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Docker on Windows Server allows for container use and management

Deploy containers on premises, in the cloud or on other systems by installing Docker on Windows Server 2016. Also, download a module to extend PowerShell to manage Docker Engine.

Windows Server 2016 requires Docker for packaging, delivering and managing Windows container images to run as containers...

on premises, in the cloud -- such as with Microsoft Azure -- or on other systems -- such as user endpoints. Docker isn't included on Windows Server 2016, so if you want to use Docker on Windows Server, you'll need to download and install it before creating containers. Windows Server supports Docker Swarm mode, allowing for container orchestration features that can create clusters of Docker hosts and container workload scheduling. Docker host systems can also be created and accessed remotely on Windows Server 2016 VMs.

Docker uses a client-server approach, so Docker includes the Docker Engine -- dockerd.exe -- and the Docker client -- docker.exe. Once installed, you will need to configure Docker on Windows Server. For example, configuration might include selecting the port number for accepting incoming network connections, selecting secured connections and setting disk paths. Configuration is often accomplished through a configuration file located at c:\programdata\docker\config\daemon.json, or the file can be created if necessary. You can also use the sc config command in a command prompt that will set Docker Engine flags directly.

One of the great benefits of Docker on Windows Server is support for container image automation, where container images are stored as code and then quickly recreated for modification and updating. It's a core tool for software developers who use container images for continuous integration cycles. Docker provides the Dockerfile text file with the instructions needed to define a new container image, along with the Docker build command in Docker Engine that uses the desired Dockerfile to build the actual container image.

You can manage Docker using Windows PowerShell, and administrators can download and install a module that will extend PowerShell to manage Docker Engine. This allows container provisioning and configuration scripts to be added to other PowerShell tasks. However, this module requires the latest version of Windows, Windows Server or Nano Server; PowerShell 5 or PowerShell 6; and one or more containers to run and manage.

Next Steps

Understand the benefits of using Docker

Manage containers with Docker Datacenter

Navigate major Docker container changes

This was last published in September 2017

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