Microsoft and Docker are making available beta releases of two new Docker orchestration tools available on Azure and Hyper-V.
Beta releases of Docker Machine and Docker Swarm are available on Azure and Docker Machine is available on Hyper-V. Microsoft also is committed to supporting Docker Compose on Azure at some point in the future, company officials said on February 26.
Microsoft isn't the only company making test versions of these Docker tools available. AWS, Google, IBM, Joyent, Mesosphere, and VMware also are working with Docker to make available the first downloadable versions of these tools available to their customers.
Docker is an open source engine that automates application deployment. Docker uses containers, in lieu of virtual machines, to enable multiple applications to be run at once on the same server. Along with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Linux vendors like Canonical and Red Hat are all committed to supporting Docker.
Since June 2014, Microsoft has made it possible for users to run Docker apps on Linux on Azure. Microsoft also is building Docker container support into Windows Server 2016, due out next year.
Microsoft made its first Docker image for Ubuntu Linux available on Azure earlier this year.
As my ZDNet colleague Toby Wolpe explains, Docker Machine enables any host, whether a laptop, server, VM or remote cloud instance, to run Docker apps. Docker Swarm is a clustering service that can turn large numbers of servers into a single machine, creating a resource pool for distributed apps. And Docker Compose, is designed to smooth the process of building a complex distributed app from a number of containers.