Docker Overlay Network Details

Docker Swarm uses an overlay network for communication between containers on different hosts, and for load balancing incoming traffic to a service. On Windows Server 2016 before Windows Update KB4015217 this overlay network is not supported. After KB4015217 the communication between containers works, but the routing mesh that load balances incoming traffic is not supported. Now with Windows Server 2016 version 1709 the routing mesh works as well. The purpose of this post is to take an in depth look at how the overlay network and the routing mesh work in practice.

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Docker Swarm Networking

Docker Swarm enables containers to operate together to provide a service, across different nodes in a cluster. It uses an overlay network for communication between containers on different hosts. It also supports a routing mesh, which load-balances and routes incoming connections to the containers. On Windows Server 2016 before the latest version this routing mesh is not supported. Now it is, with the release of version 1709, so we can see how it all works.

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