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During the day 1 of VMworld US 2019 there was a big announce about a new VMware vSphere impementation, called Project Pacific.

Project Pacific will be the biggest evolution of VMware vSphere in the last decade and a huge milestone.

Simply put, we are re-architecting vSphere to deeply integrate and embed native containers side by side with VMs in a better way compared with previous technologies, like VMware vSphere Integrated Containers.

Project Pacific not only runs containers in a native way, but also transforms vSphere into a kubernetes native platform!

The Kubernetes control plane is integrated directly into ESXi and vCenter – making it the control plane for ESXi and exposing capabilities like app-focused management through vCenter.

Kubernetes native vSphere platform
Kubernetes native vSphere platform

That’s really huge change that require a big re-architecting vSphere to deeply integrate and embed Kubernetes.

I have some doubts on the scalability of vCenter to natively manage more objects, but there will be, of course, a big re-design of vCenter.

The supervisor is a special kind of Kubernetes cluster that uses ESXi as its worker nodes instead of Linux.

This is achieved by integrating a Spherelet (VMware implementation of Kubelet) directly into ESXi. The Spherelet doesn’t run in a VM, it runs directly on ESXi.

The supervisor cluster is a Kubernetes cluster of ESXi instead of Linux
Supervisor cluster

While the supervisor uses Kubernetes, it’s not a conformant Kubernetes cluster. This is by design – it’s intending to use kubernetes to improve vSphere, rather than trying to turn vSphere into a Kubernetes clone.

For general purpose Kubernetes workloads, you can use Guest Clusters that are kubernetes clusters that runs inside virtual machines on the Supervisor Cluster. A Guest Cluster is fully upstream compliant Kubernetes, so it’s guaranteed to work with all of your Kubernetes applications.

Project Pacific is currently in technology preview and probably will be included in next vSphere version (although VMware declare that there is no commitment or obligation that technology preview features will become generally available).

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