 Registering with Azure
20:19 Demo: How to register
25:21 What happens in the background in Azure?
37:06 Azure Stack HCI Connectivity requirements
44:00 Data privacy
49:36 How can I see the diagnostic data myself?
51:39 Just the foundation more to come!
58:10 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS113 – From WS2008 to Azure with containers – An Ops view on how to modernize existing applications with Windows Admin Center

with Vinicius Apolinario (@vrapolinario) – Senior Program Manager

ITPros around the globe are trying to figure out how to modernize existing applications. End of Support for Windows Server 2008, how to move applications to the cloud, and how to leverage new technologies such as Kubernetes have become a daunting process for Ops teams. In this session, we will cover how to containerize existing applications from the perspective of an ITPro. We will use tools that you are used to – such as Windows Admin Center to jumpstart your modernization process and show how to move an application from Windows Server 2008 to Azure Kubernetes Service.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
3:33 What are containers?
5:35 Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 End of Life
9:56 The benefits of using containers
17:25 Demo: IIS Application to be containerized
24:14 Demo: Windows Admin Center Container Management
29:50 Demo: Create a Container Image using Windows Admin Center
36:40 Demo: Run Container Image on Windows Server Container Host
41:25 Demo: Push Container Image to Container Registry (ACR)
47:01 Demo: Create Azure Kubernetes Service Cluster
52:37 Demo: Deploy Container to AKS cluster
59:15 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS114 – Governing baselines such as STIG in hybrid server environments using Azure Policy Guest Configuration

with Michael Greene (@migreene) – Principal Program Manager

Learn to use services in Azure to audit the state of servers across private and public clouds and upcoming plans to expand capabilities in this area.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
3:40 Providing Feedback and Community
5:10 Hybrid solution using Azure Arc
8:30 Demo using Azure Policy Guest Configuration
18:39 Demo How to set up Azure Policy Guest Configuration for Azure Arc machines
23:19 Azure Arc enabled servers
27:33 What is next for Azure Policy Guest Configuration
31:13 Wrap up

Learn More

OPS119 – Databases are cattle too! Running highly available databases consistently on any infrastructure using Arc data services

with Travis Wright (@radtravis) – Principal Group Program Manager

Have you heard people say ‘containers or Kubernetes is not for databases’? Let me show you how that is definitely not the case in 2021. Kubernetes provides an abstraction layer over any infrastructure and an orchestration engine that powers Arc enabled data services so DevOps, DBAs, and developers can provision and manage highly available SQL and PostgreSQL database instances on any infrastructure – on-prem, AWS, or Google. In this session, I’ll dive deep into the technical weeds with nearly 100% demos that show you exactly how it all works and you can manage it all with GUI, CLI, Azure-native tools, or Kubernetes-native tools.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
0:45 Databases are cattle
3:36 Are databases cattle or pets?
06:41 Database cow wannabes
07:47 Database cows
11:12 Traditional Always On
11:50 Azure SQL
12:18 Azure Arc enabled data services
17:35 Built-In, Automated High Availability
18:03 Standard HA
19:46 Premium HA
21:38 Demo: Databases are cattle too!
47:48 Wrap Up

Learn More

OPS121 – Modernize how you manage hybrid servers with Azure Arc

with Ryan Puffer – Senior Program Manager

Think the cloud is just for things that are…in the cloud? Come learn how you can use Azure Arc to simplify IT operations across your entire fleet, no matter where your servers run. We’ll start with a deep dive into the architecture and benefits of Azure Arc followed by a demonstration of how Azure Arc can help you monitor, secure, and simplify the management of a multi-tier on-premises application.

This session includes:

0:00 Introduction
1:25 Agenda
2:25 What is Azure Arc
4:18 Azure and Azure Arc Architecture
12:58 Demo: Management of Azure VMs
14:39 Azure Arc enabled servers architecture
25:01 Demo: Extensions
26:46 Demo: Azure Arc enabled server and how to add a server
33:51 Demo: How to manage an Azure Arc enabled server
49:49 Demo: Update Management
59:44 Demo: Access Control and RBAC
1:01:28 Demo: Azure Monitoring for hybrid servers
1:06:38 Wrap Up

Learn More

ITOps Talks – Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive sessions

I hope you will enjoy these Azure Hybrid Cloud Deep Dive sessions. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or ping us with a tweet using the #AzOps hashtag on Twitter. I hope you will enjoy ITOps Talks All Things Hybrid!

Microsoft Learn Windows Server Hyper-V and Virtualization

Learn about Windows Server Hyper-V and Virtualization

As you know, my background is doing a lot of datacenter and virtualization projects using Hyper-V and System Center. I often get asked, how do I start learning about Windows Server Hyper-V, and virtualization, including Windows Server Containers. So if you are a Windows Server Hyper-V admin or want to learn about virtualization, we have a new Microsoft Learn learning path ready. In the new Windows Server Hyper-V and Virtualization learning path you will be able to learn to implement and manage Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) and container workloads using Windows Server Hyper-V.

Windows Server Hyper-V and Virtualization Microsoft Learn Modules

Currently, the learning path consists of 6 modules:

Configure and manage Hyper-V
Learn about virtualization and the Microsoft Hyper-V role with Windows Server. Learn about best practices for preparing Hyper-V hosts, in addition to Hyper-V networking features and implementing nested virtualization.

Configure and manage Hyper-V virtual machines
Learn about configuring and managing Hyper-V virtual machines in Windows Server 2019.

Secure Hyper-V workloads
Learn about securing Hyper-V workloads in Windows Server 2019, installing and configuring the Host Guardian Service (HGS), the attestation modes available with the HGS, and the creation and deployment of shielded virtual machines (VMs).

Run containers on Windows Server
Learn about Windows Server and Hyper-V containers, associated isolation modes, running containers, and preparing the Windows Server host for running containerized workloads. Learn about Docker, preparing Windows Server for running container workloads, and managing containers.

Orchestrate containers on Windows Server using Kubernetes
Learn about Kubernetes, containers, container orchestration, and Kubernetes orchestration in Windows Server 2019. Also learn the process for deploying a Kubernetes cluster on Windows and describe how to use Azure Arc for Kubernetes.

Implement Hyper-V Replica
Learn about Hyper-V Replica, scenarios for its use, and prerequisites to use it. Learn about Azure Site Recovery and the benefits of using it, focusing on implementing Site Recovery in on-premises scenarios.


I hope these links are useful to you and it helps you to learn more. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, and for more Hyper-V content, check out my blog.

Video Microsoft Ignite Live 2019 - Hyper-V Containers

Video Microsoft Ignite Live – Hyper-V and Containers

This is the last set of recordings of Microsoft Ignite Live stage recordings I am going to share. Today I am going to share two videos, in one I had the chance to speak with Craig Wilhite and Vinicius Apolinario about why you should care about containers and how to get started. In the second one, I spoke with Ben Armstrong from the Hyper-V team about some of the great fun bits the team is doing.

Video: Windows Container

A lot has been said about containers recently, but why should you care? Containers are not an “all or nothing” situation and understanding when they can be beneficial is key to a successful implementation. Come and learn from the containers team how you can get started with this technology and some tips and tricks that will help you with your containerization journey!

Video: Hyper-V

Ben Armstrong, Principal Program Manager on the Hyper-V team talks about some of the challenging, interesting, quirky, and just fun changes that have happened in virtualization over the last year.

I hope this gives you a quick look at some of the fun parts the Hyper-V team is doing with containers and Hyper-V. You can check out the following links to get more information:

Microsoft Ignite 2019 was a lot of fun, and you can also watch my session about Hybrid Cloud Management at Microsoft Ignite. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.

Remove All Docker Container Images

New Windows Server 2019 Container Images

Microsoft today released the new Windows Server 2019 again. After they quickly released Windows Server 2019 during Microsoft Ignite, they removed the builds again, after some quality issues. However, today Microsoft made the Windows Server 2019 builds available again. Microsoft also released new Windows Server 2019 Container Images for Windows, Windows Server Core and Nano Server.

Download Windows Server 2019 Container Images

You can get them from the new Microsoft Container Registry (MCR).

Microsoft was hosting their container images on Docker Hub until they switch to MCR (Microsoft Container Registry). This is now the source for all Windows Container Images like Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016 and all the Semi-Annual Channel releases like Windows Server, version 1709 or Windows Server, version 1803.

Download the Windows Server 2019 Semi-Annual Channel Container Images (Windows Server, version 1809). This includes also the new Windows Container Image.

docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:1809
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/nanoserver:1809
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows:1809

The Windows Server Core Image is also available as a Long-Term Servicing Channel Image:

docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2019

However, if you want to browse through container images, Docker Hub continues to be the right place to discover container images. Steve Lasker wrote a blog post about how Microsoft syndicates the container catalog and why.

Download Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server SAC Container Images

Also the existing Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server, version 1803 and Windows Server 1709 container images moved to the Microsoft Container Registry (MCR).

# Here is the old string for pulling a container
# docker pull microsoft/windowsservercore:ltsc2016
# docker pull microsoft/nanoserver:1709
# Change the string to the new syntax and use the same tag
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2016
docker pull mcr.microsoft.com/windows/nanoserver:1709

You should also make sure to update your Dockerfile references:

Old Windows Server Dockerfile reference

FROM microsoft/windowsservercore:ltsc2016

New Windows Server Dockerfile reference

FROM mcr.microsoft.com/windows/servercore:ltsc2016

Removing the “latest” tag from Windows Images

Starting 2019, Microsoft is also deprecating the “latest” tag for their container images.

We strongly encourage you to instead declare the specific container tag you’d like to run in production. The ‘latest’ tag is the opposite of specific; it doesn’t tell the user anything about what version the container actually is apart from the image name. You can read more about version compatibility and selecting the appropriate tag on our container docs.

Removing Container Images

Remove All Docker Container Images

If you want to remove existing container images from your PC, you can run docker rmi to remove a specific image. You can also remove all containers and container images with the following commands:

# Remove all containers
docker rm $(docker ps -a -q)
# Remove all container images
docker rmi $(docker images -q)

If you want to know more about Windows Containers and the Microsoft container eco system, visit the Microsoft container docs.

Windows Server Banner

Microsoft Windows Server Summit – Online Summit

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018 Microsoft will held the Windows Server Summit Online, a virtual experience to learn tips and tricks for modernizing your infrastructure and applications—regardless of whether you’re running it on-premises or in the cloud. And you can bet you will also get some new information on Windows Server 2019.

Learn how to build the future with Windows Server

Microsoft will talk about the roadmap for Windows Server, and let you discover new skills and best practices, and get your questions answered in conversations with the Microsoft experts behind our products.

This online summit will focus on 4 key areas of Windows Server:

  • Hybrid – Learn how Windows Server helps you integrate Azure services into your on-premises environment and how to better run Windows Server in Azure.
  • Security – Better security starts with the Operating System. Learn how Windows Server helps you elevate your company’s security posture.
  • Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) – Windows Server 2016 introduced new HCI capabilities that are game-changers. Now, check what’s new around HCI for Windows Server 2019.
  • Application platform – Containers are changing the way developers and operations teams run applications. Learn how Windows Server helps you modernize yours.

So if you want to know more, join the Microsoft online event!


Windows Server 2019

Microsoft announces Windows Server 2019 and System Center 2019

Microsoft today announced the next Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) release for Windows Server called Windows Server 2019. In a blog post today, Erin Chapple, Director of Program Management Windows Server, announced the Windows Server 2019, which will be available in the second half of calendar year 2018. You can try out a Windows Server Preview build through the Windows Server Insider Program today. Microsoft also mentions that System Center 2019 will be available to manage Windows Server 2019 infrastructures.

Windows Server 2019 is built on the foundation of Windows Server 2016 and focuses on a couple of key scenarios. Microsoft in four key areas, Hybrid Cloud, Security, Application Platform and Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI).

Windows Server 2019 – Hybrid Cloud Improvements

Project Honolulu Server Overview

As of today Hybrid Cloud is more real than ever. With Windows Server 2019 Microsoft is focusing to improve the customer experience in a hybrid cloud world. Taking advantage of public cloud innovation such as Artificial Intelligence and IoT, and connecting them with on-premise services is a huge enabler for customers. At Microsoft Ignite 2017, Microsoft showed of the Technical Preview of Project Honolulu, a web-based management console for Windows Server. One of the goals of Project Honolulu is to connect Windows Server deployments with Azure services. Together with Windows Server 2019 and Project Honolulu, you can easily integrate services like Azure Backup, Azure File Sync, Azure Site Recovery and much more.

Windows Server 2019 – Security

Security was already one of the big investments in Windows Server 2016. Microsoft does not stop there. With Windows Server 2019 Microsoft brings various security improvements like Shielded Virtual Machine support for Linux VMs and Encrypted Virtual Networks. One of my favorite improvements is the possibility to integrate with Windows Defender Advanced Thread Protection (ATP). ATP was first available for Windows 10 and provides preventative protection, detects attacks and zero-day exploits among other capabilities, into the operating system. This gives customers access to deep kernel and memory sensors, improving performance and anti-tampering, and enabling response actions on server machines.

Windows Server 2019 – Application Platform

Ubuntu on Windows Server using WSL

One of the key focus of Microsoft for Windows Server, was always on the developer experience. Microsoft brings a couple of improvements to make it the best application platform out there. Microsoft invests in a couple of scenarios such as bringing the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to Windows Server. Another key investment area are Windows Server Containers and Windows Server Container images. In Windows Server 2019, Microsoft reduces the Server Core base container image to a third of its current size of 5 GB. This will reduce download time of the image by 72%, further optimizing the development time and performance. Another key improvement in terms of Container support is the integration and support for Container orchestrators like Kubernetes.

Windows Server 2019 – Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)

The 4th improvement area is the Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). With Windows Server 2016 Microsoft released a new feature called Storage Spaces Direct. Together with Hyper-V and other Microsoft technologies, this was great to build you own infrastructure for your virtualization workloads. Windows Server 2019 will bring a lot of improvements for Storage Spaces Direct, Hyper-V and other related technologies. Microsoft is adding scale, performance, and reliability to the platform. Microsoft also partnered with hardware vendors to provide an affordable and yet extremely robust HCI solution with validated design.

What else?

  • Windows Server will be GA (generally available) in the second half of calendar year 2018.
  • Windows Server will be a LTSC release. LTSC will be the recommended version of Windows Server for most infrastructure scenarios and workloads like SQL Server, SharePoint and Windows Server Software-Defined Datacenter solutions.
  • With the LTSC release of Windows Server 2019, Microsoft will allow customers to use the Server with Desktop Experience as well as Windows Server Core. With the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) release, Microsoft only provides the Windows Server Core option.
  • There will be another Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) release at the same time as Windows Server 2019 focusing on Container innovations. The SAC releases will be supported as before for 18 months, while the LTSC releases follow the normal 5+5 year support.
  • Licensing will use the same model as Windows Server 2016 today, Microsoft mentions that it is likely that they will increase the pricing for Windows Sevrer Client Access Licensing (CAL), but will share more details later.

With that we can all be very excited for the next LTSC version of Windows Server. Until then the next SAC release of Windows Server, called Windows Server 1803, will be available this spring. The Windows Server, version 1803 will focus on container improvements. If you want to try out, Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 1803, you can join the Windows Server Insider Program.

Docker Windows Server Container Images

Docker Container Images for Windows Server 1709 and new tagging

Last week Microsoft announced new Windows Server 1709 and the new Windows Server 1709 container images. The new container images in Windows Server version 1709 are highly optimized, especially in size. So for example the new Nano Server Container Image in 1709 is 5x smaller than the Nano Server Container Image in Windows Server 2016.

Microsoft also made some changes to tagging which is interesting.

If you want to use the latest images of the container images based on the Windows Server 2016 (which is in the Long-Term Servicing Channel, LTSC) you just run:


This will give you the latest images of the Windows Server and Nano server container images. If you want to run a specific patch level of the Windows Server 2016 (LTSC)m images, you can run the following:


Docker Windows Server Container Images Size

If you want to use the new Windows Server 1709 container images from the Semi-Annual Channel you can run the following


and again you cans also add a specific base OS container image by using a KB number:


If you already tried out the new container images during the development using the insider images, they still existing:


However, I am not sure what the plan for the insider images is going forward.

Docker for Windows Update Linux Containers

How to run Docker Linux Container on Windows 10 Fall Creator Update

I just blogged about how to run a Docker Linux Container natively on the new Windows Server version 1709. Docker today released a new update for Docker on Windows which also enables this scenario a little bit easier on your Windows 10 machine. It will ask you if you want to use the new feature to run Linux Containers natively on a Hyper-V Container running on Windows 10 (without the Moby VM).

As you can see the only thing right now you have to turn the feature on and off, since in this technical preview it is not yet possible to run Linux and Windows containers in parallel. But I guess soon that will be the case.

What you need is:

  • Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (Build 16299, Version 1709, RS3)
  • Docker for Windows 17.10.0-ce-win36 (13788) or higher

Enable Linux Containers on Windows

You can change the settings in the Docker Settings:

Docker for Windows Settings Enable Linux contianers on Windows

With hat setting on you can now run Linux Containers such as ubuntu on Windows directly, without having a Linux Virutal Machine running in the background to host the Linux containers.

Docker Run Ubuntu on Windows 10 Verions

Now you can also do some other fancy things like run the Azure CLI in a Linux Container on Windows 10.

Docker Azure CLI on Linux on Windows 10 Container

Simple and effective, and it will be even more powerful when you can run Linux and Windows Container in parallel on Windows Sever and on Windows 10.

Windows Server 1709

Microsoft released Windows Server 1709

Microsoft just released the new Windows Server version 1709 which is the first release in the Semi-Annual Channel. The Semi-Annual Channel release cadence to deliver innovation at a faster pace, but you will also need to keep updating your systems to newer versions of Windows Server. As of today, you can download Windows Server 1709 from the Volume license portal or deploy it in Microsoft Azure, since it is available in the Azure Marketplace.

Windows Server 1709 Features and Improvements

Windows Server 1709 will drive innovation in the container space and in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, as well as some Cloud Host improvements in Hyper-V with new support for Storage Class Memory and more. Windows Server 1709 will be only available as Windows Server Core (Standard and Datacenter).

If you want to know more about the new features and improvements in Windows Server 1709, check out my blog post and check also out the Microsoft What’s new in Windows Server 1709 page.


New Windows Server Management Experience

If you want to know more about the new Management Experience called Project Honolulu, check out my blog post:


Windows Server Servicing

For more information about the Semi-Annual Channel and Windows Server Servicing check out my blog posts:




Windows Server, version 1709 is only the first step in this new world of faster release cadences. The most important aspect of having new releases twice a year is customer feedback will shape the product. You can try the preview builds of Windows Server in the Semi-Annual Channel and provide feedback by joining the Windows Insiders program. You can also join the conversation in the Microsoft Tech Community where we have tons of professionals and experts sharing their learnings and answering questions.