VMware's Photon OS Is Officially Released

An administration guide is also published.

Photon OS, a VMware-developed Linux container host for running container-based applications on vSphere (and other cloud platforms like Amazon and Google), is officially out of beta and available for download on GitHub.

Gregory Murray, Product Line Manager for Cloud-Native Apps at VMware, blogged about the release, citing its history: "In a little more than a year, the team has evolved Photon OS from a technology preview into a mature operating system available as open source software that's been vetted by VMware engineering, support and guest OS validation teams as well as thousands in the community."

Speed and efficiency are the keys to Photon. To work at cloud scale, the OS footprint needs to be small, and have quick boot and run times. Murray said that Photon kernel boot times are ~200ms, and "runtime performance shows consistent improvement." The complete package weighs in at just less than 400MB, very small for an OS.

Photon is available in a large variety of configurations. The smallest-footprint version contains about 50 packages, while the full version adds "several hundred packages" that include many more features. This is according to the "Photon Administration Guide," released simultaneously with Photon.

The Photon Release Candidate came out almost two months ago. Since then, Murray blogged, the release process has been "enhanced" to improve security, including putting Photon OS through the wringer via more than eight different vulnerability scanning tools, outside penetration testing and static code analysis.

Photon OS is also part of VMware's Photon Platform, which VP/GM, Cloud-Native Apps Kit Colbert described in a blog as "new, optimized stack for cloud-native only environments." This separates it from vSphere Integrated Containers, which is a vSphere-specific environment for building and managing cloud apps using vSphere's familiar tools.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.


Subscribe on YouTube