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Containers continue to gain momentum in the data center and more companies are coming up with their own offerings of how to deal with them. The technology installs a virtualization layer and manages virtual instances atop a common host operating system. VMware's vSphere Integrated Containers is a way to isolate and manage containers. VMware's development of vSphere Integrated Containers underscores the idea that containers and virtual machines are not mutually exclusive. Both are viable alternatives for virtualizing enterprise workloads, and there will inevitably be situations where containers or VMs are more appropriate for specific tasks.
Which container types will vSphere Integrated Containers support?
VMware vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) are designed to work with Docker, but VIC should also integrate with other container technologies including Kubernetes, CoreOS Tectonic, Cloud Foundry and the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System. It's important to note that the level of integration and resulting performance for different containers is still uncertain -- only time and further development will really clarify just how well VMware VIC supports non-Docker containers.
This means administrators and software developers will need to perform extensive testing to evaluate VMware VIC support for the preferred container platform. However, it is reasonable to expect increasing interoperability between containers as time passes. Part of the reason for this emphasis on interoperability is the realization that container standardization is coming based on the work of the Open Container Initiative, Open Container and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.
The arrival of VMware VIC means that both approaches can operate simultaneously using a common management scheme which is already familiar to many virtualization adopters. As with any emerging platform, an extensive testing or proof-of-principle project is highly recommended before extending VIC into a production environment.
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