Docker, the open-source engine that automates application deployment, hit the 1.0 milestone this week.
Cloud vendors, including Microsoft, IBM, Rackspace and Google -- along with major Linux vendors like Canonical and Red Hat -- are all onboard in their support of Docker.
Docker uses containers, in lieu of virtual machines, to enable multiple applications to be run at once on the same server, as my ZDNet colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols explained. It's a platform for developers and systems administrators who want to configure and deploy distributed apps more easily.
When running on Azure, Docker integrates with Microsoft's cross-platform Azure CLI toolset, allowing users to more simply launch Docker on Azure. Users don't have to log into each Docker host in Azure separately; instead they can run configuration commands for each host using the Docker client on their desktops/laptops.
In the even longer term, Microsoft is continuing to look at new ways of delivering applications, including by using the library OS model. Microsoft Research's Drawbridge project is looking to advance virtualization in a way that doesn't require virtual machines.