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Project Lightwave for Identity and Access Management Services Page 2

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Project Lightwave for Identity and Access Management Services

VMware's other project announced at the same time is called Project Lightwave. (If you believe some physicists then light behaves both as a wave and as a particle called a photon, so the two projects are named after light in its two theoretical forms. What's the relevance of light to containers? Hard to say.)

Project Lightwave is another open source project from the company, and it includes standards-based, enterprise-grade identity and access management services that VMware hopes will effectively address security, governance and compliance issues.

Lightwave features include:

  • Multi-tenancy to simplify governance and compliance across the infrastructure and application stack and across all stages of the application development lifecycle
  • Support for SASL, OAuth, SAML, LDAP v3, Kerberos, X.509 and WS-Trust
  • Extensible authentication and authorization using username and password, tokens and PKI infrastructure for users, computers, containers and user-defined objects

Unlike Photon, Lightwave is not yet available, but VMware plans to release it at some point in the coming months.

Of the two new projects, Photon is arguably the most interesting one. That's partly because it's available now rather than being vaporware, but also because VMware has made an effort to support three container formats.

It's a smart move because it should help appeal to a wide constituency of people — fans of rkt and fans of Docker alike (and fans of Garden if there are any yet). CoreOS can offer all of that except the Garden bit, but it doesn't have the VMware name behind it, which will be important for many companies.

And that's key. Companies that choose VMware for their server virtualization are comfortable with VMware products. So if there's a VMware-backed container OS (albeit an open source one), then that's going to reassure them that they can start using containers safely within the embrace of the VMware ecosystem.

And that, more than anything else, is what VMware wants the future of containers to be like.

Paul Rubens is a technology journalist and contributor to ServerWatch, EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and EnterpriseMobileToday. He has also covered technology for international newspapers and magazines including The Economist and The Financial Times since 1991.

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Prev Page: VMware's Project Photon

This article was originally published on May 26, 2015
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