What Is VMware Photon Controller – Everything You Wanted To Know About Photon Controller

Well, when it comes to technological business, certain rules are in place when it comes to longevity. You can’t survive several decades without have an effective strategy which changes with time. And one of those important strategies is to creatively destroy your own product before it becomes a burden for you. The thing is that your competition is definitely going to kill it. But for your own survival, you have got to do it first before somebody else do that. When you are able to overpower that transition, you will learn to survive another decade. Otherwise, chances are high for your business to lose its edge and slowly fade away.

Speaking of VMware Photon Controller and Photon platform, both are part of a new technology that is being introduced by VMware. Photon Controller is an Open Source technology. As for Photon Machine, it is nothing but a modified and minified version of linux that is optimized to run within an ESXi hypervisor. The introduction of the Photon platform has come in handy in scaling the application in a dynamic manner. The Photon Platform is highly streamlined and optimized and that is what set them apart.

The VMware Photon Platform

If you want to run containers that heavily rely on API automation, this is the best optimized platform you can find. This Photon platform is nothing but a modified version of ESXi hypervisor. The major difference is that it is based on Photon OS.

To elaborate, we can say that Photon Controller is a highly distributed platform. With the help of this, you gain access to the single API endpoint. As for the architecture, it has the capacity to accommodate multiples and several developer teams. It has ties to cloud foundry, and the admin has the power to issue a create cloud foundry cluster. He will be able to achieve this with the help of the API endpoint we have mentioned before.

In other words, Photon manages to do several things behind the scenes, including creating new nodes, configuring these nodes, etc. And finally it returns the Foundry API Endpoint. As a result, the developers will be able to utilize the infrastructure for their benefit. The Photon Controller has been given the duty of effectively hiding the complexity of the operation.

VMware Photon Platform Architecture

Let’s take a look at the architecture of the Photon Platform. And we’ll also try to uncover the buzz surrounding the containers. First and foremost, containers are highly portable. They help you run your apps. The best thing about working with the containers is that it is really simple to deploy the application. Developers have welcomed this with both their hands. Moreover, you have a very simplified lifecycle.

Let’s try to understand these works from a developer’s point of view. As a developer, you can develop the app in your laptop and then deploy it on the server. We are referring to the production server here. The admin of the server will be responsible for pulling this app to make sure that it is in production.

Let’s come back to the VMware Photon Controller. It has two dashboards – tenant dashboard and admin dashboard. You should know that cloud admin dashboard we are referring to is web based. Who manages these dashboards? Well, ZooKeeper is supposed to manage it. ZooKeeper is designed to help distributed processes to work with each other in a coordinated manner. And that’s not all. There are other important components attached to the controller.

VMware Photon Architecture

Photo courtesy of VMware Blog

The infrastructure is meant to deal with the cloud-native apps and containers alike. It’s meant for a multi-tenant environment. As stated before, there are two key components here – the Photon Machine and the Photon Controller. In case of Photon Machine, the Photon OS already exists in it.

Things To Remember

Times have changed and so does technology. Today, admins will be in need to collaborate with the developers. They also need to collaborate with new container technologies. This is really important as it helps you to speed up the new cloud applications. As you know, the Photon platform is the perfect tool that you need here. But there are questions that need to be addressed. The problem lies with these platforms is that it is a specific platform, which may not be suitable for everyone. Or in other words, not every admin has to deal with container apps or new set of developers. So, in a way, it has limited appeal. But for those who need it, it can be the best thing for them.

We can see that it provides a tailored solution for a section that demands it. It can reduce workload in a very efficient manner. It works for a very specific set of needs. As far as small businesses are concerned, I don’t see them chasing this technology as they have very little use of it. They might not benefit much from this technology. However, with changes in the technology, it might become suitable for smaller businesses in the future. I would say that, at some point, SMB sector might benefit from this technology. Yeah, it holds true at least in the case of Devenvironments.

What is the best approach at the moment? Well, they need to spend more time and resources on vSphere 6 to make sure that it is capable of handling the demands. First and foremost, they have to make it bug free as soon as possible. At the moment, you will come across several instances of serious bugs, which undermine the value of vSphere 6.

As we all know, VMware is one of the leading players when it comes to commercial computing in the modern world. But they are more focused on earning more money from their ESXi and vSphere platform. They cannot ignore the fact that companies have several complaints about these technologies. Companies are looking for a less expensive, lightweight option. So, VMware has to do something about this. Perhaps, they should spend their time and energy on Photon Controller. A we all know, technology has to constantly reinvent itself as we move forwards. VMware knows this more than anybody else. 

So, our guess is that they will do something about this soon.

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Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).


immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

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Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.


While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

Use Case - eCommerce and NFT marketplace


No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

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  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

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IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.


immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

Use Case - DevOps Evidence


CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.


As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

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