Simplify, Secure, and Optimize your Multi-cloud Container Infrastructure with VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations

March 24, 2022

Ning Ge and Keith Miracle co-wrote this post.

Amidst many social and economic disruptions that have arisen in the last few years, enterprises have been forced to quicken the pace of their digital transformation initiatives, adding and consuming cloud-based capacity and capability just to stay competitive, relevant, and, for some, in business.

At the heart of this new movement is container technology. For an enterprise development team, containers are the simplest and most favored path to modernize and migrate traditional applications to the cloud, as well as to create new cloud native applications. For an operations team, containers are not quite so simple. When running at large scale, complexity prevails, and the operations team is going to need some help. 

This is where Kubernetes comes in. Kubernetes helps to bridge and coordinate developer and operations resources and responsibilities by scheduling and automating the deployment, management, and scaling of containerized applications. We are seeing incredible growth of Kubernetes adoption in recent years. According to the 2021 CNCF annual survey, 96 percent of organizations are either using or evaluating Kubernetes—a record high since this survey began in 2016. 

Along with the fast adoption of Kubernetes, enterprises are quickly moving to a multi-cloud reality due to a variety of reasons, such as avoiding vendor lock-in, minimizing risks, saving on costs, customizing solutions, and meeting the exact needs of developers asking for choices of cloud providers. Today, we are seeing more enterprises running Kubernetes across multiple clouds and/or across multiple vendors or distributions.

However, Kubernetes itself is complex, especially when you are running it in a multi-cloud fashion. More and more enterprises are setting up platform operations teams to provide the right self-service platform for developers.

Introducing VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations

The Cloud-Native Interactive Landscape maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation perfectly illustrates the complexity of the Kubernetes ecosystem. Scores of applications and extensions—some production-ready and others not, some open source and others not—make it a challenge to navigate. It’s no wonder the lack of internal experience and expertise still remains as an enterprise’s biggest challenge when making a Kubernetes distribution choice.

When it comes to Kubernetes, such a busy open source ecosystem and crowded marketplace make it daunting and risky for enterprises to choose the best solution among numerous Kubernetes-related offerings, and it’s even harder to integrate and manage these disparate components across environments. This is one of the reasons why we introduced VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations—an expertly curated stack providing the foundation for platform operations teams to build a modern container infrastructure at scale across multiple clouds. 

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations offers all the core elements needed to:

  • stand up and operate an enterprise-grade Kubernetes-based container infrastructure;

  • simplify container management with tools, automation, and data-driven insights that boost developer productivity;

  • secure applications and data running on your Kubernetes infrastructure;

  • and optimize application and infrastructure performance across all your clouds. 

Our complete solution is backed by unrivaled global support, thereby eliminating not only the confusion and finger-pointing of multiple support touch points, but also the risk of making the wrong core element choices. 

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations has three value pillars as its core: simplify, secure, and optimize. 

Simplify the deployment and operations of a multi-cloud Kubernetes platform

Deploying, operating, and managing a distributed container infrastructure can be complexity-laden, especially as the number of clusters scale across multiple clouds. Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations radically simplifies this by providing a consistent Kubernetes runtime which can be deployed on-premises on vSphere, directly on public clouds such as AWS and Azure, as well as in edge environments. We leverage the leading open source technologies in the Kubernetes ecosystem, such as Cluster API and Harbor registry, to build an enterprise-grade Kubernetes runtime platform for running your most mission-critical applications.

Besides the Kubernetes runtime, Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations also gives you a multi-cloud, centralized Kubernetes management plane to help you simplify the operations and management of all your Kubernetes clusters, no matter where they are running, or which Kubernetes distribution you are using. You can use this central hub to manage things like cluster lifecycle, identity and access, security, network, quota policies, or even data protection. This centralized approach eliminates lots of the hassles of managing many clusters across disparate environments and teams.



Secure Kubernetes infrastructure, applications, and data

Containerized applications bring a new set of security challenges, and as applications and data are increasingly distributed across multiple clouds, traditional perimeter-based security is not able to deliver the fine-grain security and control needed to protect modern application components such as microservices, APIs, and data.

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations addresses security through multiple layers, from image scanning with the built-in container registry, to hardened node images provided as part of the Kubernetes runtime; from consistent security, access, and network policies applied to clusters and/or namespaces at scale via the management hub, to centralized backup and restore of clusters and namespaces; as well as granular connectivity policies applied consistently across environments with the service mesh capability; and more. 

Optimize infrastructure and application performance

The portability, flexibility, and multi-cloud capabilities of containers and Kubernetes have fueled their brisk enterprise adoption, but with it have come new challenges; namely, how to gain the right level of visibility in the stack and ensure that applications and infrastructure are operating at peak performance. 

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations provides full-stack observability for Kubernetes infrastructure and application with a real-time, unified view into the infrastructure, operating systems, and applications of single and multi-cloud environments. It offers operations teams, DevOps teams, and SREs advanced tools and automation that identify bottlenecks, accelerate root-cause analysis, and render the data-driven, actionable insights vital for continuous application and infrastructure optimization.

Containerize your legacy applications and move onto Kubernetes

After successfully establishing a Kubernetes platform, the next step is to move more applications onto it, so that you can start enjoying the benefits brought by Kubernetes, such as flexibility, portability, ease of operations, and reduced software release cycle. To that purpose, Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations also includes an application modernization tool to aid in discovery, analysis, and transformation of legacy applications in virtual machines to containers. With this tool, you can greatly accelerate the journey of moving more applications to Kubernetes.

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations provides platform operations teams with the foundation for building, operating, and managing a modern, Kubernetes-based container infrastructure across multi-cloud. With Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, all your clouds become launchpads for innovation to deliver vital business applications to the right place, at the right time, and at the right scale to accelerate your transformation journey from where you are, to where you want to be.

To learn more about Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, please read this technical overview blog. Also, find more on our website, or test drive it in your own live environment here.

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