Docker is getting in on Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 migration push

Docker is helping bang the drum for customers still on older versions of Windows Server who want/need to migrate to maintain support.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

The Docker Enterprise 2.1 container platform is available today, November 8. And along with the usual Windows and Linux app support, Docker is touting its support for the latest Windows Server releases, along with Windows Server migration tools aimed to at those stuck on older versions.

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Docker Enterprise 2.1 supports Windows Server 1709, 1803 and Windows Server 2019. (Note that Microsoft halted availability of Windows Server 2019 at the beginning of October due to data-loss issues and still has yet to begin redistributing that release.) The Enterprise 2.1 release also adds Kubernetes 1.11 and support for pod autoscaling.

Docker also has new Windows Server migration tools to help users still reliant on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008/R2 with the end of support for those platforms. Even though Microsoft stopped offering free support for Windows Server 2003 in July 2015, a number of applications still run on that platform. Support for Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 ends in January 2020.

When support ends, Microsoft no longer provides security fixes unless they pay for custom support contracts -- or, in the case of Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, if they agree to move workloads on these products to Azure.

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In July 2018, Microsoft announced that users on Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 have a new option to keep getting security updates for free after the official support period ends. To do so, they have to bring their workloads to the Azure cloud. Customers who agree to migrate their Windows Server 2008/R2 and/or SQL Server 2008/R2 workloads to Azure will get extended security updates for free for three additional years (so, until January 2023 for Windows Server and until July 2022 for SQL Server).

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