September-2020 updates to Containers extension on Windows Admin Center
Published Sep 16 2020 03:49 PM 4,033 Views

It’s time for some more container goodness coming your way! As you probably know, we have been adding some new capabilities into the Containers extension of Windows Admin Center. In recent months we added new capabilities to help not only better manage container images and containers, but to also help you build new container images based on the source of your application. With Windows Admin Center, customers can now containerize existing applications, even if you don’t have the code from which the app was built from and with no developer involvement.


Today we are adding some cool new functionality to the extension again!


Install and configure the container host

Until now, the Containers extension assumed the container host was already configured and ready to go. If that was not the case, users would have to go to the server and install Docker and its dependencies. Now, we have a totally streamlined process inside of Windows Admin Center itself:

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When you select the option to install Docker from Windows Admin Center, we will download the package, install the Docker module and the Containers feature, and restart the server. When the server is back online, we will ensure the Docker service is up and running so your container host is properly configured.


Common base container images to pull

When getting started with containers, the first thing you want to do is to ensure you have the base images pulled so when you run a new container or create a new image, you don’t have to wait for the image pull times. However, sometimes we’re not even sure which images to pull. To help with that, we’re adding an option to check the most common Windows base container images:

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Keep in mind that while the Windows Admin Center UI allows you select any of the images available, the pull will fail if you try to pull an image that has an OS version higher than the container host you’re targeting. For example: If you have a Windows Server 2019 container host, you can pull LTSC 2019 images or older - not newer.


Disabling functionalities on Kubernetes nodes

One of the flexibilities of the Containers extension on Windows Admin Center is that you can target any Windows container host- even the ones that are part of a Kubernetes cluster. However, some actions on the Containers extension might cause issues in your Kubernetes environment.

For that reason, we are disabling destructive functionalities when Windows Admin Center finds the “kublet.exe” service running on a container host. The disabled functionalities when targeting a Kubernetes node are:

  • On the containers tab:
    • End containers
    • Delete containers
  • On the images tab:
    • Delete container images
    • Run container images


Containers extension now available on public extension feed

On previous updates, the Containers extension was available on the Insiders feed, which required users to manually add that feed to Windows Admin Center. As of today, new updates will go to the public extension feed, so you don’t have to do anything - other than install/update the extension:

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We want your feedback!

We’ve been hammering this message over and over, but it is never too much! We need your feedback!

The team would love to understand how you are using the Containers extension, what is working and what is not, as well as what you would like to see added! Do you have an app you’d like to see containerized with Windows Admin Center that you currently can't? Great! Let us know!

You can send your comments and feedback our way either via comments below, or our GitHub repo by opening a new issue.


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