Cloud Native applications are the driver between digital transformation. The challenge is to deliver a single platform that can support in-house and cloud native applications. VMware is looking at two very different approaches; extending the existing vSphere platforms and introducing a brand new platforms. Ray introduces Kit Colbert to expand on this comments.
Kit starts with an argument that containers have the ability to rapidly evolve the development process, however it does not come without some management challenges. Kit starts with a demonstration of the deployment of several containers but highlights that these are transparent to the IT organization. The challenge is around partial visibility and security as it is hard to manage what you cannot see.
VMware vSphere integrated containers are introduced which make containers first-class citizens on vSphere. With vSphere Integrated Containers a micro hypervisor based on ESXi is used to enable visibility by delivering a virtual container host. From a VI admin perspective the containers are now visible within the vCenter management console. Kit extols the value as now all the lifecycle management tools built around vSphere work natively with containers.
Kit reintroduces Photon OS which provides the virtual container host as well as the instant Clone feature (this allows you to power-on a VM in less then 1 second). VMware refers to this as “Just enough Virtualization”
The second approach is a brand new platform which is focused on running a pure container environment. To deliver on this platform it must provide scalability, be API driven and be focused on containers and simple to run. Kit introduces the VMware Photon Platform which has been built API first as a scalable multi-tenant environment. This is a different stack form vSphere. The two components of the platform is the Photon machine. The Photon machine provides the micro-host hypervisor software for installing on the physical hardware. In addition a Photon Controller provides the API driven multi-tenant control plane.
vSphere integrated containers is targeted to customers running smaller developer shops. Photon Platform is designed for customers that have significant scale and need a fully optimized platform just for containers.