I was looking at options to run some Powershell scripts in Azure and my first idea was: why not start a Windows Server Container with the right Powershell modules and run the scripts there? Turns out there are better options for running Powershell scripts in Azure (Azure Automation Runbooks) so I did not continue on this path but this is really cool technology and I learned a few things so I thought: let’s write this down.

Azure Container Instances

First of all, you can run Docker containers on Azure using Azure Container Instances. ACI is not a container orchestrator like Kubernetes (AKS) but it’s ideal for quickly getting single containers up-and-running. The fastest way to run a container is through the Azure CLI. You can find the CLI directly from the portal:

Running a container

Once you have started the CLI, type or paste the following commands:

az configure --defaults location=westeurope
az group create --name DockerTest
az container create 
    --resource-group DockerTest 
    --name winservercore 
    --image "microsoft/iis:nanoserver" 
    --ip-address public 
    --ports 80 
    --os-type windows

The first command sets the default resource location to westeurope so you do not have to specify this for each command. The second command creates a resource group named DockerTest and the third command starts a simple Windows Server container with the Nano Server OS, running IIS.

You need to specify a number of parameters when creating a container:

  • the name of the resource group for your container resources
  • the name of the container group
  • the name of the Dockerhub image: microsoft/iis:nanoserver
  • create a public IP address
  • specify that the container should expose port 80
  • specify the OS type (ACI does not detect this automatically)

Once you have run these commands, you can check progress via:

az container list --resource-group DockerTest -o table

And once the container has been provisioned, you should get something like this:

The container has received a public IP address, in my case 52.233.138.192 and when we go there, you see the default IIS welcome page.

Tadaaa, your first Windows Server Container running on Azure.

The original article was posted on: ronaldwildenberg.com

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