• 3 min read

TechEd Europe: Windows Docker Client Demo Highlights Linux Containers on Azure

Points to new topics describing Linux containers, Docker VM Extension usage, CoreOS VM images for clusters of containers, and a wide range of Linux documentation on azure.microsoft.com.

Just two weeks ago Scott Guthrie announced and Jason Zander elaborated upon an important new collaboration with Docker to bring support for container technology to Windows Server and to develop a Windows client for Docker containers on Linux.  **Already** at TechEd Europe Mark Russinovich has showed a prototype of the Windows Docker client to push an Ubuntu+Wordpress Docker container image to a CoreOS Linux VM on Azure. Watch the keynote at the link here.

I stole the key image below from just after at the 1:19:10 point, but you can watch the demo yourself if you don’t believe me; the Docker image is running on Azure in seconds.


Docker, CoreOS, and Linux Documentation on Azure

I’m going to take advantage of the demo event to highlight several new articles, tutorials, and videos that describe Linux container technologies on Azure and show how to use Docker containers with Linux distros like Ubuntu and CoreOS as well as with cluster technologies like Kubernetes and CoreOS’s fleet.

As explained here quickly and more thoroughly by Ross Gardler, Sr. (of MSOpenTech) and Madhan Arumugam Ramakrishnan in this Regular IT Guy Docker High-Level Whiteboard chat, Docker is one of the most popular container ecosystems for Linux that isolate computing on shared resources and provides other services that enable you build and push apps to other Docker containers quickly. CoreOS is a very lightweight, streamlined Linux distribution that is designed to use Linux containers – including Docker containers – to enable you to create entire clusters of VMs that dynamically locate each other and can be automated as a unit from a client computer.

To read about and start with Docker, see Using the Docker VM Extension, then plunge right in with the Docker VM Extension from the Azure Portal. If you already know your way around the command line, learn how to automate Docker VM creation by using the Docker VM Extension from the Azure Cross-Platform Interface (xplat-cli). That gets you running with Docker on Azure; from there, you’re ready to jump into the Docker documentation to really make use of the system. If you’ve never seen Docker in action, have a look at Andrew Weiss’s demos on the Edge Show.

Docker containers deploy so easily and quickly that you’ll immediately see why managing clusters of containers becomes the next step. Both CoreOS and Google’s Kubernetes are approaches that automate the deployment and management of clusters in which tens, hundreds, or thousands of containers can be deployed using internet-scale resources of clouds like Azure (and there are many other similar projects like Docker’s libswarm and Apache Mesos). Kick the tires with CoreOS on Azure by following How to Use CoreOS on Azure, and then jump straight into making use of CoreOS clusters with CoreOS’s quickstart, and expand on using Docker with CoreOS in Tim Park’s Tutorial and Patrick Chanezon’s tutorial. More Kubernetes content is on the way; but this Hackathon with Kubernetes on Azure gives you a taste of the underlying work that MSOpenTech has done to bring support for open-source technologies to Azure.

But that isn’t the only content available. *nix fans (FreeBSD, too!) who are adept at building their own images and distros need to have a look at Azure VM Agent and VM Extensions and the WALinuxAgent github repo to learn how to build or install the Azure Linux VM Agent into their images for interactive support on Azure.

That’s not all. Stephen Zarkos’s blog entries describe how to use some of the connected functionality that the VM Agent and VM Extensions for Azure bring. For example, the VMAccess extension helps reestablish or modify SSH access and credentials; the custom script extension enables dynamic functionality that you control; and the new OS Patching Extension can help automate patching tasks on a scheduled basis. Finally, Igor Pagliai and Vittorio Franco Libertucci  bring their experience with Linux workloads on Azure to help provide you with the best guidance to optimize your VMs.

There’s a lot more on the way, but we already have tons of stuff to help you get your Linux workloads up and running on Azure.