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.
What is VIC?
VIC allows customers to run “containers as VMs” in the vSphere infrastructure, rather than “containers in a VM”. It can be deployed directly to a standalone ESXi host, or it can be deployed to vCenter Server. This has some advantages over the “container in a VM” approach which I highlighted here in my post which compared and contrasted VIC with Photon Controller.
Simply pull down the zipped archive from bintray, and extract it. I have downloaded it to a folder called /workspace on my Photon OS VM.
root@photon [ /workspace ]# tar zxvf vic_0.4.0.tar.gz vic/ vic/bootstrap.iso vic/vic-machine-darwin vic/appliance.iso vic/README vic/LICENSE vic/vic-machine-windows.exe vic/vic-machine-linux
As you can see, there is a vic-machine command for Linux, Windows and Darwin (Fusion). Let’s see what the options are for building the VCH – Virtual Container Host.
The “appliance.iso” is used to deploy the VCH, and the “bootstrap.iso” is used for a minimal Linux image to bootstrap the containers before overlaying them with the chosen image. More on this shortly.
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# ./vic-machine-linux NAME: vic-machine-linux - Create and manage Virtual Container Hosts USAGE: vic-machine-linux [global options] command [command options] [arguments...] VERSION: 2868-0fcaa7e27730c2b4d8d807f3de19c53670b94477 COMMANDS: create Deploy VCH delete Delete VCH and associated resources inspect Inspect VCH version Show VIC version information GLOBAL OPTIONS: --help, -h show help --version, -v print the version
And to get more info about the “create” option, do the following:
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# ./vic-machine-linux create -h
I won’t display the output here. You can see it for yourself when you run the command. Further details on deployment can also be found here in the official docs. In the following create example, I am going to do the following:
- Deploy VCH to a vCenter Server at 10.27.51.103
- I used email@example.com as the user, with a password of zzzzzzz
- Use the cluster called Mgmt as the destination Resource Pool for VCH
- Create a resource pool and a VCH (Container Host) with the name VCH01
- The external network (where images will be pulled from by VCH01) is VMNW51
- The bridge network to allow inter-container communication is a distributed port group called Bridge-DPG
- The datastore where container images are to be stored is isilion-nfs-01
- Persistent container volumes will be stored in the folder VIC on isilion-nfs-01 and will be labeled corvols.
Here is the command, and output:
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# ./vic-machine-linux create --bridge-network \ Bridge-DPG --image-datastore isilion-nfs-01 \ -t 'firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com' \ --compute-resource Mgmt --external-network VMNW51 --name VCH01 \ --volume-store "corvols:isilion-nfs-01/VIC" INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:02Z] ### Installing VCH #### INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:02Z] Generating certificate/key pair - private key in ./VCH01-key.pem INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:03Z] Validating supplied configuration INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:03Z] Firewall status: DISABLED on /CNA-DC/host/Mgmt/10.27.51.8 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:03Z] Firewall configuration OK on hosts: INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:03Z] /CNA-DC/host/Mgmt/10.27.51.8 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] License check OK on hosts: INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] /CNA-DC/host/Mgmt/10.27.51.8 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] DRS check OK on: INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] /CNA-DC/host/Mgmt/Resources INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] Creating Resource Pool VCH01 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] Datastore path is [isilion-nfs-01] VIC INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] Creating appliance on target INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] Network role client is sharing NIC with external INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:04Z] Network role management is sharing NIC with external INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:05Z] Uploading images for container INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:05Z] bootstrap.iso INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:05Z] appliance.iso INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:10Z] Registering VCH as a vSphere extension INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:16Z] Waiting for IP information INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] Waiting for major appliance components to launch INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] Initialization of appliance successful INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] Log server: INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] https://10.27.51.40:2378 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] DOCKER_HOST=10.27.51.40:2376 INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] Connect to docker: INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls info INFO[2016-07-14T08:03:40Z] Installer completed successfully root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]#
From the last pieces of output, I have the necessary docker API endpoint to allow me to begin creating containers. Let’s look at what has taken place in vCenter at this point. First, we can see the new VCH resource pool and appliance:
And next if we examine the virtual hardware of the VCH, we can see how the appliance.iso is utilitized, along with the fact that the VCH has access to the external network (VMNW51) for downloading images from docker repos, and access to the container/bridge network:
OK – so everything is now in place for us to start creating “containers as VMs” using standard docker commands against the docker endpoint provided by the VCH. Let’s begin with some basic docker query commands such as “info” and “ps”. These can be revisited at any point to get additional details about the state of the containers and images that have been deployed in your vSphere environment. Let’s first display the “info” output immediately followed by the “ps” output.
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls info Containers: 0 Running: 0 Paused: 0 Stopped: 0 Images: 0 Storage Driver: vSphere Integrated Containers Backend Engine vSphere Integrated Containers Backend Engine: RUNNING Execution Driver: vSphere Integrated Containers Backend Engine Plugins: Volume: ds://://@isilion-nfs-01/%5Bisilion-nfs-01%5D%20VIC Network: bridge Kernel Version: 4.4.8-esx Operating System: VMware Photon/Linux OSType: linux Architecture: x86_64 CPUs: 1 Total Memory: 1.958 GiB Name: VCH01 ID: vSphere Integrated Containers Docker Root Dir: Debug mode (client): false Debug mode (server): false Registry: registry-1.docker.io WARNING: No memory limit support WARNING: No swap limit support WARNING: No kernel memory limit support WARNING: No cpu cfs quota support WARNING: No cpu cfs period support WARNING: No cpu shares support WARNING: No cpuset support WARNING: IPv4 forwarding is disabled WARNING: bridge-nf-call-iptables is disabled WARNING: bridge-nf-call-ip6tables is disabled root@photon-NaTv5i8IA [ /workspace/vic ]# root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls ps -a CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS\ PORTS NAMES root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]#
So not a lot going on at the moment. Let’s deploy our very first (simple) container – busybox:
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls run -it busybox Unable to find image 'busybox:latest' locally latest: Pulling from library/busybox a3ed95caeb02: Pull complete 8ddc19f16526: Pull complete Digest: sha256:65ce39ce3eb0997074a460adfb568d0b9f0f6a4392d97b6035630c9d7bf92402 Status: Downloaded newer image for library/busybox:latest / # ls bin etc lib mnt root sbin tmp var dev home lost+found proc run sys usr / # ls /etc group hostname hosts localtime passwd resolv.conf shadow / #
This has dropped me into a shell on the image “busybox”. This is a bit of a simple image, but what it has confirmed is that the VCH was able to pull images from docker, and it has successfully launched a “container as a VM” also.
Congratulations! You have deployed your first container “as a VM”.
Let’s now go back to vCenter, and examine things from there. The first thing we notice is that in the VCH resource pool, we have our new container in the inventory:
And now if we examine the virtual hardware of that container, we can find the location of the image on the image datastore, the fact that it is connected to the container/bridge network, and that the CD is connected to the “bootstrap.iso” image that we saw in the VCH folder on initial deployment.
And now if I return to the photon OS CLI (open a new shell), then I can run additional docker commands such as “ps” to examine the state:
root@photon [ /workspace ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls ps -a CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS \ PORTS NAMES 045e56ad498c busybox "sh" 20 minutes ago Running\ ecstatic_meninsky root@photon [ /workspace ]#
And we can see our running container. Now there are a lot of other things that we can do, but this is hopefully enough to get you started with v0.4.0.
To tidy up, you can follow this procedure. First stop and remove the containers, then remove the VCH:
root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls stop 045e56ad498c 045e56ad498c root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls rm 045e56ad498c 045e56ad498c root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# docker -H 10.27.51.40:2376 --tls ps -a CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]# ./vic-machine-linux delete \ -t 'firstname.lastname@example.org:VMware123email@example.com' \ --compute-resource Mgmt --name VCH01 INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:55Z] ### Removing VCH #### INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:55Z] Removing VMs INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:55Z] Removing images INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:55Z] Removing volumes INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:56Z] Removing appliance VM network devices INFO[2016-07-14T09:20:58Z] Removing VCH vSphere extension INFO[2016-07-14T09:21:02Z] Removing Resource Pool VCH01 INFO[2016-07-14T09:21:02Z] Completed successfully root@photon [ /workspace/vic ]#
For more details on using vSphere Integrated Containers v0.4.0 see the user guide on github here and command usage guide on github here.
And if you are coming to VMworld 2016, you should definitely check out the various sessions, labs and demos on Cloud Native Apps (CNA).
14 Replies to “Getting Started with vSphere Integrated Containers v0.4.0”
FYI The bintray.com link is spelled wrong…
I have tried to deploy VCH as you described, however i have found an problem which i cannot solve, and even worse – I cannot find a clue how to.
Heres my input for “create”
/vic-machine-linux create –target X.X.X.X –image-datastore /DC_Name/Folder/Datastore_Name/ -name vch01 –user firstname.lastname@example.org –password XXXX –compute-resource /DC_Name/host/Cluster_Name/Resources/RP_VCH –bridge-network dvs_Mgmt –volume-store “DC_Name/Folder/Datastore_Name/”
Everything looks ok, it appears that Datastore is found (when i just put the Name, i found it cannot find it, so i had to provide full path)
Until … :
ERRO[2016-07-10T12:44:47Z] datastore hostname came back empty
ERRO[2016-07-10T12:44:47Z] Create cannot continue: configuration validation failed
ERRO[2016-07-10T12:44:47Z] vic-machine-linux failed: validation of configuration failed
Perhaps you have encoutered the same?
all i can think of is that you have some “special” chars in the datastore name. this is a known issue that was not fixed in v0.4.0. could that be the case?
its something like DS_03.
I will try to change name to something easier and move this particular DS out of Folder (into “Root”)
Could you be so kind and provide me a link for that known issue? I`m totally new into VIC/Photon, and even the Git, so moving back and forth is real horror for ex-wintel guy … 🙂 but its my step out of comfort zone so..
Yes – I think we found an issue with “-” and “_”. These will be fixed in the next release. Let me know if you think there are other special chars that should be handled.
All known issues are here: https://github.com/vmware/vic/issues
The datastore “special char” issue is here: https://github.com/vmware/vic/issues/1535
Cormac, I’m a bit confused – I have my first VCH deployed just fine but I can’t do a ‘pull’ – I get ‘error while pulling image [path] getsockopt: connection refused’. This is presumably because I’m behind a proxy – man I’ve googled this one to death and can’t seem to figure out how to get the VCH to use a proxy – I edited /etc/sysconfig/proxy with what I thought were the right variables but with no change – even if I did fix it this way I’d have to make that change to every VCH I ever make right, I don’t think I could ‘burn’ it into the vApp – not easily. Anyway do you have any ideas please?
Not run into this Phil, but let me ask some folks.
Thanks Cormac, I’m infrastructure designer for BT TV/BT Sport over in the UK and we’re super-keen to get involved with VIC as soon as we can, hence this PoC. We have a dedicated account team and have a PS engagement with you guys – perhaps I could book some of your time to skype or whatever if that helps?
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