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Microsoft, Docker bid to bring Linux-y containers to Windows: What YOU need to know

Hmmmm....

" the Docker client tools will decide whether it needs to be a Linux virtual machine or it needs to be a Windows virtual machine'

Anyone wish to hazard a guess which VM will be chosen? Fox/Henhouse..

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Re: Hmmmm....

I wonder how the "allowed licensed usage" of this will go. Probably not well.

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Re: Hmmmm....

How do you come to that conclusion? It's not as if MS have bought Docker. And if you have a linux container it simply won't work on a Windows VM so they'd be generating bad press and support-load if they were to create the wrong VM.

There's sensible paranoia and there's being a bloody idiot. Try to aim for the former.

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Re: Hmmmm....

Excatly. It's a zero-sum argument that sees Microsoft wanting desperately not to continue to be seen as the 'last team player to be picked'. Again.

And I hate to think of how Windows is going to manage the address spaces for containers in the same way it's struggled for years with JVMs. The architecture will have to be a bolt-on methinks.

So another blade in an already large Swiss Army knife.

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Trollface

Re: Hmmmm....

'last team player to be picked'

Yeah, they're the fat kid on sports day. We all have to cheer them along, turn a blind eye to any cheating, and laughing at them is frowned upon.

"Come on, Microsoft... you can do it.. you're nearly there!"

"Stop that giggling, you lot!"

"OK, everyone slow down and let him catch up"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmm....

""There aren't any container technologies in Windows that ship to the public now, but we do have some internal works that we've been doing," he explained."

That will probably surprise the millions of users of Microsoft App-V who already containerise (and stream) their applications....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmm....

"And I hate to think of how Windows is going to manage the address spaces for containers in the same way it's struggled for years with JVMs."

For JVMs, you manage them via the JVM command line parameters - exactly the same as you do on say Linux. We ended up moving a lot of memory hungry JVMs from Linux to Window Server and they ran significantly faster on the exact same hardware / same JVM version! So not quite sure how it has 'struggled'

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmm....

That will probably surprise the millions of users of Microsoft App-V

The biggest surprise is how you still seem to comment on something you know nothing about...

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Hmmmm....

"The biggest surprise is how you still seem to comment on something you know nothing about..."

That barb can't be taken seriously when posted by someone called "Anonymous Coward"...

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Re: I wonder how the "allowed licensed usage" of this will go. Probably not well.

You may be surprised. The thing you license is the OS and *that* is the thing that isn't duplicated when you are using containers rather than VMs. Logically, you should be able to run multiple containers in the same way that you run multiple apps.

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Re: Hmmmm....

"And I hate to think of how Windows is going to manage the address spaces for containers in the same way it's struggled for years with JVMs. The architecture will have to be a bolt-on methinks."

The Windows kernel already supports multiple sessions. These are "fairly" isolated from one another. (They have independent object namespaces, for example.) I wouldn't be at all surprised if containers couldn't just be implemented as multiple sessions.

I feel obliged to add that the containers concept would have been baffling to an OS designer from the 1960s, because complete isolation of one app from another was what OSes were invented for. It is the plethora of inter-process communications methods that have been bolted on since then that has necessitated the re-implementation of the original concept.

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Holmes

Re: Hmmmm....

It is the plethora of inter-process communications methods that have been bolted on since then that has necessitated the re-implementation of the original concept.

...or rather the permanent configuration clusterfuck and the leaky abstraction / runny sandbox effect?

The IPC will still be there.

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Thumb Down

Re: Hmmmm....

We ended up moving a lot of memory hungry JVMs from Linux to Window Server and they ran significantly faster on the exact same hardware / same JVM version!

"I have one data point, it must be true."

Surprisingly, for the rest of the world the results are on the same level.

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Boffin

Re: I wonder how the "allowed licensed usage" of this will go. Probably not well.

I always had concerns that virtual machines were solving the right problem. That is, if you have a medium-sized server farm of 60 servers, for example, you can consolidate that onto a single virtual system with less than 10 actual servers. This works because those 60 servers are old, so you get more raw grunt out of 10 new servers. Also, most of those physical servers have pretty low CPU usage, so you gain that way as well.

My problem, though is that you still have 60 virtual servers to maintain, as well as licencing all that software. So you haven't actually reduced your support costs by an appreciable amount.

Comparing containerisation to virtual machines is like threads compared to full processes. You reduce the overhead, but increase the risk of each component interfering with other components. Big efficiency gains if your're prepared to exercise a bit of care in putting your system together.

When Microsoft put together it's small business server (a long time ago, before virtual machines were available on MS), they had a lot of trouble because (for example) Exchange and MS-SQL didn't play well together. They each wanted to use all the system's resources. Containers would have made this process a lot easier, since you could have put them into their own containers and set limits to the resources they could use. Virtual machines could be used to solve the problem today, but is is rather an overkill.

So I applaud the fact that Microsoft is moving towards containerisation, not because it is the newest and bestest, but because Microsoft customers will get real benefits.

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Re: I wonder how the "allowed licensed usage" of this will go. Probably not well.

Re: SBS, Exchange, SQL_server, Sharepoint

Unfortunately, given the current limitations of App-V, namely it does not support "large server applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint" [MS Technet gg703262], I wouldn't be surprised to find that you still won't be able to run these "large server applications" in MS Docker containers; these would still need to be run on a dedicated host.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmmmm....

"We ended up moving a lot of memory hungry JVMs from Linux to Window Server and they ran significantly faster on the exact same hardware / same JVM version! So not quite sure how it has 'struggled'"

We had a mixture of Linux and Windows and ended up doing the opposite. CentOS has meant a huge saving in licenses and we've found it vastly easier to deploy and manage 'nix servers (which means even more savings) on a large scale thanks to decent package managers (Yum/RPM) and Puppet.

There's been no discernible difference in performance either way.

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Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

First they decide it's good for them & start embracing it. Once it's incorporated into Windows, they'll start fekking with the API & tweaking the "Standards" until it will only run properly on Windows. Once everyone has mangled their old code to work, or completely stopped using the original version in favor of the Microsoft variant, then it's time for... (Cheesy Ominous Music) Then they'll decide that they no longer wish to support it, dump it like a flaming turd, and leave everyone in the lurch.

How many times has it happened before? How many times does it have to happen again? "Those whom refuse to learn from History are doomed to repeat it." Or, in Microsoft's case, destined to capitalize on it, squeeze it for every last penny, then toss the corpse under a bus.

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Flame

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

Fixed that for you...

First they decide it's good for them & start embracing it. Once it's incorporated into iOS/OS X, they'll start fekking with the API & tweaking the "Standards" until it will only run properly on iOS/OS X. Once everyone has mangled their old code to work, or completely stopped using the original version in favor of the Apple variant, then it's time for... (Cheesy Ominous Music) Then they'll decide that they no longer wish to support it, dump it like a flaming turd, and leave everyone in the lurch.

How many times has it happened before? How many times does it have to happen again? "Those whom refuse to learn from History are doomed to repeat it." Or, in Apple's case, destined to capitalize on it, squeeze it for every last penny, then toss the corpse under a bus.

Feel free to add your own Google variant... :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

erm, no.. Apple never use standards in the first place, and Google have actually created standards.

Microsoft have a track record (and leaked documents) of embracing standards, extending them with proprietary, then extinguishing the competition by having their proprietary extensions becoming de-facto standard.

I've been working on MS tech long enough to know their tricks, very well.

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Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

> and leaked documents

from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

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Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

wont be readable anymore will they?

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Headmaster

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

FTFY:

"Those who refuse to learn from History are doomed to repeat it."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

"wont be readable anymore will they?"

Unless they are in MS Office format?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

Unless they are in MS Office format?

I'm sure we could find some VM running Office '95, then open/save the file through each version until we get to now.

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Roo
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Devil

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

"I'm sure we could find some VM running Office '95, then open/save the file through each version until we get to now."

Naw, you'd need to start with MS-DOS 5, and find a licensed copy of Word on media that hasn't turned to compost.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

"I'm sure we could find some VM running Office '95, then open/save the file through each version until we get to now."

No need - current versions will still open files even as far back as Word 6!

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Facepalm

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

Lie in bed with MS and you're toast.

And if you happen to have something windows thinks is good/wants consider yourself finished.

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Stop

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

Whitewash and orchestrated marketing campaigns does not make MS suddenly good.

The day Ballmer & Gates do not have any more involvement in MS (for real) that day I would believe that MS "may", and I repeat "may" become something else.

Two recent examples: Nokia & the OOXML fiasco, where Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony 'open' document format.

MS Never plays fair, they turn to crooked tactics even when they do not need them, because their motto is to annihilate competition.

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Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish.

"I've been working on MS tech long enough to know their tricks, very well."

True enough, but remember MS didn't invent the trick.

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Roo
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Windows

Re: Embrace. Extend. Extinguish. from 20 years ago. Do get with the times.

"No need - current versions will still open files even as far back as Word 6!"

Try opening a Word 6 document written on a Mac way back when see how far you get. :)

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Coat

Microsoft?

The first warning flag is that this is supposed to not be based on their existing research. Second, it'll draw heavily from Docker's existing code. That'll be a neat trick. (BTW if want to see nova-hot development, just track Docker on GitHub.) Lastly, it's Microsoft. For the reasons above and the core of containers/VM's. "Each is sandboxed off from the others so that they can't interfere with each other." They never get anything right, for some number of iterations.

Already had Windows Server Next on the to-do list. Moving up a place or two so I'm not totally surprised at what's in the box.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows is always trying to catch-up to Linux.

I used to pity their developers, but now they have a choice.

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WTF?

"Windows is always trying to catch-up to Linux."

Really? And what year did Linux get even a half decent interface that the average Joe could use?

I remember the days when you had to mount the CD drive to use it, then unmount the bloody thing, just to eject a disk. God help you trying to get it to play the content.

Maybe if your 16 and new to computing you think that Linux is way ahead, but trust me, it took a long time coming for it be even remotely usable for the masses.

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Windows

Sadly for your argument this technology is not aimed at the average user.

It's aimed at the server market. A hint may be in the article: " ...which it says will arrive in the next version of Windows Server."

As far as I know sys. admins are a little ahead of your "average Joe" in things computing and will probably be able to handle the intricacies of running Windows Dockers, if it ever gets off the ground.

Still, nice to see that the FLOSS world can teach the proprietary one a thing or two.

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Windows

I remember the days when you had to mount the CD drive to use it, then unmount the bloody thing, just to eject a disk. God help you trying to get it to play the content.

Oh yeah? I remember the day when we had to get up early and pre-heat the Olivetti so that at around 10:00 one could boot MS-DOS from a gigantic floppy (HIMEM.SYS: Unable to load) . Then an orthodox priest muttered a prayer in a mysterious language and lighted incense before an actually working program could be loaded off a stack of additional floppies. "mount a CD is too hard for me". PAH!!

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Facepalm

A container would be much less resource greedy than a VM on a non server machine, so limiting this to server OS machines is dense or greedy.

As a Developer, I frequently run VMs on a windows pro/ultimate machine for test environments, but would often prefer to have a lighter weight alternative; I expect other power users would also agree.

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Hi,

it largely depends on the job at hand... If it is a user-land application you're developing, a container would be OK. If it is some sort of driver / kernel module / whatnot, a virtual machine would be much better...

Regards,

Guus

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@Infernoz - "A container would be much less resource greedy than a VM on a non server machine, so limiting this to server OS machines is dense or greedy."

From the sounds of it, Microsoft's take on containers won't be ready when Windows 10 ships. They may be only half done when the server version ships. Don't be surprised if something actually useful doesn't ship until the version after Windows 10, or even the version after that. They're way, way behind the rest of the field on this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Really? And what year did Linux get even a half decent interface that the average Joe could use

Average Joe? If you want consumer stuff, then use a consumer OS.

I remember the days when you had to mount the CD drive to use it

Yes, it must have took me weeks (no internet) to realise you mount /dev/hdc - not /dev/hdc1, since it's not partitioned.

Times really were hard for us then, but much more enjoyable (for a geek) than the alternative OS.

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Stop

@AC

"Windows is always trying to catch-up to Linux."

Perhaps that's true; but would that be a bad thing?

Because I could also argue that Linux is now trying to catch-up to FreeBSD; this container development sounds very much like a FreeBSD Jail. I could also argue that they're not very fast either considering that Jails have been part of FreeBSD since version 4.0; see here. Release date? Around 14th of March 2000; this is the announcement.

Seriously; what's the problem? Open source was made to be used, people don't give out the source code just to make them look better. The whole idea is to embrace and extend or expand.

And here's the thing with software freedom and all that: you don't get to chose who's going to use your product. Because doing so would not only be an insult to the whole idea of free software, it would also turn the whole thing into a tyranny. Freedom is the art of allowing everyone (so even Microsoft!) to use the fruits of your labour.

When I see Microsoft using something which already exists on Linux, or in this case see Linux do something which is already available somewhere else, then all I can't help think is: "the idea really works...". Meaning the idea behind free software and shared knowledge.

In the end we all benefit.

(sorry for a small rant).

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Re: @AC

>"In the end we all benefit."

IFF Microsoft uses and expands, then distributes, the source code per the GPL. If it just nabs the idea, implements its own "intentionally" faulty version of whatever standard and then uses foul means to dominate the market, then no-one benefits. I'm torn between wanting software patents and not wanting them. I think a 2 year software patent would suffice in this instance.

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Anonymous Coward

@Lost all faith - That's Microsoft problem:

too many average Joe have become Windows server admins.

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Stop

"And what year did Linux get even a half decent interface that the average Joe could use?"

By my recollection that would be about 1995, and I found references back to 1996 for X11 and OpenWin with either olwm or olvwm. I quite liked the latter for its easily changed (by drag & drop) number of virtual desktops, the number of which apparently was limited only by the available memory. Originally developed by Sun for Solaris, it was a well thought out and implemented piece of work performance was quite good on a 486-33 with 16 Meg memory. After nearly 20 years I can't be sure, but think there was a pointy-clicky way then to unmount and eject a CD, along with a fair number of other useful things, and it seemed to support pretty much anything that knew how to run as an X client.

As I recall, Microsoft's best consumer offer at the time was Windows 95, probably not their premier offering and, from a stability viewpoint, substantially inferior to either OS2 or Linux and X Window. Its saving was that it was supplied by default on just about every PC sold commercially and would run most or all of the applications developed for MS-DOS and earlier MS Windows versions.

It is incorrect also to confuse the task of installing Windows, which almost nobody had to do, with installing Linux, which required a bit of knowledge and, depending on the release, a possibly significant amount of interaction with the installer application. The proper thing is to compare operation after installation and configuration.

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WTF?

RE: I remember the days when you had to mount the CD drive...

Oh yeah? I remember the day when we had to get up early and pre-heat the Olivetti so that at around 10:00 one could boot MS-DOS from a gigantic floppy (HIMEM.SYS: Unable to load) .

Goddamn, you were LUCKY!

I remember the days of sitting at the front panel, setting the switches to load the boot code which then dragged the IPL from the paper tape.

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"limiting this to server OS machines is dense or greedy."

Microsoft would probably suggest you run a developer licence of Windows Server, which is free to MSDN users.

If you aren't large enought to have a separate development server, you could run it inside a VM. Yes, I know I said VMs are misused a lot, but this is one place I would suggest it as an appropriate solution.

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>Then an orthodox priest muttered a prayer in a mysterious language...

I wondered why all the Unix sysadmin's/guru's I came across in the 70's and early 80's who were worth anything, wore sandals, crucifix, had unkempt beards and long hair and often carried strange things such as a rabbit's foot and various (closely guarded) heavily annotated reference cards...

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Boffin

No crucifix, was a Square hole plug pulling key...

Usually had 2 on a neck lanyard, they clanked togethed, giving off a loud chime, where we would chant 'DB'...didn't have robes, had oversized vests (to go over our mandated company logo'd rugby shirts)...what A/C we had was for eq so it was always too cold to work or 125 degrees F... always thoght the Boss hated us...still use code sheets, i'm lazy... and at age 71 finally got a crew cut (it's growing out)...really miss UNIX stuff, the fact that all software comes w/ C is just not enough.

so actually, i guess we did our best to drive the Boss nuts (some kinda were)...RS.

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AppV

Not having a *nix background I'm going purely on the odd article like this one, but what makes docker so much better / different than AppV?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AppV

"but what makes docker so much better / different than AppV?"

Quite - it's like App-V but minus a lot of the clever functionality like application streaming.

Microsoft probably just want have an option to use Docker but I can't see it replacing what is seemingly a significantly more powerful product in App-V

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