VMware Embraces Kubernetes for App Modernization

Following up on their stated directions from VMworld 2019, on March 10th 2020, VMware made a number of announcements around their latest improvements to support Kubernetes for application modernization. Applications are core to today’s successful digital transformation efforts. All types of businesses are in the process of modernizing their applications to embrace cloud environments, enable faster development and become more flexible and competitive.

Like many businesses today, VMware has embraced Kubernetes as a path forward to rearchitect modern apps and extend infrastructure and app management across the data center, edge and cloud. Some of VMware’s most important announcements were about updating vSphere to natively support Kubernetes as well as rolling out their new VMware Tanzu platform. VMware Tanzu is a collection of products and services that enable businesses to provide cross-platform support for Kubernetes and modern applications. In case you were wondering about the name, Tanzu is Swahili for a branch. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, explained that the new Tanzu platform represents a new branch in a growing family of solutions. VMware’s most important announcements included:

  • VMware vSphere 7 – Initially previewed at VMworld 2019 as Project Pacific, Ray O’Farrell VMware Executive Vice President and General Manager characterized the new vSphere 7 release as the biggest evolution of vSphere in a decade. VMware rearchitected vSphere to add native support for Kubernetes with the goal of supporting all applications including modern and traditional applications using any combination of VMs, containers and Kubernetes with the same experiences and capabilities for both on-premise and the cloud.
  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – The new Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is a cloud-neutral Kubernetes runtime that enables businesses to run and manage Kubernetes clusters across all types of environments including on-premise data centers and multiple clouds.
  • VMware Tanzu Mission Control — Designed as a centralized management platform for consistently operating and securing Kubernetes applications across multiple clouds, Tanzu Mission Control provides single control point for provisioning new clusters and attaching existing clusters running in multiple environments—including vSphere, VMC, public clouds, and managed Kubernetes services. It enables you to set policies for access, backup, networking and enforce configuration rules across clusters in multiple clouds.
  • VMware Tanzu Application Catalog — To enable faster and more secure application development, Tanzu Application Catalog provides developers with a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami catalog enabling them to easily include pre-packaged IT approved apps and components in their applications.
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu – The new release of VMware Cloud Foundation 4 provides hybrid and multi cloud infrastructure management for both VM-based and container-based applications across heterogeneous clouds including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, Oracle, Rackspace, and IBM as well as VMware Cloud Verified partners. Cloud Foundation enables you to manage software-defined compute, storage and network resources for containers and VM workloads. The new vSphere 7 with Kubernetes will only be available through VMware Cloud Foundation 4. VMware Cloud Foundation 4 includes the new vSAN 7 release which now provides storage virtualization including File Services, Cloud Native Storage and support for key storage API objects within Kubernetes. It also includes the new release of vRealize 8.1 which provides improved support for operations, automation and network analytics.

VMware has also moved to integrate their recent Pivotal acquisition by rebranding Pivotal Application Service to the Tanzu Application Service.

Kubernetes and the multi/hybrid cloud world

VMware has been rapidly moving forward as a multi-cloud management platform and their new application modernization announcements show that VMware is betting heavily on Kubernetes as the application platform of the future. You can watch VMware’s recent announcements at App Modernization in a Multi-Cloud World.