What is VMware Tanzu Kubernetes?

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Going along with the blog post of What is VMware Project Pacific, this is part of an even bigger portfolio of products call VMware Tanzu. Tanzu is all about running Kubernetes. If you can’t tell the theme of this year’s VMworld is containers, then you are missing something. VMware has certainly geared the upcoming focus of VMware vSphere on containers and VMware Tanzu is the aggregate of this effort. Let’s take a look at what VMware Tanzu actually is and how it is positioned in the VMware product portfolio in this post – What is VMware Tanzu Kubernetes?

VMware Tanzu – Kubernetes Focused Portfolio

VMware Tanzu is the suite or portfolio of products and solutions that allow its customers to Build, Run, and Manage Kubernetes controlled container-based applications. The writing has been on the wall with VMware and the recent acquisitions of various container focused companies. Let’s take a look at those three different aspects of the VMware Tanzu product portfolio and how they relate to their Kubernetes focused vSphere.

What-is-VMware-Tanzu-Kubernetes What is VMware Tanzu Kubernetes?
What is VMware Tanzu Kubernetes? VMware’s Portfolio of Kubernetes products (Image courtesy of VMware)

Build Kubernetes

There are two acquisitions that help position VMware very well in their ability to bring up to market various Kubernetes technologies – Bitnami and Pivotal. Bitnami packages and delivers Kubernetes applications. It offers some 180 applications and components that are installed with far reach in the Kubernetes community. Additional Pivotal controls one of the most popular application framworks, “Spring”, and offers customers the Pivotal Application Service. Pivotal has been very involved with Kubernetes native technologies for years and recently announces that PAS and its components would be evolved to run on Kubernetes. This includes Pivotal Build SErvice and Pivotal Function Service. The reach of these applications is some 5 million developers strong.

Run Kubernetes

In the area of running Kubernetes, VMware has released the major news at VMworld 2019 that they are releasing a tech preview of the ability to run Kubernetes natively inside of vSphere with the release of Project Pacific. The integration of Kubernetes inside of vSphere brings both the API and UI of vSphere Client and Kubernetes together. The core virtualized layer of ESXi can run Kubernetes natively.

This means that Kubernetes will literally be available to all VMware vSphere customers who are already familiar with VMware vSphere tooling and processes and be able to implement these now with Kubernetes and containers. This will allow VMware vSphere admins to unite virtual machines and containers together as a single layer backing modern applications of the future.

VMware will continue at least for now to align VMware PKS with VMware Tanzu and Project Pacific. Customers starting with Kubernetes today will be deploying that with VMware PKS.

Manage Kubernetes

Managing, keeping up with, and securing all of this infrastructure can become difficult. VMware is releasing VMware Tanzu Mission Control. With VMware Tanzu Mission Contro, VMware customers can manage all the Kubernetes clusters, across vSphere, VMware PKS, public clouds, managed services, packaged distributions and even the DIY implementations of Kubernetes containers with a single point of control and single pane of glass. This will allow applying policies for access, quotas, back-up, security and more to individual clusters or groups of clusters.

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Resources

Below are a few of the resources for getting up to speed on VMware Tanzu and its features, functionality, and capabilities.

Final Thoughts

VMware has certainly made waves in the industry with VMware Tanzu and specifically VMware Project Pacific that allows VMware vSphere to be the all-in-one solution for running both virtual machines and containers.

VMware has the upperhand here when compared to competitors in having the single pane of glass management solution and platform to seamlessly run your “applications” from a single solution that allows visibility, management, and security of the entire solution.

Only a few short years ago, I remember criticisms of VMware and their seeming lack of interest in containers and lack of solutions to get into the container race. I think after VMworld 2019, those thoughts and ideas have certainly been squashed as VMware has emerged as a leader in hybrid cloud along with containerized workloads and the ability to easily manage containerized solutions driven by Kubernetes in the enterprise, public cloud, private cloud, and other environments.