Cloud-native computing is making a powerful impact on the world of IT development, and VMware is one of the main reasons why. A new group devoted to cloud-native computing was just announced in December of last year. VMware has also made some significant cloud-native investments that prove they are the dominant force in virtualization and container technology. Here are five to illustrate this point.
Enterprises are typically slow to adopt new technologies, but they have been surprisingly swift to take on containers. Will VMware hold fast as containers take over? Time will tell.
AppCatalyst is a desktop hypervisor tailor-made for developers who need a lightweight hypervisor in order to test microservices and containerized applications. AppCatalyst is free and does not include GUI and rich management tools for virtualization. Instead, it features a basic interface with command line and REST API for managing the virtual machine lifecycle. right now, AppCatalyst is only offered for Mac OS X.
Photon is billed as a lightweight yet powerful operating system designed for use with vSphere. It does the grunt work of moving from the operating system to the containers within just seconds. However, Photon is not limited to use with vSphere; it also runs on Google Compute Engine and vCloud Air. Nicknamed Photon OS, it is ideal for developing green-field applications based on microservices. It's free, open source, and is available for download via GitHub.
Photon Controller is an orchestration engine, which is also open source. Essential for cloud-native development, Photon Controller manages both the vSphere host environment and the containers that are deployed via Photon OS. It is a full-featured orchestration engine, but you can still set it up to be used with Docker Swarm, Mesos, and Kubernetes.
With names like "photon" and "lightwave" it's sometimes hard to tell if VMware is going for new development technologies or a sci-fi movie. But as long as the technologies bring useful stuff to the table, businesses and developers will gladly adopt.
Lightwave is an identity manager for use with microservices. Also open source, Lightwave provides a unified layer to manage security, governance, and compliance issues. Designed to work with Photon OS, Lightwave delivers single sign-on, authentication, authorization, and certificate authority. It also delivers certificate key management services for the application stack and infrastructure.
vSphere Integrated Containers
Last, but not least, VMware has enabled portability of traditional applications into a containerized environment with vSphere Integrated Containers. This technology houses containers in optimized virtual machines that can be run side-by-side using microservices. This technology is ideally suited for use with Docker, and gives developers the ability to mix and match containerized workloads and virtualized workloads.
Normally, it takes large enterprises a long time to recognize, evaluate, and implement new technologies, but containerization is taking off rather quickly in this cautious environment. Most workloads are already running virtual machines and developers are hard at work on cloud-native applications for new development projects. With these investments, VMware continues its reign, even in the age of containers.
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