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Docker Enterprise Adds Kubernetes Cluster Creation for Windows Server

The Kubernetes cluster Windows feature is part of the new Docker Enterprise 3.1 release from Mirantis.

Todd R. Weiss

June 1, 2020

4 Min Read
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The latest version (3.1) of Docker Enterprise from Mirantis brings Kubernetes cluster creation capabilities to Windows Server 2019 users.

Docker Enterprise 3.1 is the first major Kubernetes container platform release since Mirantis bought it in November.

The new version allows Windows Server 2019 nodes to join to a Docker Enterprise cluster for the first time. This feature now lets end users use Kubernetes to orchestrate Windows containers, expanding its flexibility. Other features in version 3.1 include an updated version of Kubernetes and Nvidia GPU integration for AI and machine learning.

New support options are also available for all Docker Enterprise customers. This includes LabCare, ProdCare, and OpsCare levels of support. With Mirantis ProdCare, customers now have 24×7 support for all cases. With Mirantis OpsCare, customers get remote managed operations for their environment with enhanced SLAs, a designated support manager and more.

The new version is based on the certified Kubernetes 1.17 release, which adds Windows support and scheduler improvements. Kubernetes clusters managed by the Universal Control Plane (UCP) in Docker Enterprise now support nodes running Windows Server. Pods can now interoperate when running on nodes in a mixed cluster consisting of Windows Server and Linux nodes.

The addition of Nvidia GPU integration in Docker Enterprise comes through a pre-installed device plug-in. Users can view GPU nodes inside Docker UCP and request GPUs through standard YAML pod specifications. Then, one can create policies for GPUs around access control and shared resources.

Istio Ingress & Mirantis LaunchPad CLI

It now just takes a click of a button to add Istio Ingress for a Kubernetes cluster. Users can add it to the cluster with intelligent defaults to get started quickly, the company said. Furthermore, you can add proxies, external IPs and more through a simplified interface. Users can also create and review traffic routing rules, with support for virtual services out of the box.

Also included in the Kubernetes cluster creation platform is the Mirantis Launchpad CLI tool for deployment and upgrades. Use he Launchpad on any infrastructure including all major public clouds, on-premises operating systems and VMware.

Docker Enterprise 3.1 lets developers build, share and run any applications anywhere — from public to hybrid cloud.

David Van Everen, Mirantis’ senior marketing VP, told Channel Futures the inclusion of Windows support expands its market.

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Mirantis’ David Van Everen

“This release is focused on expanding the capabilities of Docker Enterprise for companies,” said Van Everen. “It will expand the addressable market as well, specifically for partners who are Windows partners. Now they have a platform that has enterprise-grade support for orchestrating Windows containers on Kubernetes.”

That will help partners start quickly to help prospective customers and new deployments, he said. The Mirantis Launchpad feature lets users deploy Docker Enterprise Clusters in 5 minutes.

The Launchpad automates the installation process to allow customers to evaluate the platform before fully deploying it. It uses default settings to give users realistic performance of the Kubernetes cluster creation platform to evaluate it.

Mirantis works with about 350 channel partners and 390 ISVs, said Van Everen. as well as …

… resellers and distributors. It has been preparing for this release since acquiring Docker Enterprise products last November.

“We feel like we’ve improved our ability to execute on Docker Enterprise through increased testing automation,” said Van Everen.

Kubernetes Cluster Creation Means More Support Options

Gary Chen, an analyst with IDC, said the Kubernetes cluster creation features and expanded support options will help customers.

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IDC’s Gary Chen

“With the COVID-19 crisis, it is an unprecedented time in IT and there are major changes ahead for every IT market including containers,” said Chen. “Existing customers that Mirantis acquired will grow and leverage that investment to help them through the crisis. You will also see customers on [Docker] Swarm may extend usage of that longer and put off migrating to Kubernetes. Many customers may start leaning toward fully managed services during the crisis, whether on premises or [in] public cloud. So, Mirantis’ new OpsCare offering might be quite timely here, too.”

Keep up with the latest developments in how the channel is supporting partners and customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

A majority of enterprise IT isn’t invested heavily in containers yet, he said.

“We are going to see a pause in the market as new customers hold off on new projects,” said Chen. “There is a steep learning curve and upfront investment. And for many customers, they don’t have the time or budget to make it happen yet.”

Customers in crisis today are spending only on necessities and essentials, and containers aren’t yet in that category, he said.

“The upside is that after the recovery, containers will see an acceleration as enterprises prioritize agility and cloud readiness,” added Chen.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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