I have been spending a lot of time working with Turbo containers recently. Earlier this year, I presented at the VirtualExpo on the topic of: ‘Application Management: New Kids on the Block’. I covered application layering and containers. I spoke briefly about Docker and the upcoming Windows containers in Server 2016.
Docker has been generating a lot of buzz, particularly among developers. With Docker, you can run Linux based containers. Essentially the Linux kernel was developed to allow these containers to run. There’s now also a Windows client to allow these containers to run on Windows. Microsoft also added Docker into the Azure gallery.
It appears that in the current tech preview of Server 2016 that Microsoft have developed the latest Windows kernel to allow their new container technology to run. With Docker, it’s Linux based. With the upcoming Windows containers, they are likely to only be supported on the latest versions of the Windows operating systems. Which brings us to Turbo.net and their Turbo containers for Windows.
Turbo containers are Windows based. Rather than the kernel being developed in order to run these containers, Turbo containers run in their own VM. The Turbo VM. This VM sits and runs on top of the Windows kernel, which ensures you can run Turbo containers on any version of Windows.
The VM provides a pristine clean environment with fully isolated file system, registry and kernel objects. If you are familiar with Spoon, ThinApp, Cameyo or other application virtualization products, you are likely familiar with the ability to change the level of isolation on certain directories. Turbo is an evolution of Spoon and so, there’s a lot of cross functionality, including the ability to change the level of isolation on directories.
Unlike a product such as ThinApp, Turbo provides the ability to also isolate the network stack. You can ensure all TCP, UDP and named object calls stay within the isolated VM environment. Thanks to these features, Turbo provides the ability to not just containerize desktop applications (which may require less isolation) but also the ability to containerize those more complex server applications like SQL Server. For an introduction to Turbo containers for Windows, check out my demo on Channel 9:
If you watched the Demo, I believe it’s likely clear to you that my previous statements in other blogs are true. Turbo.net provide the widest range of options for containerizing applications. Not only that but with their patented streaming logic along with the lightweight size of their VM’s, they provide the fastest way to run application containers. Unlike with other container technologies, Turbo containers can be run on any version of Windows.
Turbo containers are for everybody! You can sign up for a free account and run applications from their hub. I use Paint.net, Skype, Notepad++, Firefox, Atom text editor and other applications, every day from the hub. The great thing is they have a CI to ensure the latest versions of applications are available on their hub shortly after their release.
At the time of this posting, Turbo.net hasn’t officially launched yet. I’m excited to see where the product goes from here.