I have been a big fan and user of vmware ESXi for years, I started playing with it since circa 2008. The bare metal hypervisor and its easy to use GUI on Windows makes virtualization management extremely easy.
However in the past couple of years the free version of esxi has moved to HTML5 web management, and in the latest ESXi version the Windows client (vSphere client) requires you to pay for a license a run a central vcenter server/vm in order to manage via GUI (non-web).
Microsoft Windows Server 2016 now supports containers, this means we can now isolate windows applications and share the underlying kernel of windows much like we have been doing in Linux for years with OpenVZ or more recently LXC (linux containers).
On January 4, 2017 Rancher announced experimental support for Windows containers (link below).
Official Microsoft documentation on containers.
Rancher v.1.3 has implemented experimental windows container support.
This is a good reason to spin up a Windows Server 2016 node and experiment in a lab. I’ll be looking forward to trying this when I get some time.
I’m a big fan of virtualization, the ability to run multiple platforms and operating systems (called guests) in a single server (called host) is probably one of the best computing technologies of the past 10 years.
Personally, I have been using virtualization circa 2004. It all took off after 2006 when chip manufacturer’s started bundling virtualization technologies in their processors (Intel VT-x or AMD-v). The reason why “cloud” computing is so popular can also be attributed to virtualization.
In a container world…
However, in the past couple of years a new technology has been making making the rounds everywhere, the words “containers”, “docker”, “orchestration” is picking up steam in the past year. They say that containers are changing the landscape for system administrators and application developers.
Claims that containers can be built and deployed in seconds, share a common storage layer and allow you to resize the container in real-time when you need more performance or capacity are really exciting concepts and I think the time is now for me to jump in and learn a thing of two about this new technology when its hot a new. Continue reading