VMworld 2015 Monday Recap


VMworld 2015

Monday was my first day at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco, CA and it was outstanding! I followed the Cloud Native Apps track throughout the day and it kicked off with a bang with the announcements around Photon Platform and vSphere Integrated Containers.

I attended the following sessions today:

  • STO5443 Case Study of Virtualized Hadoop on VMware Software Designed Storage Technologies
  • CNA6261 Internals: How We Integrated Kubernetes with the SDDC
  • CNA6649-S Build and run Cloud Native Apps in your Software-Defined Data Center

All great sessions each in their own right, but I am most excited around the things coming out of the Cloud Native Apps team and the Office of the CTO at VMware. Here are a few of the key takeaways from the sessions today I had.

Cells as the new layer of abstraction

One of the new pieces of technology coming out of VMware in the coming months is the ability to deploy clusters through a self-service cloud portal to the IaaS layer of your choosing (vCloud Air, vSphere, EC2 and GCE). The PaaS offering plans to include support for Kubernetes and Mesos clusters, including many other applications such as MongoDB, Cassandra, etc. The motivating idea behind the technology is to abstract the notion of VMs away from the developers and instead deliver the cell as the new abstraction layer. This should allow developers to standardize management of all the apps across the enterprise and take the workload between the different public and private cloud offerings.

I understand they wrote the framework from scratch and did not use the framework Big Data Extensions currently uses. I am excited to get a look at the framework to see how they are accomplishing this and what the key differentiators from BDE are.

vSphere Integrated Containers

This is really outstanding.  From the VMware website, it describes the project key points as follows.

With VMware vSphere at its foundation, the new offering will help IT operations team meet the following enterprise requirements for containers:

  • Security and Isolation – Assuring the integrity and authenticity of containers and their underlying infrastructure, Project Bonneville, a technology preview, isolates and starts up each container in a virtual machine with minimal overhead using the Instant Clone feature of VMware vSphere 6.
  • Storage and Data Persistence – While many container services are stateless today, customers have the desire to enable stateful services to support cloud-native databases. VMware vSphere Integrated Containers will enable provisioning of persistent data volumes for containers in VMware vSphere environments. This will enable IT operations and development teams to take advantage of the speed and portability of containerized applications in conjunction with highly resilient VMware vSphere storage, including VMware Virtual SAN™ and VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes™-enabled external storage.
  • Networking – VMware NSX™ supports production container deployments today. With VMware NSX, IT can apply fine-grained network micro-segmentation and policy-based security to cloud-native applications. Additionally, VMware NSX provides IT with greater visibility into the behavior of containers. Finally, with VMware NSX, containers can be integrated with the rest of the data center, and can be connected to quarantine, forensics and/or monitoring networks for additional monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) – IT teams will be able to assure service-level agreements for container workloads with VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler as well as reduce planned and unplanned downtime with VMware vSphere High Availability and VMware vSphere vMotion®.
  • Management – Administrators will be able to use VMware vCenter Server™ to view and manage their containers without the need for new tools or additional training through Project Bonneville, which will enable the seamless integration of containers into VMware vSphere. Customers can further achieve consistent management and configuration compliance across private and public clouds using the VMware vRealize™ Suite.

Pretty outstanding stuff!

Photon Platform

Kit talked about the Photon Platform today and some of the features it will be bringing to the Cloud Native App environments are really going to be game changers. I had gotten a look at this technology almost a year ago when it was known by another codename and it looks even better now! The announcement around the Photon Controller being released as open source continues the example Project Photon and Project Lightwave went down a few months ago with their announcements.

The other announcement was the vSphere driver for Flocker is a welcome addition to the Cloud Native App storyline. Persistent data in containers is one of the bigger challenges the industry is still working to solve in a manner that will work for enterprise environments. Having the container itself own a VMDK that is persistent and then is available when the container migrates through the environment is huge. The code is available to on the VMware GitHub account and I am anxious to get my hands on it ASAP!

Conclusion

Overall an outstanding way to start the conference. I am excited for what tomorrow is going to bring and look forward to working with many of these technologies coming from VMware. To be completely honest, the story VMware is telling in the Cloud Native App space and the internal projects surrounding it is one of the primary reasons I joined VMware this summer. It is really great to work for a company that is passionate about technology and pushing the envelope with what is possible today!

I love my job!