MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that Windows Server 2016 will become generally available in mid-October, with buyers to get Docker Engine thrown in at no additional cost.
The firm made the announcement during its Ignite conference in Atlanta on Monday, telling customers that Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 will be on the 1 October price list before they become generally available in mid-October.
Windows Server 2016, which has been in Technical Preview for most of the year, introduces production support for running applications and services in containers for the first time on Windows Server.
With this in mind, Microsoft revealed that the Commercially Supported Docker Engine, better known as the container-based solution for Linux operating systems, will be included with the operating system for free "as a way to enable IT pros to secure the Windows software supply chain and manage containerized Windows workloads, whether on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment."
Windows Server 2016 users will also get Docker tech support at no extra cost, and Microsoft also announced today that a beta release of Docker Datacenter for Windows Server will be arriving in the fourth quarter of this year.
Commenting on the partnership, Docker said: These fruits of this partnership for the first time offer enterprise IT professionals with a single platform for both Windows and Linux applications on any infrastructure, whether bare metal, virtualized, or cloud.
Microsoft was also keen to big up Windows Server 2016’s advanced multi-layer security which makes helps IT pros prevent attacks and detect suspicious activity, and System Centre's extended support for mixed environments and hybrid cloud operations.
Microsoft also released a new preview of Azure Stack on Monday, which will be generally available in 2017.
Technical Preview 2 brings with it of Azure Stack’s “infrastructure management technologies”, while other additions include Key Vault support which adds cryptographic protection for data stored in data centres, along with Queue Support, a feature to support application messaging.
Microsoft also said it plans to add support for its App Service ‘in the coming weeks,’ a feature designed to facilitate application development by business users. µ
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