Paddle Upstream Faster with VMware Essential PKS 1.15 and Support for Harbor

July 26, 2019 Donna Lee

We are excited to announce today the general availability of VMware Essential PKS 1.15, aligned with the latest upstream Kubernetes 1.15.1, which was released last week. With this release of VMware Essential PKS, we are pleased to introduce Harbor, an open source container registry, to the support matrix. VMware Essential PKS customers can now receive proactive, 24x7 SLA-driven support for Harbor as well as advisory support on how to maximize the capabilities of Harbor.

Kubernetes 1.15 with increased performance and stability

VMware Essential PKS includes signed upstream Kubernetes binaries—when a new Kubernetes version is released, VMware works with the open source community to build and test the version upstream. This release of VMware Essential PKS includes the latest upstream Kubernetes 1.15.1.

Kubernetes 1.15 introduced many performance improvements such as increased stability of management and bootstrap components, and heightened use of custom resources. The focus on performance and stability in this release reflects a devotion to the enterprise-level use cases for production workloads.

To learn more about Kubernetes 1.15 and the improvements in it, read this blog written by Kubernetes 1.15 enhancements lead Kendrick Coleman.

Enterprise support for Harbor

VMware Essential PKS 1.15 adds support for the latest release of Harbor--version 1.8.1. You now have the option to use Harbor as your preferred container registry and receive production-level break-fix and advisory support for Harbor. This means that the Customer Reliability Engineering (CRE) team at VMware will provide advisory support on how to best take advantage of Harbor in your environment, and also troubleshoot and help fix problems with using Harbor.

A Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) incubating project, Harbor is an open source cloud native registry that delivers trust, compliance, performance, and interoperability. As a private on-premises registry, Harbor fills a gap for organizations that cannot use a public registry or want a consistent experience across clouds. Some of the key features of Harbor include:

  • Multi-tenant content signing and validation
  • Security and vulnerability analysis
  • Identity integration and role-based access control
  • Image replication
  • Extensible API and graphical user interface

Harbor is widely adopted by numerous users around the world such as Trend Micro, China Mobile, and With the addition of Harbor, VMware now offers enterprise support for five open source projects in the cloud native ecosystem with Essential PKS; the other four are Kubernetes, Velero, Sonobuoy, and Contour. Harbor originated at VMware in 2016 and was contributed to the CNCF in 2018. 

Customizing Kubernetes for your needs with VMware Essential PKS

VMware Essential PKS offers a modular approach to cloud native operations. It includes signed upstream Kubernetes binaries and reference architectures for design decisions. It is backed by expert support from our CRE team, Kubernetes Instruction Team (KIT), and Kubernetes Architecture Team (KAT).

With VMware Essential PKS, you are able to tap into the proactive, 24x7 SLA-driven support provided by the CRE team for upstream Kubernetes and related open-source tools. The team provides upgrade planning, advice on the adoption and maintenance of cloud native tooling, and break-fix support.

The KIT and KAT teams provide training and consulting, respectively. The KIT team collaborates with customers to plan courses that build cloud native expertise. The KAT team works with customers to provide hands-on technical expertise. It serves as pseudo-members of the customer team to help design a cloud native architecture using open source tools and applied knowledge. The architects have an impressive list of happy customers, most recently including a leading U.S. bank and one of the largest fast food chains in the world.

By using VMware Essential PKS, you can now start taking advantage of the enhanced stability and performance features of Kubernetes 1.15 as well as support for Harbor. Download VMware Essential PKS 1.15 here.

For more information about VMware Essential PKS, visit our website.

About the Author

Donna is a product marketing manager for the cloud native applications business unit at VMware.

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