Announcing VMware vSphere Integrated Containers and VMware Photon Platform

It’s been a whirlwind few months for us in the Cloud-Native Apps team at VMware.  We announced a number of new projects and products, presented at many conferences and meetups, and engaged with folks in the open source community.  Some of the highlights include:

  • April: We publicly launched the Cloud-Native Apps effort within VMware and announced two new open source projects: Photon OS, a lightweight, container-optimized Linux distro and Lightwave, an authentication and certificate management system for containers and cloud-native apps.
  • May: Project Lightwave source was released on GitHub.
  • June: We announced VMware AppCatalyst, a free desktop hypervisor to accelerate building cloud-native apps, and Project Bonneville, an innovative method of deeply integrating containers into vSphere.  We also joined the Open Container Initiative as founding members.
  • July: We joined the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation as founding members.
  • August: Just last week and this week, we released tech preview 2 for both AppCatalyst and Photon OS.  Check them out!

Today I’m excited to present on main stage at VMworld 2015 on how we’re bringing all of these technologies we’ve previously announced along with new technologies we’re unveiling together into product offerings.  We are introducing two main new product announcements today:

  • vSphere Integrated Containers: vSphere Integrated Containers realizes the “best of both worlds” by providing developers the portability, speed, and agility they love about containers while providing IT Ops the management, security, and visibility they require to run workloads in production.  vSphere Integrated Containers enables IT teams to seamlessly run traditional and containerized workloads side-by-side on existing infrastructure.  It is based on Project Bonneville, Instant Clone, and Photon OS.
  • VMware Photon Platform: Photon Platform is a new infrastructure stack optimized for containers and cloud-native apps.  It’s built to be used in API-driven, multi-tenant, high scale, greenfield environments.  It’s composed of two main components: Photon Machine, a lightweight “microvisor” based on ESX with Photon OS built-in, and Photon Controller, a distributed high-scale control plane that includes Project Lightwave.  We also announced that we will open source Photon Controller to directly engage with the open source community including developers, customers, and partners to drive increased interoperability and functionality.

Together vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform offer our customers unprecedented choice.  With vSphere Integrated Containers, customers can easily extend their existing vSphere environments to run container-based applications alongside their traditional apps.  For customers building large SaaS apps or other massively distributed apps and looking at greenfield data center architectures, Photon Platform provides all the benefits of a mature and secure hypervisor core with a scalable, distributed, and multi-tenant control plane.  We’re really excited about both of these announcements!

In addition, we made a couple of other announcements today:

  • Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Photon Platform bundle: Pivotal Cloud Foundry is the premiere structured cloud-native app platform and the natural choice for enterprise customers.  We are excited to announce a bundle where customers can easily consume Pivotal Cloud Foundry along with Photon Platform in a simple, well-integrated package.  This end-to-end cloud-native platform is an industry first and we believe the best way to build and run cloud-native applications.  More details to come.
  • Flocker driver for vSphere storage: ClusterHQ’s Flocker is a simple way to manage Docker containers and their data.  Today we announced an integration between Flocker and vSphere, allowing administrators to provide data persistence and other advanced vSphere storage technologies to Docker containers.

If you’re at VMworld this week, there’s a tremendous amount of activity happening around Cloud-Native Apps.  To help you sort through all the options, please take a look at this simple Field Guide we put together.  If you’re in need of a short break, please stop by the VMware Videogame Container System in the Hang Space in Moscone West, Level 2 to play Prince of Persia running on Docker on MS-DOS via vSphere Integrated Containers!

Finally, we expect vSphere Integrated Containers and Photon Platform to be available via a private beta before year end.  If you’re interested in kicking the tires on these products, please reach out to your VMware account team.

Please take a moment to dive into the different things we’re doing, and let us know what you think!  Have fun!