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at VMworld 2015

We saw a few announcements during the General Session at VMworld 2015 Day 1 – the vMotion to and from vCloud Air was an obvious stand-out point – but for us, the Cloud Native announcements towards the end of the session were the most interesting. Especially because Ray O’Farrell used the phrase “dancing swarm of applications”.

VMware are taking a two-pronged approach to try and give everyone the best of both worlds:

  • Extending existing infrastructure to include cloud-native apps
  • Creating a new platform for container-based cloud-native apps

Unified platform – extending existing infrastructure with vSphere Integrated Containers

We saw a demo of vSphere Integrated Containers – the aim here is to make the container a ‘first-class citizen’ on vSphere, instead of it being hidden from the eyes on the infrastructure & security teams by those sneaky developers! 🙂

The way this has been handled is to create a one-to-one mapping between the container and the VM running the container – the lightweight VMware Photon OS. VMware’s Instant Clone technology can also be used to fork another instance very quickly. The result is a “jeVM” – just enough VM.

Using vSphere Integrated Containers means that as well as the host VMs being visible in vCenter, their containers are too – allowing more monitoring & management.

Cloud Native Platform – VMware Photon Platform

This is a completely new platform, designed specifically for cloud-native apps. Building blocks:

  • Photon Controller: host controller & scheduler
  • Photon Machine: compute host

Different frameworks (such as Mesos, or Kubernetes) can be used – as can Cloud Foundry.

At the end of the presentation we were told that the Photon Controller will be released as Open Source – good news! And of course, the Photon Platform will later become available on a subscription basis from VMware, with a bundle available that integrates Cloud Foundry.

Impressive stuff!

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