Here at VMware, we’ve recognized that containers, microservices, and DevOps – among other technologies and methodologies – are changing how modern applications are built, deployed, and managed. We’ve espoused our belief that VMs and containers are better together, and we continue streamlining application development for DevOps teams on our unified platform. Our sister company, Pivotal, has been working on containers with us for several years, and both VMware and Pivotal continue to support open standards in the community.

As enterprises begin building more microservices-based applications and using containers to do so, valid security questions start to appear. Businesses building cloud-native applications need to address security and governance from developer desktop to production stack. They require enterprise-grade identity and access management for an increasingly large volume and variety of objects across their hybrid clouds. And the solution to these challenges must support common standards and interoperability for business agility and choice.

As we talked to customers and partners, we realized that these questions present a real challenge for enterprises in building, deploying, and managing cloud-native applications. Today we introduce Project Lightwave to address those challenges. (Read the news release).

Lightwave is an open source project comprised of standards-based, enterprise-grade, identity and access management services targeting critical security, governance, and compliance challenges for cloud-native apps. The project’s code is tested and production-ready having been used in VMware’s solutions to secure distributed environments at scale. Here are a few of its features:

  • Multi-tenancy to simplify governance and compliance across the infrastructure and application stack and across all stages of application development lifecycle
  • Support for SASL, OAuth, SAML, LDAP v3, Kerberos, X.509, and WS-Trust
  • Extensible authentication and authorization using username and password, tokens and PKI infrastructure for users, computers, containers and user defined objects

Project Lightwave pairs well with Photon OS (which we also announced today), our lightweight Linux OS optimized for cloud-native applications, to provide an enforcement layer for identity and access management via VMware vSphere and vCloud Air.

We are open sourcing Lightwave to encourage collaboration with our customers and partners. Furthermore, we also want to assure that resulting innovation in Lightwave is ubiquitously available to end-users regardless of where they decide to deploy containers. We plan on releasing Lightwave in the coming months. Until then, we invite you to check out this video of Lightwave in action.

About the Author:

JohnnyFergusonJohnny Ferguson is the Product Line Manager for Lightwave and VMware Platform services for security, including single-sign-on, authentication, authorization, certificate management, directory services, and lookup services. 




Today, we’re pleased to announce two new open source projects – Photon OS and Project Lightwave – that will help our customers to securely build, run, and manage their cloud-native applications.

Over the last year, we have taken a close look at delivery vehicles for cloud-native apps such as containers and the Linux distributions. We have also written a few integrations with popular container solutions and other solutions to help customers get started with running containers in their vSphere environments.

After delivering on those initial projects, we recognized the need to expand our customers’ capabilities for developing and running cloud-native apps. Our customers let us know they wanted to take advantage of new technologies such as containers that allow them to easily package their applications as well as scale them in real-time, so we aimed to provide easy portability of containerized applications between on-prem and public cloud. We knew that our customers needed an environment that provided consistency from development through production, to smooth integration and deployment and speed time to market.

To address these challenges, we have introduced Photon OS, a lightweight Linux operating system for cloud-native apps. Photon is optimized for vSphere and vCloud Air, providing an easy way for our customers to extend their current platform with VMware and run modern, distributed applications using containers.

Photon provides the following benefits:

  • Support for the most popular Linux container formats including Docker, rkt, and Garden from Pivotal
  • Minimal footprint (approximately 300MB), to provide an efficient environment for running containers
  • Seamless migration of container workloads from development to production
  • All the security, management, and orchestration benefits already provided with vSphere offering system administrators with operational simplicity

We are also open sourcing Photon OS to encourage widespread contributions and testing from customers, partners, prospects, and the developer community at large. It is available today on GitHub for forking and experimentation; the binary is also available on JFrog Bintray. We’re even making it easily accessible to developers by packaging it with Vagrant and making it available through Atlas with our friends at HashiCorp.

By offering Photon, we are able to provide integrated support for all aspects of the infrastructure, adding to the leading compute, storage, networking, and management found today. Customers will benefit from end-to-end testing, compatibility, and interoperability with the rest of our software-defined data center and End User Computing product portfolios. Through integration between Photon OS and the newly introduced Project Lightwave, customers can enforce security and governance on container workloads, for example, by ensuring only authorized containers are run on authorized hosts by authorized users.

For developers and operations engineers alike, we look forward to your contributions via the VMTN forums and GitHub to help shape the direction of the project. We look forward to collaborating with customers, partners and developers to optimize containerized applications running in VMware environments. Access Photon OS today, and share your thoughts with us at @cloudnativeapps or the forums.

Check out a brief video of Photon OS in action.