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Do you meet the requirements for Hyper-V containers?

Not only do you need Windows Server 2016 on the host system and Server Core in the VM to run Hyper-V containers, you also need to meet a list of resources for deployment.

The requirements to run Windows Hyper-V containers aren't extensive, but there are several important considerations...

that IT staff must accommodate. In terms of the host OS, a business will need the Server Core or full desktop experience installation of Windows Server 2016 installed to a C: drive. The Hyper-V role must also be installed in order to run Hyper-V containers.

To run Hyper-V containers within a Hyper-V VM -- known as nested virtualization -- administrators must provide Windows Server 2016 on the host system and Windows Server Core or the full desktop experience in the VM. From a compute resource perspective, the deployment will need at least 4 GB of memory for the virtualized Hyper-V host VM, as well as a processor with Intel VT-x -- Advanced Micro Devices virtualization technologies aren't yet supported for nested virtualization -- and at least two virtual processors for the container host VM.

Developers can utilize two container base images: an image for Windows Server Core and an image for Nano Server. When Windows Server 2016 -- Standard or Datacenter -- is deployed as the host OS, Windows Server containers can use either Server Core or Nano Server base images, while Hyper-V containers can use either Server Core or Nano Server base images.

The important thing to emphasize here is that both Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers are identical. Although documentation might refer to these as two different types of containers, the containers are created, managed and operate identically; they use the same container images and compute resources.

The only difference between Windows Server and Hyper-V containers is the level of isolation implemented between containers and the host OS. Hyper-V containers offer better isolation because they are run within a VM to provide isolation from other VMs and the host OS. Most enterprise production environments will employ Hyper-V containers for this reason. But ultimately, the actual container is the same regardless of whether it's run on the host or in a VM.

Next Steps

Run containers on bare metal or VMs

Migrate a VM application to a container

Use these methods to secure containers

This was last published in September 2017

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What additional resources or settings would you recommend to run Hyper-V containers?