At VMware 2019, VMware Tanzu was perhaps one of the coolest announcements. VMware is struggling as next-generation application architectures are moving to containers, specifically Kubernetes. If you are a purveyor of virtual machines and virtual machine management, the market moving to containers is not a trend you can ignore. VMware Tanzu is one of the company’s efforts to remain relevant as the next-generations of applications move to containers.
VMware Tanzu Kubernetes
The quick view of VMware Tanzu is that the company is trying to make it easier to operate Kubernetes across different clouds. This goes just beyond being able to deploy Kubernetes containers across clouds and instead is focusing on deploying a complete end-to-end stack that allows organizations to manage operations. This vision has a number of components.
First, VMware made waves with its announcement to acquire Pivotal. Bitnami and Pivotal will be the backbone of providing developer services for Kubernetes in VMware Tanzu.
While VMware is starting with developers, but it is focused on deployment and operations. It wants to be the solution for enterprise Kubernetes.
Project Pacific is the answer. VMware is integrating Kubernetes support to VMware vSphere.
For any of our readers who are not familiar, vSphere is the foundational operational component of the VMware ecosystem. By integrating Kubernetes into VMware vSphere, the company is saying that it is bringing containers to VMware as a first-class citizen.
This is a big deal. If you are a VMware shop, and you need to run Kubernetes for your future IT needs, that previously created a conflict. You would have needed two management suites. Instead, VMware integrating its multi-cloud Kubernetes support into vSphere makes spinning up a Kubernetes program easier.
VMware even said that Project Pacific is faster than Linux VMs and even bare metal. The company did not have a disclaimer with how those figures were derived so we could not evaluate that claim. While VMware was quick to deride Linux VMs on stage, Linux VMs won the virtualization war and now are the most deployed where that was a claim VMware could have made years ago.
The VMware Tanzu Mission Control is the multi-cloud or “cloud-neutral” control solution.
VMware sees Mission Control as what will provide enterprises with visibility and control over all their Kubernetes clusters in any hardware ecosystem. That includes on-prem vSphere, public cloud, and even DIY Kubernetes. Tanzu Mission Control will offer a wide set of capabilities powered by VMware’s extended product portfolio and by open source projects, including:
- Administrator visibility of all Kubernetes clusters
- Operator control of policy
- Developer independence
Overall, this is something that VMware needed to do. VMware PKS may be the onramp, but it needs to assure its customers that it will go beyond on-prem virtual machines and help them to more modern architecture. VMware Tanzu gives IT organizations the ability to manage both virtual machines across on-prem and multiple clouds, but also next-generation Kubernetes. With VMware customers who will spin up new Kubernetes operations with the announcement, this is a big deal. It will increase investment in Kubernetes and bring another group to the more modern infrastructure. Great job by the VMware team listening to its customers and bringing Tanzu to market.