VMware Tanzu Brings the Magic of CF Push to Kubernetes

July 16, 2019 Eric Malm

Kubernetes is coming to the most popular enterprise application platform.

Today, Pivotal released an alpha version of its flagship product, Pivotal Application Service, powered by Kubernetes. Access to the bits are invite-only; contact your account team or sign up via the form at the end of this post for access. The documentation is publicly available here.

Kubernetes is the new IaaS. And that means we're embedding it into more parts of Pivotal technology. It also means that we're here to help you achieve terrific business outcomes on top of this foundation.


The Adoption of Kubernetes is the Latest Evolution of PAS 

For years, the world’s largest organizations have trusted Pivotal Application Service to run their most important workloads. During that time, Pivotal and others thoughtfully improved the product as open-source tech evolved and changed.

For example, PAS now supports TCP routes, NFS, Windows workloads, and Docker images. It integrates open source like runC, the Open Service Broker, the Container Network Interface and Envoy. PAS has also changed orchestrators and network stacks without breaking the user experience. Through it all, adopters of PAS weren’t disrupted—the platform and the magical `cf push` command “just worked.”

This evolution to Kubernetes as the underlying container orchestration is the latest incarnation of PAS. It certainly won’t be the last!

Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the alpha release.


PAS on Kubernetes: A First Look 

As the name implies, PAS on Kubernetes aims to bring the development experience of PAS on top of Kubernetes. The alpha release is a proof-of-concept that supports the most important features of PAS, such as `cf push` for many buildpack-based apps, while running PAS app instances on Kubernetes. This graphic sums up what’s in the alpha.

PAS on Kubernetes is packaged as a tile for Ops Manager, and uses BOSH to deploy its system components. It requires vSphere, NSX-T, and Enterprise PKS. 


The alpha release features:

  • App instances running as Kubernetes pods. The new system components in PAS on Kubernetes translate the app bits and configuration into an OCI container image and Kubernetes pod specification. The platform then submits the resulting image and specification to the Kubernetes cluster configured in the tile. From there, Kubernetes proceeds to run the app instances as pods.  

  • HTTP routing to app instances. PAS on Kubernetes handles routing of user requests for your running apps. The tile registers the aforementioned app-instance pods with the scalable, feature-rich HTTP Gorouter from PAS. (Connectivity from the Gorouter to the pods currently relies on NSX-T and its integration with Enterprise PKS.) 

  • Log streams from app instances. Now that your app instances are running and handling traffic, you want to monitor them. PAS on Kubernetes directs the logs from those app instance pods to Loggregator. This system will be familiar to long-time Pivotal customers. It offers you the same convenient, aggregated view of app logs.

  • Scaling to at least 50 app instances. Once you `cf push` an app, it's hard to stop at just one workload! PAS on Kubernetes can handle a large enough set of apps for a meaningful trial run. Just note that we're still hashing out how to best scale these new components and integrations.

This handy demo video gives you a feel for the developer experience.


One last note: PAS on Kubernetes is based on Small Footprint PAS, a lean-and-mean version of PAS. 

The alpha release is a great milestone towards our evolution where Kubernetes is the infrastructure layer running all kinds of workloads.


PAS on Kubernetes: What’s Next

While we've focused on delivering the core features of the PAS developer experience in this first alpha release of PAS on Kubernetes, there's plenty of work to do before this evolution of PAS is ready for prime time. Here are some areas that we're exploring next:

  • Support for more clouds. We know that PCF, PAS, and PKS run great on any cloud. We intend the same for PAS on Kubernetes. We also plan to support other Kubernetes services, such as AKS on Microsoft Azure, GKE on Google Cloud Platform, and EKS on Amazon Web Services.

  • Ensure app uptime during platform upgrades. PAS keeps your apps running and routable regardless of what's happening underneath with the platform. We intend the same for PAS on Kubernetes. The new Kubernetes-based service should maintain app uptime during platform upgrades.

  • Observability for the new components and integrations. As a platform team, you want to understand what's happening in your platform stack. We want to make sure you can inspect and troubleshoot the new components we're adding to PAS. With these capabilities, you would be able to interpret the data and metrics you get from the underlying Kubernetes cluster in a context that's meaningful.

  • Deployment alongside PAS. We want to make it easy for platform teams to try out PAS on Kubernetes in their existing environments. In a future release, we intend to enable you to move apps back and forth as seamlessly as possible. 

One thing hasn’t changed: we remain laser-focused on supporting your apps in production, on whatever cloud you choose.


The Next Step in the Evolution of PAS—Join Us!

PAS customers who have already built robust platform engineering practices can get early access to the alpha tile, and test it in a platform sandbox. This is a great way to build a close partnership with Pivotal R+D. Contact your Balanced Account Team to find out more about PAS on Kubernetes!


Want to Learn Even More? 


This blog contains statements relating to Pivotal’s expectations, projections, beliefs, and prospects which are "forward-looking statements” and by their nature are uncertain. Words such as "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "expect," "plans," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of many factors. All information set forth in this blog is current as of the date of this blog. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties, risks, assumptions, and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks disclosed previously and from time to time by us. Additional information we disclose could cause actual results to vary from expectations. Pivotal disclaims any obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time except as required by law.


This blog also contains statements which are intended to outline the general direction of certain of Pivotal's offerings. It is intended for information purposes only and may not be incorporated into any contract.  Any information regarding the pre-release of Pivotal offerings, future updates or other planned modifications is subject to ongoing evaluation by Pivotal and is subject to change. All software releases are on an “if and when available” basis and are subject to change. This information is provided without warranty or any kind, express or implied, and is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions regarding Pivotal's offerings. Any purchasing decisions should only be based on features currently available.  The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Pivotal's offerings in this blog remain at the sole discretion of Pivotal. Pivotal has no obligation to update forward-looking information in this blog.


Kubernetes is either a registered trademark or trademark of The Linux Foundation in the United States and/or other countries. 


About the Author

Eric Malm

Eric joined Pivotal in 2013 and currently works as a Staff Software Engineer.

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