IT professionals who have undergone SQL Server 2012 training and Windows Server instruction likely received a crash course on how to virtualize the environments. Yet, it wasn't until recently that such experts were able to take advantage of Docker's reputed container technology.
Docker: What it is, why it matters
Docker is an open-source container virtualization program that allows one operating system to host multiple applications on a server. What's the significance of that? Conventional virtualization techniques require each virtual machine to run on its own OS. This makes "Dockerized" applications much more energy efficient than VMs that are not.
Docker's container technology has become quite popular among application developers because it allows them to construct software in any language they wish and transport them to different environments as they see fit. In addition, Docker Hub, the company's solution-sharing cloud service, tracks whatever changes are made to applications built with the program.
Docker has already partnered with Red Hat, which used Docker's solution as a standard way to package Linux containers in its Enterprise Linux and OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service offerings. Now, Microsoft is teaming up with the open-source developer to leverage Docker's technology on Windows Server and Azure, according to InformationWeek.
"This is a strategic partnership for Microsoft and Docker. It will result in new technology in a future product wave for Windows Server," Microsoft Azure Corporate VP Jason Zander told InformationWeek. "It will bring the technology richness of Windows Server and .Net to the Docker community."
This means that Windows applications held in Docker containers will operate in the business server solution and the Azure cloud while using a fraction of the resources originally needed to run such programs. For software developers working in Azure's platform, this translates to greater portability and design simplicity.
How this partnership affects Windows users
For one thing, business leaders interested in migrating their SQL Server databases or solutions to the Azure cloud will be able to do so with greater ease. All that's required of systems administrators is for them to apply the Docker engine to the applications they wish to transport and then reallocate them to the cloud.
One of the greatest benefits associated with using Docker is that it enables sysadmins to define workloads by standards that are applicable to the companies they work for. The platform's website maintained that software operations are less hindered by infrastructure and is more defined by policies and priorities.