Start Your (Kubernetes) Engines: VMware PKS Competency Goes Live

February 11, 2019 Dormain Drewitz

VMware launched their PKS competency for VMware partners today. They announced these plans in November 2018, and have been working with partners for months to develop the program.

As I noted back in November, this is a milestone moment. And now it's here! VMware partners can begin taking courses to earn this competency.

This post will summarize the VMware PKS competency, what it means for vSphere users, and what it means for Pivotal partners.


What is the VMware PKS competency?

Few would argue that there is growing demand for Kubernetes (K8s) in the enterprise. That demand has created a large opportunity for VMware partners to satisfy. The VMware PKS competency is a key building block towards building a Kubernetes practice.

In VMware's words: "This new solution competency is designed to help VMware partners extend their infrastructure modernization practices with new Kubernetes-based solutions and revenue streams."

To achieve this competency, VMware partners will need to complete courses and exams. These cover how to install, configure, and manage PKS, as well as one of two networking components. VMware partners will also need to complete sales and technical sales training.

With this competency, VMware partners will be able to resell PKS as of early March 2019. They’ll also have access to a wide range of sales, services, and marketing benefits.


What does this mean for vSphere users?

This is good news.  

First, this gives vSphere users an answer to developers who've been asking for Kubernetes. Maybe they've been asking you directly. Or maybe they've been playing around with it, shadow IT-style, and you’ll only find out about it once something breaks. Or they’re several versions behind. Or they need to patch for that CVE.

Okay, technically PKS is your answer to those questions. With PKS, you can deploy, scale, patch, and upgrade all your Kubernetes clusters without downtime. But the question then is: how do you get PKS installed, configured, and managed? We all know that partners with these skills and other value-add services go a long way toward making infrastructure modernization dreams come true. This competency means your trusted VMware partner has access to training to do just that.

Second, this builds on your existing investment in vSphere. When a new technology like Kubernetes comes along, it's easy to throw up your hands and say, "Here we go again!" It's daunting to imagine the amount of work and steep learning curve needed to support a new layer of infrastructure.

But in this case, we've made it work seamlessly with your existing vSphere environment. In fact, virtual machines provide the isolation underpinnings to running containers (and k8s) securely. And now, with this competency formalized, partners will be ready to help you make the most of your vSphere investment. For the customers and partners that have made investments in the VMware stack—like NSX, vRealize, Wavefront, and VMware Cloud Foundation—PKS deeply integrates and leverages those investments.

PKS is enterprise-ready Kubernetes that tightly integrates with what you have and what you know: vSphere and the rest of the VMware stack. Going to the cloud? Good. PKS also runs on the public clouds of your choice, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Ask your VMware solution provider about their plans to get their VMware PKS competency.


What does this mean for Pivotal partners?

Some Pivotal partners are also VMware partners. For those folks, this competency is a way to get access to more training, more resources, and the ability to sell PKS. Having the competency also distinguishes their practice. It validates that they can deliver infrastructure modernization services that extend to Kubernetes. Pivotal partners who are already VMware partners and have an infrastructure focus should absolutely pursue this competency.

Many Pivotal partners are not VMware partners. This is usually because these partners are more focused on developers and applications. Pivotal partners that are not infrastructure-focused do not need to become VMware partners and gain this competency. The good news for those partners, however, is that there is now a broader community out there working to expose a more developer-ready abstraction.

Enterprises adopting PKS will need help building applications, process, and pipelines to containerize applications and deciding what to refactor. If you’re a consultancy focused on app development, come learn how Pivotal partners differently. If you want to know what we’re doing about developer value on top of Kubernetes with PFS, Spring, and Buildpacks, we’d love to talk to you. The Pivotal Ready Partner Program is here to help you differentiate your practice with our immersive Platform Acceleration Lab (PAL) and Pivotal Developer Certification.


Learn more

Webinar: 6 Things You Need to Know to Safely Run Kubernetes

Watch: How T-Mobile Built and Scaled Kubernetes On-Prem for the 2018 Retail Season

Blog: How Fast Are We Going Now: PKS Ecosystem at KubeCon 2018

About the Author

Dormain Drewitz

Dormain leads Product Marketing and Content Strategy for VMware Tanzu. Before VMware she was Senior Director of Pivotal Platform Ecosystem, including RabbitMQ, and Customer Marketing. Previously, she was Director of Product Marketing for Mobile and Pivotal Data Suite. Prior to Pivotal, she was Director of Platform Marketing at Riverbed Technology. Prior to Riverbed, she spent over 5 years as a technology investment analyst, closely following enterprise infrastructure software companies and industry trends. Dormain holds a B. A. in History from the University of California at Los Angeles.

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