Specifically, AWS is allowing the creation of Docker containers inside of Windows Server 2016 environments — a feat made possible by the Docker-Windows integration that was announced in September. AWS’ Windows containers are a beta project and not yet suitable for production tasks, as AWS officials caution in a blog posting published yesterday.
New applications can certainly be created in Windows containers. But the appeal here would seem to be in legacy enterprise applications, the bulk of which run on Windows. The beta feature provides a way to start porting those applications into container form on AWS.
With Windows Server 2016 and Azure Stack, Microsoft has been providing those older applications with more routes toward containers and the cloud, particularly Azure. Naturally, AWS would like a slice of that pie. To that end, AWS already supports Windows clusters in general, and it announced Windows Server 2016 support in October.
AWS warns that its Windows containers won’t be exact matches for Linux containers; task definitions, in particular, might behave differently or might be missing some parameters. AWS further notes that Windows containers tend to be bigger than their Linux counterparts — 9 GB is typical, the company says — and consume more storage as well.
And, as a reminder that AWS isn’t all-powerful, the company points out that Windows and Linux can’t share the same cluster, so you won’t be able to mix your Windows and Linux containers.
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