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Amazon EKS Windows Container Support Now Generally Available (amazon.com)
70 points by el_duderino 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

...and the crowd goes mild!

Does anyone actually use Windows containers? How is it? I'm not the most connected person, but I really want to know who's actually using this?

The only legit use-case I've ever seen is "lift-and-shift" out of a self-hosted IIS environment to a container that can be hosted publicly. Now your business has a "SasS Offering"!

We had MS in our office a few weeks ago and even they were steering people away from windows containers unless you really had no other choice...

I am not sure if it is kosher to say this, but my main use for Windows Server is as a desktop OS for when I need Windows. You can set up py-kms (https://github.com/SystemRage/py-kms) to activate it. The Server OS is extremely clean and devoid of all of the bloatware in normal Windows. I think the telemetry is still enabled and hard to disable, but it is slightly easier to do.

In my case this is probably above board, I inherited some servers with valid Windows Server licenses.

If you've got a mix of applications that can run on linux (for example .Net Core) and some that can't (.Net Framework) it lets you keep a similar pipeline for managing environments and deployments.

I'm not using it in production yet, but I've been watching it for a couple of years as it becomes more stable.

Still waiting on the next update (Windows 10 19H2) that lets you run windows containers build using older base versions on newer host OSes. Currently if the host and container image aren't the exact same version it will run in Hyper-V instead of as a light weight container.

I do consulting around Kubernetes, and many large enterprise clients are interested in Windows Containers. The usual culprit are .Net Framework applications that the customer has no interest in porting to .Net Core.

I haven't actually seen a customer use Windows Containers in production yet, but with them becoming more stable I suspect we'll see more of it in the next year.

I do some work in the k8s arena. Seen a couple of large corps using Windows containers, either for containerizing legacy applications, or for moving an existing Windows platform into containers to help reduce cloud bills.

Test automation. Edge/IE.

I know there a business use cases usually targeting legacy software. Are there any open source projects that run mainly on Windows? I am wondering how the code bases may differ, etc.

Last time I looked at Windows containers the layers were multi-gigabyte downloads, is this still the case?

The windows server nano images are 96mb and the windows server insider nano images are around 63 i think

Yeah, although something called Nano Server is pretty small. https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Containers/A-smaller-...

Still significantly larger compared to most Linux container images, and even more so than something like Alpine.

This different is pointlessly fetishized. Once layers are cached on a node they are cached on the node and it makes little functional difference to startup times.

There's also the small matter of: nobody will help you with Alpine bugs or CVEs. You are on your own. For something like Windows, you can pay Microsoft for any level of care you feel makes business sense. Same for Ubuntu or Red Hat.

Is Alpine 8MB containerized?

Yes and roughly 3MB compressed.

Yes, agreed, it's amazing how many more feature Windows ships than Linux, and that's only the "nano" version!

Like what? I find that especially when comparing Nano Server and Linux, that Linux is much easier to manage and has nearly unlimited features that can be used or installed via a lightweight package manager when building your images.

How does licensing work for this?

Windows Server (Standard and Datacenter editions) licenses include permissions to run unlimited windows containers on top of them. So you would only need to pay for the licenses of your hosts.


AFAIK there's a significant caveat to that, which is that you only get unlimited windows containers, if you're using process isolation.

If you're using VM isolation, you need licenses for the containerized applications.

I wouldn't call that a caveat so much as SOP for Microsoft licensing. A Windows license does not entitle you to run unlimited Windows VMs on top unless you pay for the more expensive edition.

The "hack" of buying a small number of super beefy servers to save on licensing costs was plugged looooong ago.

Amazon (as well as other cloud vendors) generally handle the licensing for you and factor it into the price of the host OS

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