Microsoft has released Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3. Users can trial it for one year free of charge and test out its new built-in container support.
Microsoft calls this new technology "Windows Server Containers." It is compatible with Windows Server 2016 and also runs on Azure and Hyper-V virtual machines.
Windows Server 2016 will also be available as a minimal footprint installation known as Nano Server which, according to Microsoft, “is only about a twentieth of the size of the Windows Server core.” Nano Server has all the most important server components, such as Hyper-V, clustering networking, storage, .NET and Common Language Runtime, but without the overhead of a graphical user interface. "It is a cut-down, highly efficient operating system that is optimized for the cloud and ideal for containers," says Peter Arbitter, Head of Cloud & Enterprise at Microsoft Germany.
In the not-too-distant future, it will likely be possible to have just the bare necessities running on the Nano Server’s OS, with all other functions running inside containers.
Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 can be downloaded as an ISO file and trialed free of charge until 15 July 2016. The download requires a Microsoft account.
Operators of software-defined data centers may also like to download and trial the recently released Microsoft System Center Technical Preview 3 .