New Container Management Product Integrates With vSphere

ContainerX sets its sights on general availability in May.

Containers are taking the industry by storm: their light weight and ability to scale better than traditional virtual machines makes them a perfect fit for the growing move to the cloud. Given their smaller footprint, they're also likely to be more widely deployed in datacenters once their acceptance is more widespread.

That will lead to a corresponding need for comprehensive management solutions. One recent startup, ContainerX, thinks it has the solution. ContainerX offers a platform for managing containers on bare metal, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and has recently added vSphere to its lineup of offerings.

ContainerX was founded in 2015 by ex-employees from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix. The product is currently in beta, with an expected general release in May 2016. The beta saw its original release at DockerCon in Barcelona last November.

Scalability and Isolation
What ContainerX feels sets it apart from competing management products like Kubernetes is two key technologies: Container Pools and Elastic Container Clusters. Container Pools allow multi-tenant container clusters for enterprise deployment, as well as providing resiliency through isolation. Elastic Container Clusters enable auto-scaling based on CPU and memory limits and priorities set by IT. Admins can dynamically add and remove hosts from a cluster as well. ContainerX believes that working together, Container Pools and Elastic Container Clusters provide capabilities not currently found in container management products.

The addition of vSphere was a critical upgrade, CEO Kiran Kamity said in an interview. Since some of his  foundational employees came from VMware, it also made sense. vSphere has gotten more container-friendly recently, and now integrates well with Docker. Last year at VMworld, the company also announced vSphere Integrated Containers, which combines container development and management into a single platform.

ContainerX adds another choice on the management front, and it's one that former VMware CTO Steve Herrod, now an investor, thinks will be good for VMware admins. In a press release, he said that "vCenter admins can now create multi-tenant and elastic container pools within a vSphere VM cluster and horizontally scale that cluster -- this enables any vSphere admin to be a Docker admin."

Kamity also played up ContainerX's ease of installation and setup, stating that the entire framework could be up and running in less than an hour (Kamity did note that integrating ContainerX with an existing infrastructure will take longer).

Pricing is not listed on the Web site, but is available to customers who sign up for the beta program.

About the Author

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


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