Dan's Take

VMware Smartly Expands Photon

The container-building platform takes several big steps.

At VMworld 2016 Europe, VMware announced event that its Photon Platform now offers built-in support for Kubernetes. The company also announced that Photon will also add networking and storage services powered by NSX (its software-defined networking product) and Virtual SAN (VSAN, its software-defined storage solution) respectively.

VMware is targeting enterprise IT operations to develop and deploy cloud-based, "end-to-end enterprise cloud-native infrastructure platform for running modern, containerized applications in production with support provided by VMware."

The updated service offering includes the following, according to VMware:

  • Kubernetes as a Service provides a commercially supported distribution of the Kubernetes container orchestration system. Kubernetes clusters can expand from a single node to hundreds of nodes. VMware says that these clusters can be provisioned in minutes and allows developers to easily scale up or down as required.
  • Virtual Networks, using NSX, has also been added to Photon. NSX provides routing and switching functions to enhance network operations.
  • VSAN "provides flexible, programmable persistent storage for containerized and cloud-native applications."
Dan's Take: A More Complete Suite
VMware has gradually implemented a complete portfolio of virtualization technology that includes offerings in all 7 layers of the Kusnetzky Group model. In the past, the company largely targeted enterprise datacenters.

As it watched the market for cloud computing services grow, it began offering this technology in a form that would support cloud service providers. Now the company is taking the next step and is itself offering those tools as service offerings.

This is a reasonable expansion of the company's go-to-market strategy, but it's unlikely to completely win over enterprises that have standardized on other platforms. It's still a good move, however, and is likely to convince some that VMware is the way to go.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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