Docker invites elderly Windows Server apps to spend remaining days in supervised care

Version 2.1 of Docker Enterprise brings Windows App Migration Program


Docker on Thursday plans to introduce a Windows Server Application Migration program with the release of Docker Enterprise 2.1.

Some 70 per cent of Windows Server apps run on Windows Server 2003 or 2008, according to the company, citing Spiceworks stats. Microsoft ended extended support for the former in July 2015 and plans to end extended support for the latter in January 2020.

Docker is offering its enterprise container platform as a way for companies to keep their ancient applications alive in the absence of official fixes and support, while maintaining some semblance of compliance – Docker Engine scored its FIPS 140-2 validation last month and the latest enterprise release speaks SAML 2.0.

The Windows Server Application Migration program consists of: Docker Professional Services, so you can pay someone to handle the mind-numbing details; Docker Application Converter, to automate the identification and conversion of eligible apps on creaky servers; and Docker Certified Infrastructure, which means Docker has tested its installation scripts with its partners so its software will actually run out of the box without some cryptic error.

The app shifting program allows organizations to pack legacy apps into dockerized Windows Server 2003 or 2008 containers that then are run by Docker Enterprise on Windows Server 2016, 1709, 1803, and 2019, on premises or via AWS, Azure, or vSphere – the Certified Infrastructure mentioned above.

Aeroflot flight crew and plane

Pain spotting: Russia's Aeroflot Docker server lands internal source code, config files on public internet

READ MORE

The advantage of this approach, the company says, is that Docker Enterprise makes application discovery and containerization easier to manage. Organizations wrestling with legacy Windows code can, of course, attempt an operating system upgrade but that doesn't solve the maintenance and patching issues - which become particularly acute when apps are no longer actively developed.

"We believe this program will help companies not just deal with their immediate needs but build a foundation for their future innovation," said Jenny Fong, director of product marketing at Docker, in a phone interview with The Register.

She pointed to trendy technologies like blockchains and machine learning that might tempt technologically deprived organizations suddenly given access to modern computing infrastructure.

Banjot Chanana, veep of product at Docker, said containerizing apps allows companies to enhance their security posture. "This becomes more critical with the impending end of extended support for Windows 2008," he said.

Chanana said Docker Enterprise 2.1 includes a number of improvements that make containers and Windows better together, like the ability to patch the underlying host operating system and containers separately, reduced image sizes, and virtual IP-based load balancing.

"This really brings Windows up to par with Linux containers," said Chanana.

In an email to The Register, Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti said Docker's app conversion program should make it easier to wrap old Windows Server 2003/2008 apps into containers so they can run on modern Windows platforms.

"In addition to containerizing them, Docker will help you find them and migrate them with new tools and services," he said. "This service should help kick some companies into modernizing their oldest Win apps before they’re out of support completely." ®


Other stories you might like

  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is no currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading
  • Need to prioritize security bug patches? Don't forget to scan Twitter as well as use CVSS scores

    Exploit, vulnerability discussion online can offer useful signals

    Organizations looking to minimize exposure to exploitable software should scan Twitter for mentions of security bugs as well as use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System or CVSS, Kenna Security argues.

    Better still is prioritizing the repair of vulnerabilities for which exploit code is available, if that information is known.

    CVSS is a framework for rating the severity of software vulnerabilities (identified using CVE, or Common Vulnerability Enumeration, numbers), on a scale from 1 (least severe) to 10 (most severe). It's overseen by First.org, a US-based, non-profit computer security organization.

    Continue reading
  • Sniff those Ukrainian emails a little more carefully, advises Uncle Sam in wake of Belarusian digital vandalism

    NotPetya started over there, don't forget

    US companies should be on the lookout for security nasties from Ukrainian partners following the digital graffiti and malware attack launched against Ukraine by Belarus, the CISA has warned.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it "strongly urges leaders and network defenders to be on alert for malicious cyber activity," having issued a checklist [PDF] of recommended actions to take.

    "If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic," added CISA, which also advised reviewing backups and disaster recovery drills.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022