VMware Advances Its Photon OS Linux Operating System for Containers

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted November 2, 2017


VMware announced the release of Project Photon OS 2.0 on Nov. 1, providing users with improved security and management capabilities.

Photon OS is an open-source Linux operating system that has been purpose-built and optimized for container deployments. The Photon container operating system was first announced in April 2015. The Photon OS Photon OSproject reached its 1.0 milestone the following year in June 2016.

The Photon OS became a cornerstone of the larger Photon Platform in August 2016, which aimed to provide a more complete cloud-native platform for container application deployment and management. VMware however decided to discontinue the Photon Platform, and as of October 6th, 2017, the Photon Platform reached its End of Life.

Though the Photon Platform is dead, Photon OS remains, and VMware is advancing it further with the 2.0 update. Photon OS can run on VMware infrastructure as well as public clouds, including Google Compute Engine (GCE) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Microsoft Azure.

What's New in Photon OS 2.0

Among the new features in the Photon OS 2.0 milestone is the new Photon Management Daemon. The management tool provides an API-powered interface to help manage application packages, users and networking on Photon OS-powered containers. VMware has also improved security in Photon OS by supporting secure EFI boot and by configuring a secure kernel that follows the best practices of the Kernel Self-Protection Project (KSPP).

Another addition is native Kubernetes binaries developed to make it easier to rapidly build and deploy Kubernetes clusters that run on top of Photon OS.

"Just as in the 1.0 release, the ISO image of Photon OS contains everything you need to install either the minimal or full version," Steve Hoenisch, Technical and Marketing Communications, VMware, wrote in a blog post. "The minimal version is a lightweight host tailored to running containers when performance is paramount. The full version of Photon OS includes additional packages to help deploy containerized applications."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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