In just over one year, Microsoft support for Windows Server 2008 will come to an end. Without the proper planning in place, the ripple effects may impact your business. The cost of maintenance will skyrocket, while security and compliance risks will increase without regular patches. So, how can companies beat the clock? The short answer is enterprise container platforms can provide a fast and simple way to transform expensive and difficult-to-maintain applications into efficient, secure and portable applications ready for modern infrastructure – whether current Windows Server releases (such as WS 2016 or later) and/or into the cloud. Taking this approach saves a significant amount of money and improves security and performance across the application lifecycle.
We are already seeing immediate demand from customers in modernizing their existing Windows Server applications in preparation for the end of support in January 2020 – here are five key takeaways we have learned in the process.
1. Existing applications power businesses today
The fact is that most data in the largest businesses (or companies) in the world run on legacy applications. And these applications can continue to provide value if enterprises containerize and migrate them to modern environments to make them more secure, cost-efficient and portable to hybrid/multi-cloud environments.
2. Security and compliance risks are real
Since Microsoft ended support for the Windows Server 2003 operating system three years ago, the product no longer receives security patches or assisted technical support from Microsoft. The same will hold true for Windows Server 2008 come January 2020. As a result, the threat of harmful viruses and other malicious software affecting your business increases. With Docker Enterprise, organizations benefit from integrated security across the application lifecycle with an auditable chain of custody – including image signing to maintain integrity in your software development process and security scanning to ensure verified and clean applications.
3. Applications will become portable and cloud-ready
Containerizing Windows Server legacy applications accelerates cloud migration and brings portability across environments and infrastructure – all without changing a single line of code. Docker Enterprise gives organizations the flexibility to deploy on-premises and across hybrid/multi-cloud environments based on their current and future needs, free of vendor lock in.
4. The ROI will be measurable and immediate
Traditional techniques for application modernization typically revolve around a complete application re-write and require an investment that can take years to materialize. Containerizing an application, on the other hand, enables organizations to realize the benefits associated with containers whether on-premises or in the cloud – from improved security and governance to cost-efficiencies. These savings from reduced VM usage and in operations, expenditure for patching and maintenance can then be allocated toward other strategic IT initiatives.
5. Change doesn’t have to be hard
Getting applications to run on Windows 2016 and in the cloud shouldn’t be a daunting task. And it doesn’t have to be. Containerizing most applications using Docker Enterprise requires no code changes. We also recently rolled out the Docker Windows Server Application Migration Program, which combines unique tools and services to make migrating and modernize legacy Windows applications easy to accomplish. As part of Docker Enterprise 2.1, Docker Application Converter automatically scans systems for specific applications and speeds up the containerization process by automatically creating Docker artifacts, further simplifying the process.
For more information on how the Docker Enterprise container platform can help you easily modernize your Windows Server legacy applications: