Google Kubernetes Engine Now Supports Windows Applications and Chef Extends Migration Support for Legacy Windows Applications into GKE

Google announced that Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) supports deploying Windows applications in a “cloud native” pattern, leveraging Docker containers. Chef has worked with Google to ensure customers using Chef’s application delivery solution “Habitat” can easily and efficiently package and deploy any Windows application – both modern and legacy – into GKE. 

GKE orchestrates containers without requiring customers to manage their Kubernetes cluster. Chef Habitat defines, packages, and delivers applications into any environment.  With this collaboration, customers get an end-to-end solution for taking any Windows app, packaging it into a container, and deploying it into a fully-managed Kubernetes cluster.

One of the biggest challenges many organizations face when adopting cloud-native technologies is getting legacy applications to work in new runtime environments. There have traditionally been two options: rewrite the application, or attempt to “lift and shift” the app to a new environment.

Both of these options are far from ideal. Application rewrites can be difficult to scope, prohibitively expensive, and time consuming to implement. Lifting and shifting an application may be easier to execute, but it doesn’t make the application any easier to manage. It may become even more challenging to manage in a Kubernetes cluster if there are issues with the underlying OS and supporting dependencies. 

Chef Habitat enables teams to repackage legacy apps with all their dependencies so that they can be deployed to any platform or runtime without requiring a rewrite. Unlike a lift and shift Habitat abstracts the application from the underlying OS and packages the application with only what it needs – preventing build bloat and making the container easy to update and audit.  

You start with a Habitat Plan that defines how the app is built and run. From that plan, Habitat creates a single artifact that contains the application, its required libraries and other dependencies, and the instructions on how to build and run the app. To run this packaged application on GKE, you simply export this artifact as a container image, upload it to the Google Container Registry, and then deploy it to GKE. 

This demo from James Massardo explains how Habitat works and shows how easy it is to package a windows application and deploy it to GKE.

You can also take this same artifact and deploy it to bare metal, virtual machines, or containers. This artifact runs in a clean environment on the developers’ machines, in dev, or in production using the same instructions and the same code. Additionally, you can create a simplified pipeline with consistent build and deployment steps for all your applications.

And now, with this collaboration between Google and Chef, you can easily build, deploy, and orchestrate your Windows applications using Google’s leading Kubernetes deployment engine – regardless of whether these are modern “cloud native” or legacy apps. Try Chef Habitat today.

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Mike Krasnow

Mike Krasnow is a Product Manager at Chef. For the last 15 years, he’s been shipping products and developing strategy for companies such as F5 Networks and Qumulo. When he’s not working on his roadmap, he’s on a bicycle or wrestling with his kids.