Mirantis Container Runtime enables containers to run efficiently on any substrate, powering business critical applications at the world’s leading companies. It will be of particular interest to enterprises running Docker Swarm, and enterprises running Kubernetes using the familiar Docker CLI for container management with a fully supported CRI compliant container runtime.
The Mirantis Experience
Mirantis is the premier open source cloud native platform provider with a long history of innovation, products, and services for the cloud industry. Mirantis manages the Docker Enterprise portfolio following the company’s acquisition by Mirantis in 2019.
Mirantis provides the support, training, and architectural expertise you need to maintain an up-to-date cloud infrastructure. With global 24x7x365 support and SLAs suited for mission-critical environments, Mirantis serves customers of all sizes including 1/3 of the Fortune 100.
What is changing, and when is it happening?
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.
How do I maintain access to Enterprise- container features?
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.
What if I want to continue with an open-source solution?
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.
What does this mean to me, as a user running Windows Server containers?
For container users, this change is a non-event; the container runtime is essentially invisible. The only impact is on container developers.
What does this change mean for Windows Server 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.
How can users get continued support for Docker containers on Windows Server?
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 8x5 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.