Docker announced a new Windows Server Application Migration program on Thursday.
The application migration program is based on the use of Docker Enterprise 2.1, the company's latest container platform for Linux and Windows, which was released today. Docker's announcement pointed to program benefits when dealing with the venerable Windows Server 2008 product, which will lose security patch support on Jan. 14, 2020.
Organizations running applications on Windows Server 2008 will face the daunting prospects of having to upgrade to newer Windows Server products or use virtual machines in public cloud services. Next, they'll have to migrate or upgrade their applications to the new infrastructure.
These applications on Windows Server 2008 might be so-called "legacy" applications that are also losing independent software vendor support. Docker claims that its Modernize Traditional Applications program can "containerize older Java and .NET applications without recoding."
Containers are an operating system virtualization approach that can free applications from version conflicts. Containers might be used as part of a DevOps approach, for instance, to alleviate infrastructure dependencies and software version issues for developers spinning up various applications. Now, with Docker's new Windows Server Application Migration Program, it seems that containers also can be used to help organizations facing impending Windows Server upgrade issues.
Docker is proposing a somewhat different application migration approach, based on the use of Docker Enterprise 2.1. Here's the scenario, per Docker's announcement:
With Docker Enterprise, companies can standardize the software platform and adopt new technology stacks and architectures without changing how the organization operates -- whether applications are cloud native applications, AI or edge computing workloads. Traditional application migration techniques lock companies into a specific infrastructure or operating system. With Docker Enterprise, organizations have a secure repeatable model that doesn't lock into a specific infrastructure or cloud, enabling companies to modernize applications and adopt new technologies as business requirements evolve.
On the Windows side, Docker Enterprise 2.1 supports containers on Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019, as well as Windows Server servicing versions 1709 and 1803. Organizations get greater flexibility using Windows Server version 1709 or newer, according to this Docker blog post.
"With Windows Server 1709 and beyond, the host operating system and container images can deploy using different Windows Server versions, making it more flexible and easier to run containers on a shared operating system," the blog post noted.
Docker's Windows Server Application Migration program provides access to the Docker Application Converter tool, which "automatically scans systems for target applications and speeds up the conversion process by automatically creating Docker artifacts." A Docker artifact apparently is a software component that's created during a container build, per this Stack Overflow forum discussion.
Docker also offers "implementation and configuration best practices" via its Docker Certified Infrastructure approach. It can be used to bring containers over to public cloud infrastructures, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware VSphere.