VMware Continues Shift from VM-Centric Infrastructure to Application-Centric Infrastructure
On March 10, as part of a modern applications roll-out, VMware announced product suite changes that will drastically expand its impact as an enterprise cloud applications company.
The announcements impact not only Tanzu, but many other products which play a crucial role in a VMware-based hybrid cloud.
We’ve recapped the biggest news to come out of the event and why it matters to VMware customers.
Tanzu is less of a product and more of a portfolio comprised of three parts—the Grid, Mission Control, and Applications Catalog. These components work together to enable app modernization and automation at scale.
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)
TKG is a Kubernetes runtime that will enable customers to achieve consistent Kubernetes clusters across all environments including data centers, public clouds, service providers, and edge computing. When running on-premises, TKG is available as vSphere with Kubernetes (formerly Project Pacific). Initially, Kubernetes on vSphere will be deployable only through VMware Cloud Foundation.
Tanzu Mission Control
Mission Control is VMware’s unified management plane for Kubernetes applications. Whether Kubernetes clusters are running on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge, customers can manage them all and provide a consistent experience.
Mission control will provide:
- Unified IAM across K8S clusters
- Cluster configuration control
- Governance and policy
- Backup and recovery capabilities—particularly useful for stateful workloads
- Ingress control
- Cost accounting
Tanzu Mission Control will initially be available as SaaS only with a packaged version delivered in the future.
Tanzu Application Catalog
Application Catalog is a modern software supply chain that will help users populate their Kubernetes clusters with modern applications. Powered by VMware’s recent acquisition of Bitnami, Tanzu Application Catalog provides and curates sets of basic images that will ensure both security and transparency of application delivery.
VMware Cloud Foundation 4 (VCF)
By combining vSAN 7, NSX-T, vRealize Suite 2019, Tanzu Kuberentes Grid, and vSphere 7 with Kubernetes, VCF enables users to deliver consistent, application-centric infrastructure for predictable hybrid cloud operations. The addition of hybrid infrastructure services will enable customers to run containers alongside VMs.
vSphere, the engine that powers VMware Cloud Foundation, is getting several updates with the latest release. In addition to the integration of Native Kubernetes via Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, several other enhancements have been made to VMware core virtualization and infrastructure abstraction platform.
- Simplified Lifecycle Management: vSphere Lifecycle Manager and Update Planner will allow customers to manage infrastructure according to a desired state. This will include vCenter Server profiles to provide a consistent management plane across an entire IT organization.
- Security and Control: vSphere Trust Authority will ensure that sensitive applications only run on properly tested and trusted hardware.
With the latest release of VMware’s HCI software comes numerous updates to improve and extend functionality. This is a long list of updates. For full details see the official VMware blog post.
- Native File Services with support for NFS 4.1 and 3
- Cluster updates supported in vSphere Lifecycle Manager
- Enhanced Cloud Native Storage will provide persistent volumes for stateless applications, common in Kubernetes clusters
- Integrated DRS awareness of stretched cluster configurations
- Immediate repair operation after a vSAN Witness Host is replaced
- Stretched cluster i/o redirect based on an imbalance of capacity across sites
- Accurate VM level space reporting across vCenter UI for vSAN powered VMs
- Improved memory reporting for ongoing optimization
- Visibility of vSphere replication objects in vSAN capacity views
- Support for larger capacity devices
- Native support for planned and unplanned maintenance with NVMe hotplug
- Removal of Eager Zero Thick (EZT) requirement for shared disk in vSAN
It’s easy to see these announcements from VMware and walk away with an impression of a wealth of new product releases and feature updates. While that is definitely the case, it misses the bigger picture. VMware is no longer simply a virtualization company. They have been pursuing a strategy for several years to become a hybrid cloud company centered around developer success and application delivery.
By delivering a complete hybrid cloud stack from the virtualization of compute and storage through vSphere and vSAN, all the way to integrating all components of the portfolio to deliver VMware Cloud Foundation as an application and developer ready cloud, VMware is enabling enterprises to embrace the next generation of applications with as little friction as possible.