Announcing VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4

April 23, 2019 Ning Ge

Editor’s note: VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4 became generally available on April 25, 2019. Go here to read the release notes.

At VMware, our goal is to help you run upstream Kubernetes anywhere. That’s why we’re excited to announce VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4, which ships with upstream Kubernetes 1.13 and include new features to help you get up and running in a production-grade environment faster. VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4 streamlines DevOps workflows and takes advantage of new networking, security, and automation features designed to scale.

We’re also excited to announce a forthcoming beta program of VMware Enterprise PKS, which will feature Kubernetes 1.14 and provide support for Windows Server Containers.

Read on below for some of the highlights of VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4 and more information on our beta program.  

Simplified Installation

Our new installation wizard, currently in beta*, will simplify deployment of VMware Enterprise PKS. A single download of key components in an OVA file and an administrator UI will make installation fast and easy, even in air-gapped environments.

New features such as real-time input validation, auto-population of data from VMware vCenter Server and VMware NSX-T, and automated network deployment are designed to help administrators move faster. In addition, our installation wizard will automatically generate YAML configuration files, and enable importing and exporting for Day-2 configuration updates.

Figure 1: The wizard provides administrators with a clear path through installation.  

 Figure 2: Real-time input validation helps administrators quickly catch issues during configuration.  

Figure 3: Administrators can configure VMware Enterprise PKS with one click.  

Enhanced Security and Networking

On February 26, VMware announced a landmark NSX release: NSX-T 2.4. VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4 includes seamless integration with NSX-T 2.4, which features a UI and APIs for a better developer and operator user experience, increased scalability, and improved high availability, among other features. (To learn more about the new features of NSX-T 2.4, see this recent Network Virtualization blog.)

Enterprise PKS customers will benefit from a threefold increase in pod scalability and high availability from a converged NSX manager appliance design that merges management and central control services on a cluster of nodes.

In addition, by combining NSX-T with VMware vRealize Network Insight integration, VMware Enterprise PKS customers will gain networking visibility down to the application level. In addition to integrating with NSX-T 2.4, we’ve added other key networking and security features, such as per-tenant Domain Name System (DNS) specification for deeper multi-tenancy, and pod security policies and admission customization to give administrators fine-grained security control through native Kubernetes constructs.  

Automation and DevOps Workflows

VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4 brings new capabilities for both developers and operators.

For operators, we’ve increased the number of plans—blueprints for deployment—to improve flexibility with cluster design while retaining the ability to deploy quickly. We've also automated the deployment of cAdvisor, so that operators using VMware vRealize Operations can easily integrate and monitor Kubernetes clusters. And developers can now access their kubeconfig file on-demand, without cluster admin privileges, so that they can unlock cluster resources quickly and start coding.

For a full rundown of the features in VMware Enterprise PKS 1.4, read the release notes.  

Coming Soon: Beta Support for Windows Containers on Kubernetes 1.14

Today, organizations often have fragmented development environments. Some teams may have applications running on Linux, while other teams have applications running on Windows. And every team may be using different tools and processes, making it challenging to standardize operations and help developers move faster.

That’s why VMware is excited to announce a forthcoming beta release* of VMware Enterprise PKS with support for Windows container workloads. Our goal is to enable organizations who have investments in a variety of programming languages and frameworks to use the same set of tools and processes to manage all their applications, regardless of the underlying operating system.

The beta release will incorporate the capabilities of upstream Kubernetes 1.14, the latest release of Kubernetes, which has made Windows container support generally available. With our beta, organizations can start running Windows-based applications on upstream Kubernetes and plan their Windows container strategy.

Interested in participating in the beta program? Sign up now!

Want to learn more about VMware Enterprise PKS and these new features? Visit our website, or read the announcement blog from our partners at Pivotal. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ *There is no commitment or obligation that beta features will become generally available. The Enterprise PKS wizard beta will be listed on vmware.com download page for users to try out in a week or so after 1.4 GA.

About the Author

Ning Ge

Ning currently works as a product line marketing manager in VMware’s Modern Apps Platform business unit, responsible for product marketing for VMware’s Kubernetes portfolio of products and services. Ning has over 8 years’ experience in infrastructure and middleware business with 4 years’ experiences working around container and Kubernetes technologies and products.

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