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6/15/2017 WindowsServer2016AddsNativeOverlayNetworkDriver,enablingmixedLinux+WindowsDockerSwarmModeClusters|VirtualizationBlog

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Windows Server 2016 Adds Native Overlay Network Driver,

enabling mixed Linux + Windows Docker Swarm Mode

April 18, 2017 by JMesser81 // 3 Comments

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Based on customer and partner feedback, we are happy to announce the Windows networking team released
a native overlay network driver for Windows Server 2016 to enable admins to create a Docker Swarm cluster
spanning multiple Windows Server and Linux container hosts without worrying about configuring the
underlying network fabric. Windows Server containers and those with HyperV Isolation powered by Docker
are available natively in Windows Server 2016 and enable developers and IT admins to work together in
building and deploying both modern, cloudnative applications as well as supporting liftandshift of
workloads from a virtual machine VM into a container. Previously, an admin would be limited to scaling out
these containers on a single Windows Docker host. With Docker Swarm and overlay, your containerized
workloads can now communicate seamlessly across hosts, and scale fluidly, ondemand.

How did we do it? The Docker engines, running in Swarm mode, are able to scaleout services by launching
multiple container instances across all nodes in a cluster. When one of the master Swarm mode nodes
schedules a container instance to run on a particular host, the Docker engine on that host will call the
Windows Host Networking Service HNS to create the container endpoint and attach it to the overlay
networks referenced by that particular service. HNS will then program this policy into the Virtual Filtering
Platform VFP HyperV switch extension where it is enforced by creating network overlays using VXLAN

The flexibility and agility enjoyed by applications already being managed by Docker Swarm is one thing, but
what about the upfront work of getting those applications developed, tested, and deployed? Customers can
reuse their Docker Compose file from their development environment to deploy and scale out a multi
service/tier application across the cluster using docker stack deploy command syntax. Its easy to leverage
the power of running both Linux and Windows services in a single application, by deploying individual
services on the OS for which they are optimized. Simply use constraints and labels to specify the OS for a
Docker Service, and Docker Swarm will take care of scheduling tasks for that service to be run only on the
correct host OS. In addition, customers can use Docker Datacenter via Docker Enterprise Edition Standard to
provide integrated container management and security from development to production.

Ready to get your hands on Docker Swarm and Docker Datacenter with Windows Server 2016? This feature has
already been validated by beta customers by successfully deploying workloads using swarm mode and 1/4
6/15/2017 WindowsServer2016AddsNativeOverlayNetworkDriver,enablingmixedLinux+WindowsDockerSwarmModeClusters|VirtualizationBlog

Docker Datacenter via Docker Enterprise Edition Standard, and we are now excited to release it to all
Windows Server customers through Windows Update KB4015217. This feature is also available in the
Windows 10 Creators Edition with Docker Community Edition so that developers can have a consistent
experience developing apps on both Windows client and server.

To learn more about Docker Swarm on Windows, start here

us/virtualization/windowscontainers/managecontainers/swarmmode. To learn more about Docker
Datacenter, start with Dockers documentation on Docker Enterprise Edition

Feature requests? Bugs? General feedback? We would love to hear from you! Please email us with feedback at

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john 1 month ago

I followed the steps in the Docker Swarm on Windows article but I cannot get the
service to correctly start. Always ends up with error HNS failed with error: Eleme

Koshy 2 weeks ago 3/4
6/15/2017 WindowsServer2016AddsNativeOverlayNetworkDriver,enablingmixedLinux+WindowsDockerSwarmModeClusters|VirtualizationBlog

Face exactly same issue on my test swarm using overlay network shared across 3three Ubuntu VM and
1one windows server 2016 VM.

KOSHY1 Shutdown Rejected 8 seconds ago HNS failed with error : Eleme

Gobinath 1 month ago

The overlay network is working in a single Win 2016 box. But when I try to add
another windows 2016 box as worker, then get the following error in the worker box.
time=20170503T11:16:55.493594300Z level=error msg=fatal task error error=HNS failed with error :
Catastrophic failure module=node/agent/taskmanager

Docker version 17.05.0cerc3, build 90d35ab


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