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Microsoft announced that in September 2022, it will transfer support for Mirantis Container Runtime (formerly Docker Engine – Enterprise) to Mirantis. If you’re currently using Windows Server containers, rest assured that they will continue to function the same as before. The main difference is that support, bug fixes, and security patches will be provided directly by Mirantis, instead of through Microsoft as has been the case until now. Mirantis is also providing a special offer for Microsoft customers effective immediately – please see below.
For Kubernetes environments, Mirantis will continue to provide a fully-supported CRI compliant container runtime that gives developers the familiar Docker CLI and container management features. This fully-supported option is advisable for production environments.
Customers can choose to run their Windows Server containers using the runtime from the open-source Moby project. However, note that the Moby project does not include support for FIPS 140-2 functionality present in the Mirantis Container Runtime.
For customers who require FIPS 140-2 functionality, a fully-supported version of Docker Engine-Enterprise (Mirantis Container Runtime), including Docker Swarm and the same features and capabilities as had been available from Microsoft, is available from Mirantis. Customers will benefit from all updates and patches for security vulnerabilities, as well as global support. Customers using Windows containers in production environments are encouraged to contact Mirantis to pursue this option so that they have security updates and patches.
Microsoft will continue working with the Moby community to help with issues and feature enhancements. Customers using Moby runtime binaries, however, will be running without full support from Microsoft, nor Mirantis – and they will not benefit from the enhanced feature set and security capabilities provided by Mirantis Container Runtime.
For container users, this change is a non-event; the container runtime is essentially invisible. The only impact is on container developers.
For container developers, the magnitude of this change depends on specific needs. If you do nothing, then your containers will continue to run smoothly through the Moby project, on which Mirantis Container Runtime (and Docker Engine – Enterprise) are based.
If you are not using your containers in production, this will likely be adequate for your needs, and you don’t have to do anything further; the default Moby engine that Microsoft will support should work for you.
However, if you are running in production, using Docker Swarm, or requiring security features such as FIPS 140-2, you’re going to want Mirantis Container Runtime.
At the end of September 2022, Windows Server container customers can still use Mirantis Container Runtime, but will need to obtain support from Mirantis to access support, bug fixes, and security patches. Because we want to ease the transition for users, effective immediately we are enabling current customers who enable Mirantis licensing before September 23, 2022 to grandfather in support at a greatly reduced rate.
In addition, support contracts can be structured so that they don’t actually begin until Microsoft support ends, even if that is after this date. Mirantis offers a range of enterprise-grade SLAs, including LabCare 8×5 support for non-production, and OpsCare 24x7x365 proactive support and OpsCare Plus fully-managed services for production deployments. Here at Mirantis we want to make this transition as easy as possible, so if you have any further questions, please contact us.