Docker Inc. today launched a set of Windows Server migration services that leverage the Docker Enterprise platform to make it easier to shift Windows Server applications off versions of the operating system that are no longer being supported by Microsoft.
Betty Junod, vice president of product and partner marketing for Docker Inc., says the Windows Server Application Migration Program takes advantage of an update to the Docker Enterprise platform that adds support for multiple versions of Windows Server 2016 and 2019 operating systems. That new capability is critical as Microsoft prepares to end free commercial support, including security patches, for Windows Server 2008 in 2020.
Junod notes that as many as 70 percent of the applications running on Windows Server are still running on the 2003 and 2008 editions. One of the primary reasons for that is there had been no easy way to refactor those applications to run on a later version of Windows Server. Via the Windows Server Application Migration Program, IT organizations now can leverage the Docker Application Converter that Docker Inc. developed to automatically discover Windows applications and encapsulate them with Docker containers. The Docker Application Converter is only available as part of a services engagement, Junod says.
To facilitate those migrations Docker Inc. also has shrunk the image sizes of Windows applications encapsulated in Docker containers and expanded the number of networking options supported. Docker Inc. is also now providing visibility to vulnerabilities within a container at runtime running on Docker Enterprise 2.1, in addition to making more efficient use of storage with online garbage collection and policy-based image pruning. Finally, Docker Inc. has also extended authentication capabilities and the audit logs it makes available for forensics analysis.
Docker Inc. is also now certifying infrastructure via a Docker Certified Infrastructure initiative, which automates implementation and provides configuration blueprints for best practices for integrating containers into enterprise IT infrastructure such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. When combined with Docker’s expertise, organizations will have a “blueprint” for future migration projects and new application development.
It’s still early days in terms of deploying containerized applications in Windows environments. Given the length of time required to build and deploy cloud-native applications using containers, most IT organizations running Windows Server are likely to gain their first hands-on experience with containers by employing them to port applications onto a more modern Windows Server platform.
The Windows Server Application Migration Services provided by Docker Inc. are an extension of an existing Modernize Traditional Application (MTA) program that Docker Inc. has been leveraging to drive revenue around the core open source Docker container technologies it pioneered. Docker Inc, claims that via this program, many customers have experienced a 50 percent reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) of applications.
Docker Inc. is also working closely with Microsoft on the implementation of Docker containers on Windows platforms and Microsoft has made it clear it is anxious to reduce the number of legacy Windows Server platforms, many of which have not been updated meaningfully in more than a decade.