Enterprise-Ready Containers with VMware vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5

January 18, 2019 Susan Wu

We are pleased to announce the general availability of the newest release of vSphere Integrated Containers. Version 1.5 adds support for storage quotas, alternate Linux operating systems, VMware NSX-T, and the latest version of Photon OS.

What’s New

Storage Quotas

Storage quotas enable a VMware vSphere administrator  to place a limit on the storage available to a Docker endpoint. In vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5, storage quotas can be enabled for each virtual container host (VCH) and be enforced when a container is created or an image is pulled. The example below shows how the VCH has a storage quota set to 15GB, and an attempt to spin up a second busybox container results in an error because the request exceeds the quota's limit:

~$ docker –H :2376 –tls info

vSphere Integrated Containers v1.5
Backend Engine: RUNNING
VCH storage limit: 15 GiB
VCH storage usage: 9.542 GiB
VCH image storage usage: 1.656 MiB
VCH containers storage usage: 9.451 GiB

~$ docker -H :2376 --tls run --id busybox
docker: Error response from daemon: Storage quota exceeded. Storage quota: 15GB; image storage usage: 0.002GB, container storage usage: 9.451GB, storage reservations: 9.541GB.

Alternate Linux Kernels

Photon OS provides an extremely streamlined kernel configuration tailored to both VMs and container VMs running on VMware vSphere. This configuration also enables container VMs to boot in seconds.  

Some users, however, have enterprise-wide requirements for other distributions or kernels. Alternative Linux Kernels provide a mechanism by which container VMs can be started by leveraging an alternate kernel.  

~$ bin/vic-machine-linux create --target 10.161.187.116 --image-store nfs0-1 –user 'administrator@vsphere.local' --bridge-network bridge --public-network management --container-network vm-network --compute-resource cls --no tlsverify --force --name=centos6.9-demo --bootstrap-iso=bin/boostrap-centos-6.9.iso

Alternative kernels are VCH-wide--meaning all the container VMs managed by a VCH run the desired kernel version. In the example above, we created a VCH that spins up containers running a CentOS 6.9 kernel.  

VMware NSX-T Support

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5 adds support for VMware NSX-T to complement its existing support of VMware NSX-V. NSX provides a software-defined networking solution to enable  both container-to-container and container-to-legacy traffic is managed, policy driven, and micro-segmented. As your application scales in complexity, changes to network configurations are expected. The benefits of having a software-defined solution is to implement network changes with agility and without worrying about the traditional limitations of VLAN enumerations and address spaces. NSX also alleviates the need for the creation of a VLAN for every VCH.  

If you are running NSX-T in your environment, you can now leverage virtual networking and micro-segmentation with vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5 by using vic-machine create --container-network. Container VMs can be connected to a distributed port group or NSX logical switch, thus providing a dedicated connection to the network.   

Photon OS 2.0 Underpinning

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5 ships with all components running on Photon OS 2.0. This update provides increased security and peace of mind in knowing that all relevant upgrades, patches, and changes that come with Photon OS 2.0 are now baked into vSphere Integrated Containers.

Availability

vSphere Integrated Containers is available with versions 6.7, 6.5, and 6.0 of VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus and versions 6.7 and 6.5 of vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Advanced. To obtain the latest official release of vSphere Integrated Containers, go to the vSphere Integrated Containers downloads page on vmware.com. Please contact your VMware representative if you would like to schedule a technical deep dive session.

Product Information

For more information about vSphere Integrated Containers 1.5, please check out the vSphere  Integrated Containers page on the VMware website and follow us on Twitter (@cloudnativeapps).

About the Author

Susan is a Senior Product Marketing Manager in VMware's Networking and Security Business Unit. She previously led product and technical marketing roles at Sun/Oracle, Canonical, Docker, Citrix and Midokura (SDN startup now part of Sony Semiconductors). She is a frequent speaker at conferences such as OSCON, Open Source Summit, Container World, Interop, Open Networking Summit and VMworld. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanwu88 and on Github.com/susanwu88 .

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