Microsoft rolls out Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4, now with Hyper-V containers

Microsoft is delivering to testers its fourth technical previews of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, both of which are due in the second half of 2016.

Microsoft is releasing today, November 19, its fourth Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016, the first of its test versions to include Hyper-V container support.

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Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3, which debuted in August, included support for one of the types of containers that Microsoft is building into the product. Microsoft's Windows Server containers, which provide users with a way to run applications isolated from the rest of the operating environment, were in that test build. Windows Server Containers are part of the Docker open source project.

"From a developer perspective, applications running in Hyper-V containers will feel just like apps running in a Windows Server container," said Mike Schutz, Microsoft General Manager of Cloud Platform Marketing. "There's no extra work required. It's just a decision at deployment time if you go Hyper-V or Windows Server Container."

For applications that are considered trusted code, Windows Server containers are fine, Schutz said. Some third-party code or code that might not be completely trusted should be run in Hyper-V containers, he said.

There are some other new feature updates in Windows Server Technical Preview 4, and also in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4, which Microsoft is making available today, as well.

New capabilities for Nano Server, Windows Server Containers, security and monitoring are part of the two new tech previews, officials said.

Nano Server is a new way of deploying Windows Server in a very stripped-down, headless form.

"A lot of this (TP4) release represents feedback from customers and getting the product production ready," said Schutz. "We want more users to try and try it at scale."

Schutz said Microsoft is on track to make Windows Server 2016 generally available in the second half of calendar 2016. He said the company is likely to deliver at least one more technical preview before finalizing the product.

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