VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 Enhances Management for Running Production Kubernetes Workloads

November 15, 2019 Ning Ge

We are excited to announce the general availability of VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 today. In this release, we added more enhanced features to bring a much improved management experience to our customers, including the general availability of Enterprise PKS Management Console and integration with VMware Tanzu Mission Control, a single policy and management engine for all Kubernetes clusters across multiple teams and clouds.

This release also ships upstream Kubernetes 1.15 and the latest version of Harbor, together with a rich set of features for improving operational flexibility and observability such as batch upgrade, cluster quota, and support for more log sink types.

General Availability of Enterprise PKS Management Console

Enterprise PKS Management Console* significantly improves the overall Day 1 and Day 2 experience for our customers. It greatly simplifies deployment while providing a rich set of features around visibility, user management, and product lifecycle management, which makes it the go-to tool for deploying and managing VMware Enterprise PKS. Some key features of Enterprise PKS Management Console include:

Day 1: Installation

  • Single OVA download of all required components
  • Wizard-driven installation that guides you through easy steps to install VMware Enterprise PKS
  • Build-in capabilities such as validations, pre-checks, auto-populated fields to improve the installation experience
  • Support for configuring integrations (including VMware vRealize Operations, Wavefront by VMware, Syslog, vRealize Log Insight, and Harbor) with VMware Enterprise PKS

Day 2: Operations

  • Lifecycle management of all VMware Enterprise PKS components (upgrades and patches)
  • User management and role-based access control settings from the graphical user interface so you can view, add, and remove users and groups
  • A single place for viewing all the Kubernetes components as well as the underlying infrastructure
  • Management of configuration changes through the UI as well as the YAML files

Please check below demo which shows the key day 2 features of Enterprise PKS Management Console

Integration with VMware Tanzu Mission Control

At VMworld 2019 US in August, we announced VMware Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services that helps enterprises build, run, and manage applications on Kubernetes. VMware Tanzu Mission Control**, which is part of the Tanzu portfolio, is the single control point for managing your entire Kubernetes footprint across multiple teams and clouds, including Kubernetes clusters deployed by VMware Enterprise PKS.

In this release of VMware Enterprise PKS, we added integration with VMware Tanzu Mission Control to offer our customers a more automated experience when using these two products together. The integration, currently in beta**, can be easily configured in VMware Enterprise PKS. When the integration is enabled, all the existing VMware Enterprise PKS clusters and newly created clusters will be automatically added to Tanzu Mission Control so customers will be able to centrally manage and operate all their Kubernetes clusters — including both VMware Enterprise PKS clusters and clusters that may be running in other environments — from a single point of control.

Upstream Kubernetes 1.15 and Harbor 1.9

One of VMware’s core principles in engineering and delivering Kubernetes solutions is our commitment to supporting and building on open source technologies. VMware Enterprise PKS delivers pure upstream Kubernetes and includes Harbor, the open source container registry that helps secure images with role-based access control, scans images for vulnerabilities, and signs images as trusted.

VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 ships with Kubernetes release 1.15, which passed the Kubernetes conformance test of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Kubernetes 1.15 brings new performance improvements, a gradual increase in the stability of management and bootstrap components, and heightened use of custom resources. To learn more about Kubernetes 1.15, see Performance, Bootstrapping, and CRDs in Kubernetes 1.15.

VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 also ships with Harbor 1.9, which is one of the biggest Harbor releases to date. It is packed with several long-awaited features, such as tag retention and project quotas, webhook notifications, replication targets for the registry services of all the major cloud providers, CVE exception policies, and syslog integration. To learn more, see Harbor 1.9 tackles multi-tenancy with key enterprise features.

More Operational Flexibility

VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 improves operational flexibility. It lets operators upgrade multiple clusters in a batch operation so the upgrade process is more automated. This release also introduces the cluster quota function, which lets operators limit the count of clusters that can be deployed per user to avoid hitting infrastructure limits. To enable more flexible use of the platform, VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 allows operators to grant a new “read-only” role to certain users. With such a role, for example, an auditor can access resources information for chargeback and billing.

Enhanced Administrator Observability

To give administrators more visibility into the platform and its underlying infrastructure, VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 enables users to use a Kubernetes custom resource definition (CRD) to get the health status of networking objects and the CNI plugin of the clusters, and provides an option to turn on logging for the default NSX-T Firewall Deny Rule so the operators will know when packets are dropped or rejected. VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6 now also supports more log sink types — in addition to Telegraf, it supports Splunk and Elasticsearch — and adds a convenient feature to display metrics from workloads in all clusters with a single config.

To learn more about the new features of VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6, read the release notes.

Telemetry Program

Introduced shortly after the last release, the enhanced telemetry program lets our current customers create customized reports based on their VMware Enterprise PKS usage data. For example, users will be able to create reports about their consumption of VMware Enterprise PKS over time, the success/failure ratios and duration of operations, audit records of the container images on Kubernetes clusters, and more. Interested in participating in this program? Check out this blog to learn more.

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

To read Pivotal’s blog on VMware Enterprise PKS 1.6, click here.

* Enterprise PKS Management Console for 1.6 release will be available to all customers shortly after GA.

**VMware Tanzu Mission Control is currently in Tech Preview. Please contact your VMware sales representative if you would like to get early access to VMware Tanzu Mission Control. And please note that there is no commitment or obligation that technical preview or beta features will become generally available.

About the Author

Ning Ge

Ning is a product line marketing manager on the VMware Tanzu team, working on product marketing for VMware’s portfolio of Kubernetes-related products and services. Ning has worked in the cloud native space since 2016, when she joined VMware’s Cloud Native Apps business unit, and she has brought to market multiple Kubernetes products, including VMware PKS, VMware Tanzu Mission Control, and Tanzu Editions.

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