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VMware Previews vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform to Accelerate Cloud-Native Apps in the Enterprise

Today at VMworld 2015, VMware, Inc. introduced two new technology previews -- VMware vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon Platform -- to empower enterprise IT operations teams to deliver containers in production on-premises and on VMware's public cloud, VMware vCloud Air.

VMware is expanding its cloud-native technology portfolio with two new projects that promise to improve the developer experience for building applications using container technology while addressing enterprise IT requirements. VMware's cloud-native technology portfolio is being designed to meet IT requirements across security and isolation, service-level agreements, data persistence, networking services and management.

"Today, VMware is announcing foundational infrastructure that will enable customers to deploy cloud-native applications in production with confidence," said Ray O'Farrell, chief technology officer and chief development officer, VMware. "It's all about choice. Customers will be able to jumpstart their container initiatives on top of their existing VMware vSphere environments or consume new infrastructure designed specifically for cloud-native applications."

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers: Accelerating Enterprise Container Initiatives
Unveiled today as a technology preview, VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable IT teams to support any application, including containerized applications, on a common infrastructure.

The technology can accelerate container initiatives by enabling IT teams to take advantage of their existing investments in VMware infrastructure, people, processes and management tools. The solution will also empower developers with the flexibility, portability and speed containers deliver. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will easily integrate with other container ecosystem solutions including CoreOS Tectonic, Docker, Kubernetes, Mesosphere's Data Center Operating System and Cloud Foundry.

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers represents a complementary set of cloud-native technologies featuring Project Bonneville, Project Photon OS (formerly Project Photon), and VMware's Instant Clone technology (a feature of VMware vSphere 6) that will bring together the best of VMware vSphere with containers.

With VMware vSphere at its foundation, the new offering will help IT operations team meet the following enterprise requirements for containers:

  • Security and Isolation - Assuring the integrity and authenticity of containers and their underlying infrastructure, Project Bonneville, a technology preview, isolates and starts up each container in a virtual machine with minimal overhead using the Instant Clone feature of VMware vSphere 6.
  • Storage and Data Persistence - While many container services are stateless today, customers have the desire to enable stateful services to support cloud-native databases. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable provisioning of persistent data volumes for containers in VMware vSphere environments. This will enable IT operations and development teams to take advantage of the speed and portability of containerized applications in conjunction with highly resilient VMware vSphere storage, including VMware Virtual SANTM and VMware vSphere Virtual VolumesTM-enabled external storage.
  • Networking - VMware NSXTM supports production container deployments today. With VMware NSX, IT can apply fine-grained network micro-segmentation and policy-based security to cloud-native applications. Additionally, VMware NSX provides IT with greater visibility into the behavior of containers. Finally, with VMware NSX, containers can be integrated with the rest of the data center, and can be connected to quarantine, forensics and/or monitoring networks for additional monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) - IT teams will be able to assure service-level agreements for container workloads with VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler as well as reduce planned and unplanned downtime with VMware vSphere High Availability and VMware vSphere vMotion®.
  • Management - Administrators will be able to use VMware vCenter ServerTM to view and manage their containers without the need for new tools or additional training through Project Bonneville, which will enable the seamless integration of containers into VMware vSphere. Customers can further achieve consistent management and configuration compliance across private and public clouds using the VMware vRealizeTM Suite.

By bringing together all the necessary capabilities into a single solution to run enterprise-class containers in production, VMware will help IT organizations to accelerate time to value, reduce risk and enable long-term viability for their container initiatives. Additionally, IT teams will have tremendous choice and flexibility over the hardware, operating systems and third-party software certified for VMware vSphere. VMware's cloud-native technologies will be demonstrated at VMworld (booth #1229).

Introducing the Photon Platform: Purpose-Built for Running Cloud-Native Applications
For DevOps and software as a service (SaaS) organizations, running cloud-native applications at scale requires a container-optimized platform developed for high churn workloads and an API-first model. VMware will today demonstrate the VMware Photon Platform, which is purpose-built to meet this emerging need and features "just the right level of functionality" to run cloud-native applications at scale. Showcased as a technology preview, the VMware Photon Platform is designed for DevOps teams planning to build out large pools of commodity computing capacity that solely run cloud-native applications. DevOps teams will have a choice of open container orchestration frameworks including Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, Mesos and Cloud Foundry to run on the platform. The technology -- components of which will be open sourced -- will also support dynamic continuous integration environments, platform as a service (PaaS) or SaaS deployments, and sizable data analytics clusters running Hadoop or Spark.

The VMware Photon Platform, which will include future integrations with VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN and VMware vRealize Suite, features the following technologies:

  • VMware Photon Controller - A multi-tenant, API-driven control plane optimized for scale, churn and high-availability. Automation-savvy DevOps teams will be able to speed the creation of thousands of new containers per minute and support hundreds of thousands of total simultaneous workloads. The controller will be released as an open source project to help encourage broad input, testing and adoption from customers, partners and the community at large. The technology will also incorporate Project Lightwave, which provides enterprise-grade trust and security for containers.
  • VMware Photon Machine - This technology will include a new ESX Microvisor based on the proven core of VMware ESXi. It also includes Project Photon OS, a lightweight Linux operating system for containerized applications and optimized for VMware environments.

VMware and Pivotal to Introduce Cloud-Native Application Solution
VMware and Pivotal offer powerful solutions for cloud-native applications for IT operations and application development teams, respectively. The two companies intend to collaborate on bringing joint solutions to market, one of which will be a joint, turnkey offering that combines VMware Photon Platform and Pivotal Cloud Foundry solution to further accelerate the deployment, integration and management of a cloud-native application development and production stack.

Pricing and Availability
Project Lightwave is available now as an open source project on GitHub. Project Photon OS is available now as an open source project on GitHub. VMware Photon Controller is expected to be made available as a private beta in Q4 2015.

Published Monday, August 31, 2015 6:53 PM by David Marshall
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