Photon Platform or vSphere or Both?

Just back from another successful VMworld and a lot of folks asking for the slides from this session. While the official slides are being posted on shortly I did want to follow up with a blog post on this for anyone that was unable to attend in person. As you may or may not know, VMware recently announced Photon Platform. In my initial conversations with customers I came to the conclusion that there is some confusion between vSphere and what Photon Platform is designed for. That was the basis for my session at VMworld this year.

So, what is Photon Platform?

Purpose built, multi-tenant, scale-out infrastructure for running containers on proven VMware technology you can trust!

A closer look under the covers.

Photon Controller is the scheduler and control plane that provides the constructs to combine ESXi, vSAN and NSX into a container cloud.

Ok, but how difficult is it to install?

Easy as..One



Your just a clicks away from access to industry standard API and command line

Photon Platform has Role based access focused on ensuring the Developer retains their preferred tools and workflows.

What are the use cases for Photon Platform?

But we already have vSphere?

As stated, Photon Platform has a heavy focus on containers, that’s not to say that it’s your only option, if you are already running vSphere you have a huge head start to containers. The question we get a lot is..

Also, containers as a service with vRealize Automation

So which one do I choose?

vSphere Integrated Containers:

  • Already invested in and standardized around vSphere
  • You need a quick and easy solution for your developers today
  • Plans to run containers in production
  • Requirement for Policy, governance and metered self service – vRealize Automation
  • Lack of resources or commitment to adopt/learn/train on a new technology

Photon Platform:

  • Lower cost IaaS layer for Pivitol Cloud Foundry – PCF – Photon Bundle!
  • Very mature agile development processes in place that needs to scale beyond vSphere Maximums > 35,000 VM’s
  • Currently or planning to build large distributed micro service architectures.
  • Alternative to other programmable infrastructure stacks
  • Large scale high churn environments (Spin up, tear down thousands of servers/containers per day.

Sometime both:

  • Already using containers on vSphere and need to deploy at a larger scale and faster pace
  • Old hardware laying around and you want to give developers a sandbox environment to relieve some of the resources on vSphere environment
  • Internal mandate to move off of Public Cloud Service
  • Innovation projects:
    • New Mobile App Development
    • Life Science research projects
    • Application Re-Architecture Projects
    • Internet of things projects
    • Distributed computing
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