People want to build features and ship them to customers as quickly as they can using Linux Containers. Multiple Containers share a kernel. Docker is perhaps the most popular vender in this space. Containers enable you to go from DEV, TEST and PROD at an accelerated pace. In addition to across environments you can deploy cross clouds. For highly regulated industries moving containers into production can be time-consuming. The challenge with containers really is around operations, security and monitoring.
The Old approach for Containers was to use a vSphere VM with a Container engine. In the creation of the VM using this model sizing becomes a challenge. Also the visibility is at the VM level not at the Container level. This makes it hard to identify noisy neighbor issues between containers on the host. VMware Integrated Containers is direct integration between the Container engine and the vSphere host. This allows transparent visibility and management from vCenter and the command line. You can create the container host in vCenter and provide the endpoint directly to the developer. The developer can then spin up the containers as they see fit.
In this Demo it shows a few of the capabilities including the vApp getting created.
When you query the endpoint the vSphere characteristics are passed through vs. the old way, which presented the Linux VM information. Visibility is to the container from a developer perspective but it is a VM to the vSphere administrator. This allows you to run containers along side other VMs. You do not need to setup a new set of hosts.
The beta was announced at VMworld 2016 (Note: vSphere 6.0 U2 is required to run “VIC”) along with a newmanagement portal and central registry based on Harbour (A PHP based user interface for managing Docker containers). The Open-source version can be downloaded here at https://github.com/vmware/vic .
You can do this ofcourse with Docker using Swarm but leveraging vSphere Integrated containers gies you native vCenter clustering provided by the VMware environment.