VMware Integrates with Container Platforms
It also builds functionality for Docker Machine, used for remote container orchestration, into several core offerings.
VMware Inc., piggybacking on the astonishing trajectory of container technology, is trying to make sure that the underlying infrastructure for those containers is its bedrock product, vSphere. To that end, the company announced integration
with a gaggle of container management tools, and tightened its relationship with Docker Inc., the company leading the containerization charge.
Typically, Docker containers are used on a single local host. But that's evolving, and the technology that allows Docker to launch its containerized applications on remote hosts is called Docker Machine. Now vSphere, VMware Fusion and VMware vCloud Air, its hybrid cloud platform, have been integrated with Docker Machine. "This simplifies the process for deploying applications in VMware environments, whether it's on a dev box via Fusion or into staging or production via vSphere or vCloud Air," blogged Kit Colbert, VP & CTO, Cloud-Native Apps, at VMware. VMware claims that the integration provides "one-click" deployment of Docker containers from the desktop to the cloud.
VMware also wants vSphere at the heart of other container management technologies. One of the most important is Kubernetes, the Google Inc. container management system for distributed environments. VMware has developed a tool called Big Data Extensions (BDE) to provision Kubernetes clusters onto vSphere. "As its name suggests, BDE was developed with a focus on Big Data workloads such as Hadoop," Colbert blogged.
Pivotal Cloud Foundry Integration
BDE also supports Mesos, a resource management framework for large-scale container deployment, management and orchestration driven by Mesosphere. Colbert pointed out that Mesos, hosted by the Apache Foundation, scales enough to handle some of the Internet's biggest traffic drivers such as Twitter and Airbnb. Its Web site says that Mesos can scale to more than 10,000 nodes.
The last integration announced is with Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). PCF is used for automating Linux container deployments at scale. PCF claims to enable higher server density than traditional virtual environments with its efficient scheduling of multi-node, containerized applications.
The news was announced at the same time DockerCon Europe 2014 is being held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It's been a busy news week for containers, spurred perhaps by DockerCon. CoreOS, one of Docker's chief promoters, announced that it was developing a rival container technology, called Rocket. CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi said that Docker has lost its way, becoming more of a platform instead of a simple container technology.
Docker CEO Ben Golub fired back that Docker's expanding capabilities was simply the result of responding to user needs: "… the overwhelming majority of users, the vast majority of contributors, and the vast majority of ecosystem vendors want the project to support standard, multi-Docker container-distributed applications."
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.