VMware introduces two open source projects to boost microservices

Cloud and virtualization solution provider, VMware Inc. is spearheading two open source projects aimed at enabling enterprise organizations take advantage of microservices.

The two projects announced this week by VMware are: Project Lightwave an identity and access management project that will extend enterprise-scale and security to cloud-native applications; and Project Photon, a lightweight Linux operating system optimized for what VMware (NYSE: VMW) calls “cloud-native applications” but is generally known as microservices.

Many enterprise IT departments traditionally use monolithic applications from a single vendor. In recent years, more and more organizations have been shifting to cloud-based options. One way of doing this is by using microservices – the technique of creating instances of an application to serve a small group of users.

Instead of relying on monolithic applications, people can use these lightweight components that take care of a part of a process that used to be the domain of a single application. One of the main advantages is that frequent updates particular to an operation can be provident to each component without the risk of affecting a bigger application.

The practice is highly enabling, but it does have some challenges. VMware aims to address these challenges through Project Lightwave and Project Photon.

Project Lightwave is meant to be the industry’s first container identity and access management technology that extends enterprise-ready security capabilities to cloud-native applications.

“The distributed nature of these applications, which can feature complex networks of microservices and hundreds or thousands instances of applications, will require enterprises to maintain the identity and access of all interrelated components and users,” according to VMware. “Project Lightwave will add a new layer of container security beyond container isolation by enabling companies to enforce access control and identity management capabilities across the entire infrastructure and application stack, including all stages of the application development lifecycle.”

The technology will enable enterprises to manage access control so that only authorized users will be capable of running authorized containers on authorized hosts through integration with a container host runtime such as Project Photon.

Project Lightwave features will include:

  • Centralized identity management
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Open standards support
  • Enterprise-ready scalability
  • Certificate authority and key management

Optimized for VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Air, Project Photon will enable organizations to run both containers and virtual machines natively on a single platform. Project Photon will provide container isolation when containers run inside virtual machines.

Project Photon features include:

  • Broad container solution support
  • Container security
  • Flexible versioning and extensibility

“Used together, these new open source projects will provide enterprise organizations with the best of both worlds,” said Kit Colbert, chief technology officer for cloud –native applications at VMware. “Developers benefit from the portability and speed of containerized applications while IT operations teams can maintain the security and performance required in today’s business environment.”

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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