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Authored by Karthik Narayan, Senior Product Manager, Cloud Native Applications

Today, we are pleased to announce the release of vSphere® Integrated Containers™ 1.1!

vSphere Integrated Containers was released as part of vSphere 6.5, and the new 1.1 release delivers significant user experience improvements, including a new user interface (UI).

What is vSphere Integrated Containers?

vSphere Integrated Containers is designed to solve many of the challenges associated with developing and running containerized applications in enterprise environments. It directly uses the clustering, dynamic scheduling, and virtualized infrastructure of vSphere to create Virtual Container Hosts – providing significant security and operational benefits as compared to standard container hosts.

With vSphere Integrated Containers, developers can use the Docker Client and API to quickly and easily develop and run containerized applications on vSphere while VI admins can benefit from the security, visibility, and operational efficiency normally associated with VMs. vSphere Integrated Containers allows containerized applications to run alongside VM-based applications, leveraging the same resources and tooling. Minimally requiring just vSphere to begin running containers, vSphere Integrated Containers can also leverage the advanced functionality of VMware NSX® for container networking and security as well as VMware vSAN™ to extend its persistent storage capabilities to containers.

 vSphere Integrated Containers Architecture
vSphere Integrated Containers Architecture

What’s New

Unified UI for Developers and DevOps

The primary users of the vSphere Integrated Containers management portal and registry are developers, cloud admins, and DevOps team members. To improve their user experience, we have unified the user interfaces of both these components. Designed using VMware’s open source design system, Project Clarity, customers will be able to access advanced functionality with a more efficient and intuitive user experience.

The management portal provides automated deployment and lifecycle management of containers along with enterprise grade security and identity management. It includes the following key attributes:

  • Application and container lifecycle management – Provision, monitor and manage applications that comprise one or more container images.
  • Container infrastructure management – Cloud administrators and DevOps teams can monitor and manage the infrastructure including compute resources, networks and volumes within the bounds defined by the vSphere administrator.
  • Efficient multi-container template management – Define, build and manage multi-container application templates to stand up complex applications quickly.
  • Live state updates – Get live information on the performance and resource consumption of your applications.

The management portal is also available as a component of VMware’s industry leading VMware vRealize® Suite Cloud Management Platform, providing seamless management, orchestration and operations for both traditional and modern application environments.

Unified Management and Registry Portal
Unified Management and Registry Portal

The registry stores and distributes Docker images behind the company’s firewall. It extends the open source Docker Distribution by adding the functionalities usually required by an enterprise, such as security, identity and management. In addition, the registry includes the following key attributes:

  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC) – Users and Docker repositories are organized via “projects”. A user can have different permission for images under a namespace.
  • Image replication – Images can be replicated (synchronized) between multiple registry instances for load balancing, high availability, hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios.
  • Active Directory/Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (AD/LDAP) – Integrates with existing enterprise AD/LDAP for user authentication and management.
  • Auditing – All the operations to the repositories are tracked to assist with auditing.
Service Registry
Service Registry

Updated Installer

The 1.1 release provides an updated installer which packages all the components of vSphere Integrated Containers into a single OVA. This allows the vSphere administrators to easily deploy, maintain, and upgrade all aspects of the deployment. The new installer also provides a simple upgrade path for customers who deployed vSphere Integrated Containers 1.0. In addition to the management portal and the registry, a file server hosts the vic-machine binary and the vSphere plugins.

OVA Installer
OVA Installer

vSphere 6.5 HTML5 Integration

With the 1.1 release, the vSphere Integrated Containers UI plugin works with the HTML5 based vSphere UI. Once installed, the vSphere UI will feature a section dedicated to vSphere Integrated Containers. In addition, the VI administrators will find two new HTML5 portlets – one that displays information about the Virtual Container Host and another that displays information about the Container-VM.

HTML5 User Interface
HTML5 User Interface

Demo

For a demo of vSphere Integrated Containers, please click here.

Availability

vSphere Integrated Containers is available with vSphere 6.0 and 6.5, Enterprise Plus edition. You can download it on myvmware.com. Please contact your VMware representative if you would like to schedule a technical deep dive session.

Product Information

For more information about Sphere Integrated Containers, please check out the vSphere product page on VMware website and follow us on @cloudnativeapps.

DockerCon 2017

VMware is a gold sponsor of DockerCon 2017 and we will highlight vSphere Integrated Containers, NSX, vSAN, VMware Photon™ Platform, and many other container solutions in our booth. Come by booth G9 to visit us, meet our developers, and pick up cool giveaways. We will also present a session on self-service provisioning of Docker Datacenter on vSphere. Come see us!

VMware, vSphere, vSphere Integrated Containers, NSX, vSAN, vRealize, and Photon are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and other jurisdictions.