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Microsoft Rivals Linux with Containers and Nano Server

Updated on April 27, 2015

For various good reasons Linux is today the preferred platform for modern application and software that has higher penetration on cloud infrastructure. Sadly in this aspect Microsoft lags but not anymore. In an attempt to par with Linux, Microsoft declared a brand new collection of container technologies and a slight variation of Window servers, soon to be available with the Window Server 10.

Today very few companies actually know more about how to run application on the popular cloud technology than Microsoft and it is Microsoft who operates the biggest set of Windows based infrastructure. The alteration of Windows to build its Azure Cloud allowed Microsoft to make it more efficient and manageable.

While a few of the modifications, such as the Autopilot job scheduler and provisioning system that largely controls the Microsoft cloud, are placed inside Azure, others are released. One of the most popular commercial products released is the Azure pack.

The simultaneous previewing of its Docker compatible containers along with the Nano Server chopped down variant of Windows Server (which surprisingly takes place one day ahead of the AWS Summit in San Francisco) is a measured step by Microsoft. Microsoft continues with its tactful strategies in not jotting down in their blog, all the intricate details related to its Nano Server and Docker container technology so as to not give away any important idea until their Build conference scheduled at the end of April and Lignite conference scheduled at the beginning of May.

Due to the existence of the Server Core since the Windows 2008, the minimalistic version of Windows is not a first timer. However, what is unique regarding Nano Server is that Microsoft is now striving to build an even trimmed down version of Windows Servers. The minimalism is done in terms of the CPU and the memory capacity while increasing its capacity of being controlled from within the cloud.

Although Microsoft has not clarified as to how skinnier Nano Server is from that of Server Core but the has definitely given us an idea by suggesting that it takes only 3 minutes to boot in contrast to Server Core’s 18 minutes. Microsoft has promised to hook Nano Server well into its Power shell command lines for the sole purpose of manageability.

It is said to run on a set of Web-based management tools which might include bits of Microsoft’s Autopilot tool for managing Azure or at least tools inspired by Autopilot.

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