Host platform tools using Docker for Windows

Component: ServiceControl
This sample is not production ready. Ports in the containers are remotely accessible and the sample is targeted to developers.

This sample shows how to host the ServicePulse and ServiceControl platform tools in Docker Windows Containers for Server and Desktops . It makes use of docker-compose to set up all platform tool components.


  • Ensure that Docker has been installed either for Windows 10 or Windows Server.
  • A valid license file must be available at C:\ProgramData\ParticularSoftware\license.xml.

Windows vs Linux

Currently Linux is unsupported as ServiceControl has a technical dependency on ESENT storage which is only available on Windows.

A compose file cannot setup both Windows and Linux containers. ServicePulse supports both Windows and Linux containerization.


For this sample the containers will use the default limit of 1GB for containers used by Docker for Windows. This is sufficient for demo purposes but not when ServiceControl is under load or when the database grows in size. This limit can be adjusted by uncommenting the text #mem_limit: 8192m in the Docker Compose files.


As the platform tools are licensed software, a license file is required to run the tools in containers. The license file in the sample assumes the default path: C:\ProgramData\ParticularSoftware\license.xml. Alternatively, set in the .env environment variables file with values for SERVICECONTROL_LICENSETEXT, SERVICECONTROL_AUDIT_LICENSETEXT, and MONITORING_LICENSETEXT.


ServiceControl requires storage for its database. Data stored by ServiceControl must be persistent and not stored in the container itself as containers often need to be rebuilt. ServiceControl data is stored via docker volumes which are resilient to container rebuilds so that data is not lost. This sample writes logs to a docker volume as well to ensure logs are not lost.


The Azure Service Bus Transport is used but Docker works with all supported broker-based transports.

Set the Azure Service Bus connection string in the .env file (value Endpoint=sb://;SharedAccessKeyName=RootManageSharedAccessKey;SharedAccessKey=xxx).

Init and runtime containers

ServiceControl has a setup and a run-time stage. During the setup stage, queues are created but no messages are ingested and processed while during the run-time stage no setup is performed and messages are ingested. In a production environment often the setup stage is run with administrative access to resources and the runtime stage is run with least privilege.

The same stages are applied to Docker. The docker-compose.init.yml Docker Compose file executes the ServiceControl init containers.

The init and runtime Compose files should use different connection strings (administrative vs least privilege) in a non-developer environment.

Running the sample

The init containers must be run before the runtime containers.


Runs Docker Compose and waits until all init containers have completed running. These should automatically exist after all setup logic completed.

The command below omits the -d, --detach argument to ensure issues are written to the console. Alternatively, any issues are also visible in the container logs.
docker-compose --file docker-compose.init.yml up


Runs Docker Compose and launch ServicePulse via the configured default browser. This uses the default Docker Compose file docker-compose.yml.

docker-compose up --detach
start http://localhost:9090

Maintenance mode

ServiceControl maintenance mode is demonstrated via the Docker Compose file docker-compose.maintenance.yml.

docker-compose --file docker-compose.maintenance.yml up


Gracefully stops and removes the containers and the configured volumes.


The Docker images follow semantic versioning. In other words, breaking changes are introduced only in new major versions. Releases are pushed as major.minor.patch and it is safe to follow a major tag to ensure updates.

Following the latest tag is recommended only for developers in combination with recreating Docker volumes via docker compose up -d -V.

In order to update all containers to their latest versions:

docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus.init-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus.monitoring.init-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus.monitoring-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus.audit.init-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicecontrol.azureservicebus.audit-windows:4
docker pull particular/servicepulse-windows:1
docker-compose -f docker-compose.runtime.yml up --detach


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