Reading Time: 3 minutes

One of the announce at last VMworld EU 2017 is the new version of VMware vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC). This new version will deliver significant new capabilities, major security enhancements and the the ability to provision native Docker container hosts using a unified management portal.

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers delivers an enterprise container infrastructure that provides the best of both worlds for the developers and vSphere operations teams where containers can now be enabled and managed as “normal” virtual machines with the same concepts and skills, with no processes or tools changes required.

The new Docker container hosts features will permit IT administrators to provide a uniform deployment of container hosts and control over resource consumption, in a secure enviroment, while developers will appreciate fast, self-service provisioning.

VMware vSphere Integrated Containers is structured in different components:

  • vSphere Integrated Containers Engine: Enterprise container runtime for vSphere that allows developers who are familiar with Docker to develop in containers and deploy them alongside traditional VM-based workloads on vSphere clusters. vSphere admins can manage these workloads through the vSphere Web Client in a way that is familiar to them.
  • Virtual Container Host (VCH): is the means of controlling, as well as consuming, container services. Each VCH is backed by a vSphere resource pool, delivering compute resources far beyond that of a single VM or even a dedicated physical host. Multiple VCHs can be deployed in an environment, depending on business requirements.
  • vSphere Web Client Plugin: Administrators interact with VIC through the vSphere Web Client, gaining the ability to manage and monitor VIC by means of a plug-in. A wizard is available that enables creation of Virtual Container Hosts.
  • Photon OS: is the small-footprint container runtime. VIC calls for each individual container to be executed in a separate virtual machine – this provides hardware isolation for robust resource management and security. The new Instant Clone technology introduced in vSphere 6 provides an appealing alternative: a single running base VM can be very quickly and efficiently forked for use with containers.
  • VMware Harbor: Enterprise container registry that stores and distributes container images. Harbor extends the Docker Distribution open source project by adding the functionalities usually required by an enterprise, such as security, identity and management.
  • VMware Admiral: Management portal that provides a UI for dev teams to provision and manage containers. Cloud administrators can manage container hosts and apply governance to their usage, including capacity quotas and approval workflows. Advanced capabilities are available when integrated with vRealize Automation.

As previous versions vSphere Integrated Containers will be available for vSphere 6.5 and 6.0  Enterprise Plus edition, and this new version will be available from September 12, 2017.