Will Docker container-per-user replace session per user RDSH in the future?

For years, RDSH session-per-user has been the go to solution for high density users running on a single Windows Server. But will that change to Docker container-per-user in the future?

Microsoft's Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) has been the de facto solution for high-density users of remote Windows applications and desktops for the past 16 years or so. But now that Docker containers will be a built-in feature to Windows Server 2016, I wonder if Docker container-per-user will eventually replace the current RDSH session-per-user moving forward?

The advantage of Docker containers is that they're much more popular and mainstream that RDSH sessions. And when you look at containers on Windows, they have many of the same core isolation and separation of RDSH sessions:

  • Each container is isolated from others.
  • Each container sees a "pure" view of the Windows OS.
  • Each container can have its own IP address and network stack.
  • Each container runs its own csrss.exe and other session-like processes and services.

Even in 2016, RDSH sessions are still perceived as "weird and different," so I like the idea of moving them to a more mainstream concept like Docker. I would suspect that scalability and density would be similar between the two?

That said, I don't have any real-world hands on experience with Docker containers, so I'm not even sure they work this way.

What do you think? Could containers replace RDSH sessions? Is there any value in this? Or am I missing something?

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When I first started looking into 2016 Containers I was really hoping for a 'VDI light' possibility, but as of 2016 TP5, nope. Officially you can't even run containers on a Full Desktop Experience 2016 Server (though apparently it does work more or less). Containers do not support the RDS role or a GUI at all. I have only got silent installs to work, anything that tries to pop up a GUI fails. Which makes sense as you are usually working in a remote Power Shell session when working inside the container for configuration/installation.

That being said, I do think Windows Server Containers are going to change a lot in the way we work, just presented on this at E2EVC. It is fun stuff :-)
Just thought of something: Apparently, when you use Gmail and log in Google creates a container just for you, same with Google docs and many other of their apps.

So if the future is HTML5 etc then in a way it could replace RDSH a bit....