Getting Started with vSphere Integrated Containers v0.4.0

I’ve been working very closely with our vSphere Integrated Container (VIC) team here at VMware recently, and am delighted to say that v0.4.0 is now available for download from GitHub. Of course, this is still not supported in production, and is still in tech preview. However for those of you interested, it gives you an opportunity to try it out and see the significant progress made by the team over the last couple of months. You can download it from bintray. This version of VIC is bringing us closer and closer to the original functionality of “Project Bonneville” for running containers as VMs (not in VMs) on vSphere. The docker API endpoint now provides almost identical functionality to running docker anywhere else, although there is still a little bit of work to do. Let’s take a closer look.

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Thank you – Top vBlog 2016 – #3

A Cháirde,

I would like to say a quick thank you for once again voting for my blog in the annual vBlog ballot. It is very humbling that so many of you voted for my blog. Once again I came in at position #3, surrounded by such luminaries as Duncan Epping, William Lam, Frank Denneman and Chris Wahl. And to top it off, I also came in as #1 in the Best Storage Blog category. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement – so thank you.

A special word of thanks also for Eric Siebert of vsphere-land.com for organizing all of this once more. No mean feat. Thank you Eric.

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Deploy Docker Swarm using docker-machine with Consul on Photon Controller

docker-swarmIn this post I will now show you the steps involved in creating a Docker Swarm configuration using docker-machine with Photon Controller driver plugin. In previous posts, I showed how you can setup Photon OS to deploy Photon Controller and I also showed you how to build docker-machine for Photon Controller. Note that there are a lot of ways to deploy Swarm. Since I was given a demonstration on doing this using “Consul” for cluster membership and discovery, that is the mechanism that I am going to use here. Now, a couple of weeks back, we looked at deploying Docker Swarm using the “cluster” mechanism also available in Photon Controller. This mechanism used “etcd” for discovery, configuration, and so on. In this example, we are going to deploy Docker Swarm from the ground up, step-by-step, using the docker-machine with photon controller driver, but in this example we are going to use “Consul” which does something very similar to “etcd”.

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Compare and Contrast: Photon Controller vs VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers)

PHOTON_square140As many regular reader will be aware, I’ve been spending a lot of time recently on VMware’s Cloud Native App solutions. This is due to an internal program available to VMware employees called a Take-3. A Take-3 is where employees can take 3 months out of their current role and try a new challenge in another part of the company. Once we launched VSAN 6.2 earlier this year, I thought this would be an opportune time to try something different. Thanks to the support from the management teams in both my Storage and Availability BU (SABU) and the Cloud Native Apps BU (CNABU),  I started my Take-3 at the beginning of May. This is when my CNA articles on VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers) and Photon Controller first started to appear. Only recently I was asked an interesting question – when would I use VIC and when would I use Photon Controller? That is a good question, as both products enable customer to use containers on VMware products and solutions. So let me see if I can provide some guidance, as I asked the same question from some of the guiding lights in the CNABU.

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See you at VMworld 2016

vmworld2016I’m thrilled to have had a session accepted at this year’s VMworld. I’m also going to be a co-speaker on another session. As you might have guessed, both presentations are on Virtual SAN (VSAN), and I am co-presenting both sessions with my buddy Paudie O’Riordan.

In the first session, we will be talking about how to conduct a successful proof of concept (PoC) on VSAN, which will cover how to prepare, how to test, and what gotchas you need to be aware of when going through a PoC with VSAN. This session, STO7535, will take place on Wednesday, September 1st at 08:30am in Mandalay L, Level 2.

In the other session, which covers day #2 operations, we will cover items like upgrades, troubleshooting, remediation, and monitoring of VSAN, and all those other things that you need to care about when you have VSAN in production. This session, STO7534, will take place on Tuesday, August 31st at 11:30am in Islander G, Level 1.

[Update] I will also be spending some time at the VMware {code} booth on Wednesday afternoon. Alan Renouf has asked me to pop along and talk about some of VMware’s Cloud Native Application products that I have been working on over the past few months, so if you are interested in learning more about our docker volume driver for vSphere, vSphere Integrated Containers, Photon Platform or Project Harbor I’ll be at the booth at 2pm and again at 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Joint Virtual SAN/Rubrik White Paper

Logo_Rubrik_400x400I’m delighted to announce the availability of a joint Rubrik and VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) white paper. Both Rubrik and Virtual SAN epitomize many of the features and characteristics of Software Defined Storage, in particular simplifying storage and backup/restore for vSphere Administrators. Other features include abstracting the underlying storage into one large pool, and consuming/utilizing that underlying storage through policies, whether these are for virtual machine deployment or backup. If you are completely new to VSAN and/or Rubrik, this paper gives a good explanation of both technologies. The paper also explains how Rubrik and VSAN work seamlessly together to back up and restore virtual machines deployed on VSAN.

I should also mention that my co-author was none other than the one and only Chris Wahl, and as always, it was a pleasure to work with him on this paper.

I’d like to thank Chris, Julia and Sara of Rubrik for their attention to detail on this paper. I think it has turned out extremely well, and we hope you get a lot of good information from it.

You can get the paper by clicking here.

docker-machine driver plugin for Photon Controller

docker-machineIn previous posts we have looked at using a “cluster”  for deploying docker swarm on top of photon controller. Of course, deploying docker swarm via the cluster management construct may not be what some customers wish to do, so now we have full support for “docker-machine” on photon controller as well. This will allow you to create your own docker swarm clusters using instructions provided by Docker. In this post, we will look at getting you started with building the docker-machine driver plugin, setting up Photon Controller, and then the setup needed to allow the deploying of docker-machine on Photon Controller.

You can find the software and additional information on github.

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