Microsoft has released its latest Technical Preview for Windows Server 2016 which includes support for Docker Containers baked in as well as new features and functionality in its Nano Server edition.

Today we are excited to release the first preview of Windows Server Containers as part of our Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 release. We’re also announcing great updates from our close collaboration with Docker, including enabling support for the Windows platform in the Docker Engine and a preview of the Docker Engine for Windows. Our Visual Studio Tools for Docker, which we previewed earlier this year, have also been updated to support Windows Server Containers, providing you a seamless end-to-end experience straight from Visual Studio to develop and deploy code to both Windows Server and Linux containers. Last but not least, we’ve made it easy to get started with Windows Server Containers in Azure via a dedicated virtual machine image.  — Scott Guthrie’s Blog

Microsoft’s continued support for the Docker community also includes contributing to the Open Container Initiative as well as being a contributor for the open source Docker Engine for Windows Server.  Future Windows Server releases will include a new Hyper-V based container solution that provides more separation of hosted applications.

In addition to the new container support, Microsoft also announced enhancements meant to improve data center agility.

  • Enhanced Nano Server functionality: we have added a new Emergency Management Console so you can view and fix your networking configuration directly from the Nano Server console, and a new PowerShell script that allows you to create a Nano Azure VM.
  • Simplified software-defined networking: we are delivering a scalable network controller, for centralized network configuration as well as a software load balancer for high availability and performance.
  • Extended security: Shielded VMs, which enable isolation between the underlying host and virtual machines, help protect resources in shared environments. Now you can test creation of a shielded VM from a signed template, along with other aspects of the shielded VM functionality.
  • Management: System Center feature enhancements make it easier for you to manage virtualized environments including support for rolling upgrades, shielded VM’s and guarded host support, and automated maintenance windows.

If you want to give the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 a spin for yourself, you can download it from TechNet.