Microsoft today announced a preview of its new Azure Container Service, a tool for deploying code wrapped up in containers — many of which fit on a single server — on the Azure public cloud.

The service was first announced in September. It’s based on Apache Mesos, startup Mesosphere’s Data Center Operating System (DCOS), and technology from Docker, the startup that propelled the interest in Linux containers in the first place. Containers are thought of as a more lightweight alternative to longstanding virtual machines.

Microsoft has been doing a lot to make containers work with Windows, having introduced Hyper-V Containers and Windows Server Containers.

Interestingly, the Azure Container Service in its current form does not support Windows yet — but of course that will change.

“Microsoft has committed to providing Windows Server Containers using Docker and Apache Mesos is being ported to Windows. This work will allow us to add Windows Server Container support to Azure Container Service in the future,” Azure program manager Ross Gardler wrote in a blog post on today’s news.

Other public clouds, like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM SoftLayer, have their own container-deployment services.

You can sign up for the preview here.


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