Harnessing Kubernetes – Cloud Foundry Container Runtime

November 13, 2017

A few weeks ago I attended Cloud Foundry summit Europe 2017 held in Basel, Switzerland.  One of the more interesting topics that came up was the “Cloud Foundry Container Runtime,” an effort formerly known as “Kubo.”

Kubo, which comes from “Kubernetes on Bosh,” was created jointly by Pivotal and Google in order to provide a simple way to deploy and operate production-ready Kubernetes clusters on premise and in the cloud.  Back in June, the Kubo code was donated to the Linux Foundation as an open source project.

To learn more about Cloud Foundry Container Runtime (nee Kubo) and the larger context it fits within I sat down with Ian Andrews, Vice President of Products at Pivotal.  Armed with only a pen and paper Ian provides an overview of the container runtime and explains how it differs from the Cloud Foundry application runtime, as well as which workloads are most appropriate for each.

Ian ends by walking us through the recently announced, Pivotal Container Service (PKS) that VMware and Pivotal worked on together with help from the Google cloud team (PKS is based on the Cloud Foundry container runtime with extra goodies thrown in).

Extra-credit reading

  • Take Kubernetes, and bish bash BOSH, you’ve got Container Runtime – The Register
  • Cloud Foundry Morphs Kubo into Container Runtime – sdxcentral
  • VMware teams up with Pivotal, Google Cloud on new container service – ZDNet
  • Google, VMware and Pivotal team for on-premises Kubernetes – The Register
  • Choosing the Right Tool for Your App Modernization Project – VMware | Blogs

Pau for now…

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Native Hybrid Cloud — The Pivotal Cloud Foundry Developer Platform in a Box

August 17, 2016

A few weeks ago at Pivotal’s SpringOne Platform event I met Drew Dimmick of EMC.  Drew heads up product management for EMC’s Native Hybrid Cloud offering.  Native Hybrid Cloud, or “NHC” is a complete shrink-wrapped Pivotal Cloud Foundry developer platform that can be set up in as little as two days.

I grabbed some time with Drew and had him take me through the offering at a high level.

Here is what Drew had to say:

Some of the ground Drew covers

  • How NHC cut set-up time from weeks to days and provides a single-vendor solution
  • Today’s stack is composed of: VxRack with Neutrino nodes + Pivotal Cloud Foundry with metering, monitoring billing etc, all siting on top of OpenStack
  • There are couple of other NHC flavors wating in the wings:
    • Pivotal Cloud Foundry + VMware’s VxRail solution sitting on top of vSphere (today half of all Pivotal Cloud Foundry implementations sit on top of vSphere)
    • Further out, a version featuring VMware’s Photon platform which customers could choose in place of OpenStack

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…

 


VMware’s Photon Platform

June 29, 2016

Last week I attend DockerCon 2016 in Seattle.  Besides spending time working the Dell booth, I grabbed a bunch of folks and did some short, guerrilla-style interviews.  One of my victims was Kit Colbert who heads up VMware’s cloud native applications group.

With the onslaught of container-mania VMware, the 800-pound-VM gorilla, has had to take a hard look at the changing landscape and decide if/how they wanted to join the fray.

VMware’s response

VMware’s decision was to sally forth with not one but two entrants into the land of containers: Photon Platform and vSphere Integrated Containers.  In the video below Kit gives an overview of Photon Platform and explains how it relates to vSphere Integrated Containers.

In the second video the product manager for VMware’s vSphere Integrated Containers, Karthik Narayan, provides a double-click on this vSphere-based offering.

Some of the ground Kit covers

  • Photon is targeted at those customers who are taking a greenfield approach and are looking for a platform optimized for cloud native applications.  It GA’d this month and came with a version of Pivotal Cloud Foundry
  • Photon’s components: 1) the Photon controller which acts as a manger of all the hosts, 2) PhotonOS which is a container-optimized Linux distro and 3) Photon machine which is ESX and, going forward, will be optimized for cloud native applicaitons.
  • Native Hybrid Cloud: a tightly integrated stack from EMC composed of: Photon platform + EMC’s VxRack + Pivotal Cloud Foundry

Some of the ground Karthik covers

  • vSphere Integrated Containers are an extension of vSphere which natively integrates with Docker.  It is targeted at enterprises who want to run containers alongside existing apps and workloads.
  • It is composed of vSphere + ESX hypervisor + vCenter +VSan + NSX etc.
  • It allows enterprises to take their existing environments, add vSphere Integrated Containers and in 20 minutes have an environment that will allow their developers to work with Docker while at the same time allowing Ops to use an environment they’re familiar with to manage these new workloads.

Extra-credit reading

 

  • VMware Hires Longtime Intel Linux Exec As Its First-Ever Chief Open Source Officer – CRN
  • Compare and Contrast: Photon Controller vs VIC (vSphere Integrated Containers) –CormacHogan.com
  • VMware Photon controller – Github
  • IT pros eye Photon OS as matchmaker for vSphere, containers – TechTarget
  • Learning about VMware’s Photon Controller

Learning about VMware’s Photon Controller

November 18, 2015

Last week I headed out to San Francisco to attend Kubecon and soak in the Kubernetes and devops-ecosystem goodness.  As the event landing page explained:

KubeCon 2015 is the first inaugural community Kubernetes conference, fully dedicated to education and community engagement focused on early Kubernetes, production users and contributors.

As I normally do at events like this I prowled the halls to look for folks doing cool stuff to interview with my trusty Flipcam.

One of the people I chatted with was Kenneth Jung, developer lead on the Photon Controller team at VMware.  The Photon Controller, in short, is a cloud scale IO solution for managing ESX.  (One of the things Kenneth alludes to is the open sourcing of the Controller which ended up happening yesterday.)

Some of the ground Kenneth covers

  • What is the photon controller – cloud scale io solution for managing ESX
  • How the cluster manager makes deployment and management of large of container frameworks like Kubernetes, easy
  • How VMware looks at VMs vs containers
  • The Photon microvisor + Photon OS used in Photon Controller
  • They will have a cloud foundry release early next year

Extra-credit reading

  • VMware extends container campaign with open source Photon Controller – InfoWorld
  • VMware’s Photon Platform and How it Treats Containers – The NewStack

Pau for now…


Where Dell plays in the Cloud and how we got there

November 3, 2011

One of the interviews I did at Dell World was a video with IT in Canada.   I did the video with Paul Cooper, Dell’s country manager for Canada.

In the first half of the video I talk about how Dell got into the cloud and where we play in the space.  In the second half Paul talks about the roll the telcos will play in the delivery of cloud services in Canada as well as issues around privacy and data sovereignty.

Check it out.

From the article itself, here’s a great summary of our cloud participation and shows how we have built, bought and partnered along the way:

Dell’s excursion into cloud began with organic development of server and data centre capability in specialized systems to meet the needs of large cloud providers (Facebook, Microsoft Azure and Bing), progressed through modification of these systems for marketing to the “next 1,000”, and shifted to partnership with software makers such as Joyent to develop complete cloud solutions, and with companies such as VMware for the creation of a full service public cloud offering.

Supporting acquisitions along the way include companies with specific capabilities such as SecureWorks, which was purchased to address web security concerns that continue to dog broader cloud adoption, and BOOMI, a specialist in cloud integration, which enables Dell to better service customers who adopt a hybrid cloud approach to sourcing compute resources.

Extra-Credit reading


Cloud Foundry picks up Crowbar to speed installation

August 17, 2011

In case you’re not familiar with Cloud Foundry, it’s an open source Platform as a Service project initiated at VMware.  More specifically it provides a platform for building, deploying, and running cloud apps using Spring for Java developers, Rails and Sinatra for Ruby developers, Node.js and other JVM frameworks including Grails.

The project began two years ago when VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz recruited Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky out of Google and set them to working on Cloud Foundry.  Collison and Lucovsky, who built and maintained Google’s API services, were brought into leverage their experience of working with hugely scaled out architectures.

The Cloud Foundry project has only been public for a matter of months and one question that I’m sure has popped into your mind is what if I want to pilot Cloud Foundry in my own environment, won’t installation and configuration be a total pain?

Enter the Crowbar

Crowbar is an open source software framework developed at Dell to speed up the installation and configuration of open source cloud software onto bare metal systems.  By automating the process, Crowbar can reduce the time needed for installation from days to hours.

The software is modular in design so while the basic functionality is in Crowbar itself, “barclamps” sit on top of it to allow it work with a variety of projects.  The first use for crowbar was for OpenStack and the barclamp for that has been donated to the community.  Next came The Dell | Cloudera solution for Apache Hadoop and, just recently, Dreamhost announced that they currently working on a Ceph barclamp.  And now…

Two great tastes that taste great together

Today’s big news is that VMware is working with Dell to release and maintain a Crowbar barclamp that, in conjunction with Crowbar, will install and configure Cloud Foundry.  This capability, which will include multi-node configs over time, will allow organizations and service providers the ability to quickly and easily get pilots of Cloud Foundry up and running.

Once the initial deployment is complete, Crowbar can be used to maintain, expand, and architect the instance, including BIOS configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering, and alerting.

If you’d like to try out Crowbar for yourself, check out: https://github.com/DellCloudEdge

Press added after initial posting

Extra-credit reading

Pau for now…


Talking to the Head of VMware’s Cloud Business

January 7, 2010

Here is the second in my three part series on Virtualization and the cloud.  Today’s entry focuses on the 800 pound gorilla in the virtualization space, VMware.

At last month’s Gartner’s Data Center conference, right after his standing room only presentation, I grabbed some time with VMware’s Mr. Cloud, Dan Chu .  Hear what he had to say:

Some of the topics Dan tackles:

  • What VMware is seeing customers actually doing to take advantage of the cloud today both with regards to public and private clouds.
  • Some polling data he collected during his talk based on the ~300 folks who attended:  90-95% were virtualizing, 15% had an active private cloud project,  5-10% had a public cloud project.  (This is pretty representative of what Dan’s generally seeing.)
  • The three phases of cloud:
    • Phase I: Standardizing and virtualizing an environment.
    • Phase II:  Adopting private cloud from a management stand point: getting to self service and automation in terms of provisioning a new service/collapsing the time it takes to get a new image out to an end user or developer from weeks to minutes/ implementing charge back, dynamic capacity planning and management.
    • Phase III: Thinking about or planning how to leverage the public cloud in a fully compatible way.
  • A short history of VMware: how they’ve moved from desktop and server virtualization to VM management and optimization to enabling their platform for private clouds and public cloud providers.
  • Their “recent” acquisition of Spring Source and how it fits in.

Stay tuned next time for a summary of Gartner’s virtualization presentation from their data center conference.

Pau for now…


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