How To Run Pre-1709 Container Images On Windows Server 2016 Version 1709 Host

In this blog post, I’ll show how to run pre-1709 Windows Nano Server 2016 images on a 1709 Container Host.

With the release of Windows Server 2016 Version 1709 and the changes to Windows Nano Server 2016, Pre-1709 Container Images can no longer run on 1709 host.

The Solution

To work around this limitation Microsoft offers Hyper-V Isolation that needs to be enabled on the Container host.

The Hyper-V Isolation technology adds an extra protection to a Windows Container by running the Container Inside a virtualization layer similar to a virtual machine.

Note: If you are using a Windows Server 2016 Version 1709 Host on Microsoft Azure Hyper-V Isolation is already enabled by default.

Enable Hyper-V Isolation

To enable Hyper-V Isolation run the cmdlet below and restart the computer when done.

Add-WindowsFeature Hyper-V
Restart-computer

Run Pre-1709 Containers

In the example below, I’ll create a new Windows Nano Server 2016 Container using Hyper-V Isolation

As you can see below the build number is Pre-1709 with full PowerShell 5.1 Installed

Get-ComputerInfo | more

As you can see, Using Hyper-V Isolation I have the flexibility to run Pre-1709 Images and 1709 on the same Containers Host.

The best thing about Hyper-V Isolation Is that there is no need to manage it and deal with it.

Conclusion

I strongly recommend enabling Hyper-V Isolation and any 1709 Container Host simply because the flexibility it gives us.

Hyper-V Isolation is also the technology behind Linux Containers On Windows (LCOW) which will become GA soon.

About Windows Server 2016 1709

First announced a five months ago, Windows Server 2016 version 1709 released a Semi-Annual Channel with 18 months support (more details below).

Long and Semi-Annual Channel

As Announced a few months ago, Windows Server will be available in two release modules.

  • Long-Term Servicing channel – This Is the current and most familiar module where a new operating system version is released every 2-3 years with 5 years support cycle.
  • Semi-Annual Channel – This new module will offer two new releases every year with new features and roles, support will be available for 18 months.

The Semi-Annual Channel will only be available for Volume Licensing Customers with Software Assurance.

If you don’t have Software Assurance you can use Microsoft Azure where it’s available.

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