Microsoft and Docker are plugging away with their partnership to bring native Docker support to the next release of Windows Server. Windows Server 2016 won’t be available until sometime next year, though, and the vast majority of organizations that rely on Windows Server won’t be prepared to upgrade immediately. WinDocks is a startup that’s emerged to develop Docker support that will work with Windows Server 2012.
The collaboration between Microsoft and Docker, and Microsoft’s investment in DevOps and container technologies is huge. The fact that Windows Server 2016 will have native support for Docker containers may be a major factor in the decision about if or when to upgrade to the new OS for many organizations. The reality, though, is that most businesses won’t upgrade immediately and will probably still be using Windows Server 2012 for years to come.
That’s where WinDocks comes in. WinDocks is a team of former Microsoft Windows, IIS, and SQL Server developers focused on bringing the capabilities of Docker to .NET developers globally. WinDocks promises to deliver Docker-based .NET and SQL Server application support on Windows Server 2012.
Ramesh Parameswaran, founder and CEO said, “We are pleased that the WinDocks Early Evaluation Program will enable DevOps to get started on Windows based Docker development. The WinDocks Beta release is on-track for October, and our growing collaboration with Microsoft will ensure a smooth upgrade path for our customers.”
WinDocks has emerged from stealth and launched a Kickstarter project to fund the launch of the WinDocks beta. The team claims that the technical risks have been addressed and hurdles crossed and that from a development perspective the project is nearly complete.
The WinDocks development team has been working on the project without salaries, though, and WinDocks needs some additional resources to reach the finish line—hence the Kickstarter project. The stated purpose of the Kickstarter campaign is to fund an expansion of the development team and community technical support. As of right now the Kickstarter project does not have any backers or funds, but there are still 37 days left in the campaign.
The project is now without its challenges. WinDocks explains, “The containers used to support WinDocks are based on a high quality open source project, but have not been tested in production environments in large scale. This container design has also been reviewed previously with Microsoft, and we believe it is the best possible for support on Windows Server 2012.”
Trying to retrofit Docker support onto an existing version of Windows is probably no simple task. If it were easy Microsoft probably would have started there itself rather than teaming up to build support into the fabric of the next release. With such a large base of companies out there using Windows Server 2012, though, the project has significant potential if works.
Check out WinDocks and see what you think. Back the project if you think it has merit. Sign up to participate in the Early Evaluation Program if it sounds like something that will benefit your organization.