VMware builds a magic mirror for containers and a desktop cloud

Developers see containers, ops teams see VMs, VMware sees possibilities


Developers like containers because they're lightweight, easy to make, fast to spawn and allow them to do the DevOps thing and improve code continuously. But developers think virtual machines are clunky. Operations people like virtual machines because they're secure, easy to manage and/or automate and are the way IT mostly gets done these days. And they are wary of containers because they look lightweight and scarily impermanent.

VMware likes anything that gives anyone a reason to run virtual machines anywhere, anytime, so it should come as no surprise that it's developed a new tool that tries to satisfy both developers and operations folks.

“Project Bonneville”, be revealed at DockerCon this week, rests on VMware's ESX hypervisor and allows developers to create containers based images in the Docker Hub, each residing in its own virtual machine. Developers won't see that VM: they'll see a container. ESX admins will see a virtual machine. Everyone sees fast load times because the VMs won't be created from scratch but cloned, a faster process.

The idea is that everyone gets what they want and sees what they want to see. Just like you do in front of a mirror when you ponder your well-cut pecs, slim waist and nicely-defined abs.

VMware's also going to reveal AppCatalyst, a desktop hypervisor and private cloud for developers.

The idea here is that developers need a desktop cloud because it's painful waiting for changes to manifest in test and development rigs in a data centre or cloud. By building a desktop hypervisor that does storage and network abstraction, developers get the chance to test things on the desktop before they play with real data centres.

AppCatalyst will have no GUI – it's an all CLU affair to make developers happy. The product also bundles VMware's Photon lightweight Linux for containers and speaks to APIs for Docker and Vagrant so that developers can spawn containers and arrange automation. AppCatalyst is built on the same hypervisor as VMware's other desktop products, so don't expect massive scalability. Do expect an effort to give developers a chance to do early testing work before being satisfied their work is worthy of more resources.

AppCatalyst will be available here if users are willing to register.

Bonneville's debut will come as a tech preview and VMware tells The Reg's virtualisation desk it hasn't quite figured out what to do with it yet. We're told it's under consideration for future integration with vSphere and vCenter, but that no firm decisions have been made.

Which is a slightly odd way for a US$6bn company with a duty to enhance shareholder value to behave, so has us thinking Virtzilla wants Project Bonneville's existence to be widely-known even if it isn't yet ready for its plans to be fully revealed. At a guess, the preview could cool down some financial and/or analysts who worry that virtualisation is on the slide as containers rise. With Bonneville in view and the Photon and Lightwave native containers platforms, VMware has a more-than-decent strategy to keep itself relevant even as containers increase in popularity. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    As shareholders sue the social network amid Elon Musk's takeover scramble

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading
  • Amazon investors nuke proposed ethics overhaul and say yes to $212m CEO pay
    Workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability and, um, wage 'fairness' all struck down in vote

    Amazon CEO Andy Jassy's first shareholder meeting was a rousing success for Amazon leadership and Jassy's bank account. But for activist investors intent on making Amazon more open and transparent, it was nothing short of a disaster.

    While actual voting results haven't been released yet, Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky told Reuters that stock owners voted down fifteen shareholder resolutions addressing topics including workplace safety, labor organizing, sustainability, and pay fairness. Amazon's board recommended voting no on all of the proposals.

    Jassy and the board scored additional victories in the form of shareholder approval for board appointments, executive compensation and a 20-for-1 stock split. Jassy's executive compensation package, which is tied to Amazon stock price and mostly delivered as stock awards over a multi-year period, was $212 million in 2021. 

    Continue reading
  • Confirmed: Broadcom, VMware agree to $61b merger
    Unless anyone out there can make a better offer. Oh, Elon?

    Broadcom has confirmed it intends to acquire VMware in a deal that looks set to be worth $61 billion, if it goes ahead: the agreement provides for a “go-shop” provision under which the virtualization giant may solicit alternative offers.

    Rumors of the proposed merger emerged earlier this week, amid much speculation, but neither of the companies was prepared to comment on the deal before today, when it was disclosed that the boards of directors of both organizations have unanimously approved the agreement.

    Michael Dell and Silver Lake investors, which own just over half of the outstanding shares in VMware between both, have apparently signed support agreements to vote in favor of the transaction, so long as the VMware board continues to recommend the proposed transaction with chip designer Broadcom.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022