I get this question a lot, or I think the conversation is about one solution and it ends up being about the other. In this post I will very simply describe both solutions. This is not a 10 pager here, super simple so you can keep this as a handy reference.
What is Photon OS?
An open source, purpose built minimal Linux distribution optimized for vSphere for running containers. OK, what that means is basically VMware stripped out all the packages and binaries that are not needed to run docker. What you end up with is a very small OS in terms or byte size on storage but also a much smaller attack surface as there are not any unnecessary open ports or services running other than what your container needs. Though it is optimized for best performance on vSphere, you can freely run Photon OS on any cloud you choose. Bare metal is not currently supported. Download it here.
What is Photon Platform?
A whole new infrastructure stack designed with containers and cloud native applications in mind. Basically Photon Controller is a scheduler for ESXi hosts. It can schedule VM’s to be provisioned to any of the ESXi hosts you make available to it. The controller can also scale horizontally for redundancy and performance. Photon Controller also features out of the box commands to deploy Kubernetes in a single command. Download Photon Controller here!
Hope this clears up any confusion. Any questions or concerns please leave a comment below or tweet me @vmtocloud