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VMware finally releases its vSphere Integrated Containers

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December 12, 2016

We just learned this morning that VMware has finally released its long-awaited vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), the company's method of making vSphere a new space to run containers in the virtualized community.

Some people have said in the past that containers stand a good chance of killing virtual machines, citing the former as lighter, faster and better-suited to building the kind of apps that work well at scale and with mobile devices.

Of course, not everybody might agree with that statement, but that's just the nature of the beast.

To be sure, VMware's response to that has been to agree that containers are wonderful things, even more so when running inside a virtual machine.

This rests on the assertion that the VM-centric ecosystem is more mature than the newer container segment and that it has already been paid for.

Rather than creating a whole new silo just to do containers, VMware argues that it makes sense to run containers inside the robust and familiar environments that various organizations have already built to wrangle virtual machines in the first place.

VMware has also admitted that users are more likely to be excited about its newer approach than developers.

So VMware has therefore done two things to fix that. The first is to give VIC a Docker-compatible interface, plus a container management portal and a registry to keep track of all the containers.

The second is to open-source the registry, known as Harbor, another tool called “Admiral” that adds container support to vRealize Automation and therefore helps automation along.

“VIC Engine” is a tool that deploys the Virtual Container Host (a vApp) on vSphere. That vApp replicates Docker so far as developers are concerned.

VMware knows VIC isn't for everyone, however-- this one's aimed at vSphere users. The company also cooked up its Lightwave and Photon container technology for those who like the concept of containers-inside-VMs, but don't already use much of the VMware stack.

Market analysis firm Gartner rated getting some traction with developers as VMware's key challenge in this year's Magic Quadrant for x86 virtualization.

With the release of VIC, VMware's cares are now all on the table. We'll keep you posted on these and other news.

Source: VMware.


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