Containers have been all the rage in the open source world for a number of years, but noticeably absent from Windows until now. In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft released its own container capabilities. Furthermore, Microsoft has given its customers the flexibility of operating containers at the Windows Server level or at the Hyper-V level.

Before I go on, let me take just a moment to explain the basic concept of a container. Containers are a form of virtualization, but they are quite different from virtual machines. Virtual machines use hardware virtualization to allow multiple OS instances to run side by side, isolated from one another by the virtual machine structure.