A lot is being discussed about the containers these days and definitely Containers seem to be the future especially for those who are moving into public cloud and looking for autoscalability. VMware has now vSphere Integrated Containers which allows the Containers to run on your existing infrastructure along with your virtual workloads and all this for no extra cost; all you would need is a Enterprise Plus license for the support. Containers run on top of the hypervisor as virtual machines would and supports all the features we love.
I wanted to try and learn about the containers and being an VMware admin, i wanted to use my existing home lab to do that and so here i am working on getting things ready for the vSphere Integrated Containers. VMware HOL is definitely a good place to get an understanding of the basics of the VIC, however to get the honds on experience of implemetation in a real time environment, i thought it would be good to actually setup a complete lab for my self and play around with it. I would also like to blog about it step by step so it would be a good reference for me and also helps others. I would like to keep each post short with less than 10 min read time.
Containers are like VMs running on Linux Host typically, except that you dont have to install the full blown OS for each Container like VMs. Containers are very light weight and portable and are easy to run and destroy. Unlike VMs, there is no delay for the OS to boot and for the applications to come up, it is just the application just starting in a bubble on an existing running OS. So Containers are fast! It is almost impossible to talk about Containers without the mention of Docker. With the release of VIC 1.2 it is now possible to run Docker containers on vSphere Infrastructure without disrupting your existing VM workloads. Below is a nice comparision of Containers and VMs
VIC allows a VMware Admin to create container hosts on top of which developers can run Docker CLI allowing admins to have control over the resources and developers to create and destroy containers as and when needed. The three components of VIC are
vSphere Integrated Containers Appliance – Appliance needed to install the vSphere Integrated Containers. This is the component that binds all the other components together and acts as management plane for VIC.
vSphere Integrated Containers Engine Bundle – An abstraction of Docker API fully integrated with vSphere and is responsible for creating container VMs.
Virtual Container Host (VCH) – Photon based linux environment/resource pool used to run the docker containers. This is an isolated environment and is managed by vic-machine utility. Each VCH resource pool has one and only one associated VCH endpoint VM
© VMware Press
With basic understanding of VIC, let’s move onto setting up our lab.
Hope this was informative. Thanks!
Part 1 – vSphere Integrated Containers
Part 2 – VIC Lab Setup
Part 3 – Deploy VIC Appliance
Part 4 – Obtain vCenter Certificate Thumbprint
Part 5 – Install Client Plugins on VCSA for VIC
Part 6 – Opening Ports on ESXi Hosts
Part 7 – Deploy VCH to vCenter ServerPart 8 – Docker Commands with VIC
Part 8 – Docker Commands with VIC