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Introducing the Bigger and Better vSphere Integrated Containers

Last year at VMworld, we announced vSphere Integrated Containers, which allows you to deeply embed a container runtime into vSphere. It enables vSphere admins to provision a container images as a virtual machine, allowing them to extend all the enterprise capabilities of vSphere along with the plugins and products from our partners to work seamlessly with containers.

vSphere Integrated Containers was initially built using Project Bonneville and we used that early prototype to gather feedback from our customers through various early access programs. The learnings from these programs led us to a) update the product architecture to support a broader set of functionality and b) extend the vSphere Integrated Containers feature set by adding an enterprise container registry and a container management portal.

The new architecture for vSphere Integrated Containers is as follows:

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vSphere Integrated Containers is now comprised of three main components, all of which are available as open source on github (links below):

The vSphere Integrated Containers Engine is a container runtime for vSphere, allowing developers familiar with Docker to develop in containers and deploy them alongside traditional VM-based workloads on vSphere clusters. These workloads can be managed through the vSphere UI in a way familiar to existing vSphere admins.

Harbor, the enterprise container registry, is an enterprise-class registry server that stores and distributes container images. Harbor extends the open source project Docker Distribution by adding the functionalities usually required by an enterprise, such as security, identity and management.

Admiral, the container management portal, provides a UI for developers and app teams to provision and manage containers, including retrieving stats and info about container instances. Cloud administrators will be able to manage container hosts and apply governance to its usage, including capacity quotas and approval workflows. When integrated with vRealize Automation, more advanced capabilities become available, such as deployment blueprints and enterprise-grade Containers-as-a-Service.

With these three capabilities, vSphere Integrated Containers will enable VMware customers to deliver a production-ready container solution to their developers and app teams. By leveraging their existing SDDC, customers will be able to run container-based applications alongside existing virtual machine based workloads in production without having to build out a separate, specialized container infrastructure stack. As an added benefit for customers and partners, vSphere Integrated Containers is modular. So, if your organization already has a container registry in production, you can use that registry with the other components of vSphere Integrated Containers.

We’re really excited about helping customers move containerized applications into production with vSphere Integrated Containers.  If you haven’t already, please check it out and sign up for the beta.  vSphere Integrated Containers is bigger and better than ever! Connect with us @cloudnativeapps on twitter!