VMware whose strategy seems almost random at times has finally responded to the threat that Docker presents to its core business model.
VMware now has its own Linux distribution, 'Project Photon', as part of its Microservices effort which is calls "Cloud Native Application".
"The idea is that rather than rely on a monolithic application to do everything, one can instead create lightweight components that handle one part of the process previously baked into a single application." --The Register.
Now each component can be updates more often using DevOps-driven release train instead of a larger less rigid release train. Docker now has become the poster boy of how you create microservices, although one does not need containerization to build microservices. You typically do need some sort of cloud/virtualization 2.0.
Containers like Docker use para-virtualization which is more like change root then a fully virtualized OS. This means that they can run closer to the actual hardware and there are less levels of indirection between a containerized OS and a fully virtualized one. Docker instances inherit setting from the core OS like allowed file handle limits, network configuration, etc. A Docker instance is more like a process that looks like an OS than a full VM instance.
What is Photon? "Photon is a lightweight – we're told 300MB – Linux distro that supports three containerisation environments: Docker, rkt and Pivotal's Garden. Photon's been tuned so that it's very, very comfortable running in either vSphere or vCloud Air. We're told VMware started with the Linux kernel and designed Photon from scratch." --The Register.
"The likes of Google and Netflix can build their own management, automation and orchestration pieces. VMware's bidding to do it for the rest of us." --The Register
Read the full article at the Register: "VMware fires Photon torpedo – a homegrown Linux for microservices".