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Containers with VMware Photon

Posted by on January 21, 2016

A few days ago I was set a challenge by a buddy to test out VMware’s new containerisation solution called Photon. I had heard the theory and seen the demos at the VMworld keynotes but had never tried to deploy it before.

I have used Docker before as part of the slick implementation on my Synology NAS. From which I’ve ran cacti and the usual lamp stack so I had a vaguely enough skills to try Photon.

What I came across was a well documented installation blog post by Massimo Re Ferre & presumably the rest of the Photon team. Download a script, change its permissions and execute. It was a slick installation routine (I’ll attach the install log shortly) which installed everything I needed on my Mac. An ESX 6 VM, the Photon controller and all the relevant networking plus three images to deploy (Kubernetes, Swarm & Mesos).

I managed to deploy a Kubernetes cluster quite quickly:


However the Mesos image doesn’t seem to be valid as I got the same error each time I tried to execute the usual ‘photon image create …’. To be honest that was the only fly in the ointment and for all I know it was something I did wrong.

Now that Photon can be deployed on my Mac I intend to deploy it on a couple of ESX hosts and perhaps get this blog (or at least the WordPress front end running it) running from a Photon container (or containers plural). It’ll be a good test of an actual implementation.

So go read up about Photon on GitHub and if you’re so inclined contribute and improve it!

I’ll be writing a further blog post in the coming weeks on my thoughts about Photon & NSX integration, Photon in vCloud Air & also then the management & operational overhead this will demand in your IT department.


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