Running containers on vSphere – a brief overview about the options

Inspired by a tweet by Kendrick Coleman I decided to quickly summarize the current VMware and Pivotal provided options to running containers on vSphere.

  • vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC): running containers as VMs on vSphere
    • Virtual Container Host (VCH): nearly complete Docker API support, one container per Container Host VM (“Container VM”)
    • Docker Container Hosts (DCH): native Docker API support, multiple containers per Container Host VM
  • Pivotal Container Service (PKS): enterprise grade K8s distribution
  • Pivotal Application Service (PAS); formerly known as Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF): integrated Platform-as-a-Service offering based on Cloud Foundry
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack with Kubernetes (VIOK): running K8s on top of OpenStack
  • Photon OS: open source minimal Linux container host optimized for cloud-native applications for vSphere
  • Container Service Extension for vCloud Director: a vCloud Director add-on that manages the life cycle of Kubernetes clusters for tenants.

 

In addition to these integrated solutions, you can also build or bring your own solution and leverage projects such as:

  • Project Hatchway: persistent storage for Cloud Native Applications
  • NSX: software-defined networking and security for containers
  • Project Harbor: Enterprise-class Container Registry Server based on Docker Distribution
  • Project Admiral: Highly Scalable Container Management Platform
  • Weathervane: application-level performance benchmark designed to allow the investigation of performance tradeoffs in modern virtualized and cloud infrastructures