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Windows Server container users: Mirantis is here to support you


Effective May 1st, 2023, Microsoft will retire and remove all “Windows Server with Containers” VM images as well as the DockerMsftProvider API from their services. While existing instances of the affected images will continue to function, users will no longer be eligible for container runtime support or security updates.

Customers using Microsoft-provided VM images can transition to the Mirantis-published Windows Server Datacenter with Containers (Mirantis Container Runtime) Azure Marketplace images for Windows Server 2016, 2019, or 2022. (July 2023 update: Images for Windows Server 2019 and 2022 are available on Google Cloud Marketplace as well.) These are drop-in replacements, requiring only an update to the image tag and a rebuild of your VM scale sets. The cost of support is included in the cost of these images on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Still unsure how this Windows Server EOL will affect you? Watch this in-depth presentation showcasing how to use Mirantis Container Runtime to run workloads on Windows Server with Azure.

Why is this changing?

Microsoft has chosen not to continue the agreement with Mirantis through which Windows Server users received built-in licensing and support for Mirantis Container Runtime, with runtime support provided by Mirantis. On May 1st, Microsoft will remove the “Windows Server with Containers” images from their service, as well as the DockerMsftProvider API.

This is a support-level change and need not entail changes to your applications. Mirantis is proactively engaging with Microsoft to ensure that customers experience minimal disruptions.  If users do not continue support through Mirantis for any instance of Mirantis Container Runtime they may be running in Windows environments, they will lose critical functionalities and support.

What will change on May 1st, 2023?

  • Users will lose the ability to provisionVMs using “Windows Server with Containers” images. 

  • Users will lose the ability to restore VMs from backup using “Windows Server with Containers” images, so these backups will be rendered inoperable. 

  • Automation using affected images can fail. For example, Service Fabric will no longer be able to spin machines up and down, and Disaster Recovery automations reliant on backups will be disrupted.

  • Users will no longer receive CVE security patches and upgrades, normally released on 6-8 week cycles.

  • New VMs may be out of compliance: Mirantis Container Runtime is FIPS-140-2 validated and compliant with FedRAMP and DISA-STIG. After May 1st, users without support will have to ensure that validations are met.

Why continue support for Mirantis Container Runtime?

Continuing support through Mirantis provides the lowest engineering costs, effort, and riskfor affected users, as noted in Microsoft’s Community Update. DIY and alternative solutions are high-cost and high-risk, and may require costly re-engineering of complex cloud native environments.

With an updated license, you can continue to use the same environment without changes, while benefiting from features including: 

  • Windows-native containers, complete with Docker interface. No need for you to change your environment—or for your developers to change their workflows.

  • Compliance with security specifications including FIPS-140-2, FedRAMP, and DISA-STIG. Mirantis Container Runtime’s cryptographic module is certified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

  • Uptime assurance, support, and upgrades from world-class experts in cloud native technologies. Updates on 6-8 week cycles, keeping you up-to-date and safe from the latest CVEs.

Mirantis delivers business protection, risk elimination, and enterprise support to help you succeed throughout your entire infrastructure lifecycle.

How do I know if I'm affected?

Users of the following Microsoft-published Azure images may be affected:

  • 2016-Datacenter-with-Containers 

  • 2016-datacenter-with-containers-g2 

  • 2016-Datacenter-with-Containers-GS 

  • 2019-Datacenter-Core-with-Containers 

  • 2019-datacenter-core-with-containers-g2 

  • 2019-Datacenter-Core-with-Containers-smalldisk 

  • 2019-datacenter-core-with-containers-smalldisk-g2 

  • 2019-Datacenter-with-Containers 

  • 2019-datacenter-with-containers-g2 

  • 2019-Datacenter-with-Containers-GS 

  • 2019-Datacenter-with-Containers-smalldisk 

  • 2019-datacenter-with-containers-smalldisk-g2 

  • datacenter-core-20h2-with-containers-smalldisk 

  • datacenter-core-20h2-with-containers-smalldisk-gs 

  • datacenter-core-20h2-with-containers-smalldisk-g2 

In PowerShell on your Windows Server instance, you can check your container runtime using the following Docker CLI command:

docker version

The output will show you the container runtime for the machine:

Server:	Mirantis Container Runtime
 Version:	20.10.12	

Users of older runtime versions (prior to re-branding as Mirantis Container Runtime) may receive output such as “Docker Engine - Enterprise 19.03.15.”

How to continue support

Please fill out a contact us request to speak with a Mirantis expert today, or use the Mirantis-published Windows Server Datacenter with Containers (Mirantis Container Runtime) Azure Marketplace images for Windows Server 20162019, or 2022.


Microsoft Information: 

Mirantis/Docker Information:

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