VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 Streamlines Kubernetes Orchestration

August 30, 2022 Cindy O'Brien

Kubernetes has become a mainstream technology with a clear trend toward multi-cloud strategies, according to the recent State of Kubernetes 2022 report. Containerized workloads must be able to move easily between on-premises and cloud infrastructures, making it essential to standardize Kubernetes across environments.

Although the benefits Kubernetes provides are apparent, the journey to an efficient strategy can be challenging. In fact, 95 percent of respondents from the report said they had difficulty selecting, deploying, and managing Kubernetes, while 97 percent of respondents said they would pay for the support and services needed for important tools. 

That’s why VMware created a streamlined experience for managing and provisioning the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters. VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes runtime that is engineered to simplify installation and Day 2 operations. The solution packages key open source technologies together for automation tooling that helps teams get up and running quickly. 

At VMware Explore 2022, VMware is introducing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0, designed to help IT teams and developers address the growing complexity of agile development environments. The second edition of VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid adds new flexibility and control for cluster creation, open source API alignment, and improved application lifecycle management.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid also supports smaller cluster sizes of a single control node and a single worker node, available in VMware Edge Compute Stack 2.0, bringing simplicity and scale to the Enterprise Edge.

Here’s an overview of what’s new.

Unified management of containers and clouds with tight VMware vSphere 8 integration

vSphere 8 is the latest generation of VMware's enterprise workload platform designed to bring cloud benefits, supercharge performance, enhance efficiency, and accelerate innovation. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 is tightly integrated with VMware vSphere 8, making it possible for customers to transform their existing virtual compute infrastructure into an enterprise-ready Kubernetes operating model that extends across data centers and clouds.  

The self-service infrastructure that’s available via standard Kubernetes commands and APIs makes it possible to provision Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes.

In the near future, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 should support both Supervisor-based and VM-based management cluster models. On vSphere 8, both Supervisor-based and VM-based models will be supported, and VM-based management clusters will continue to be available on previous versions of vSphere and public clouds. 

Flexibility and control for cluster creation

We’re excited to be implementing ClusterClass and Managed Topologies, a new Cluster API feature that gives customers the flexibility and efficiency they need. This can turn the provisioning, upgrading, and operating of multiple Kubernetes clusters into a simplified, declarative process. The complexities are kept under the hood thanks to a reusable templating system for defining the topology and configuration of the Kubernetes clusters. Operators can define the shape of a cluster once and can reuse it many times with a single place to create, scale, upgrade, and delete clusters.

Platform operators can customize clusters for unique or advanced customer scenarios using collections of cluster and machine templates. Customers can adjust and make patches to these templates to meet their specific needs. 

The declarative API allows for a standardized experience across multiple infrastructure providers. This enables operators to scale out as needed with the same consistent experience across platforms. Cluster API is developed in the open and is constantly being improved by our users, contributors, and maintainers. The intent is to align with the Cluster API community and to stay up to date with features, patching, life and cycle hooks, and beyond. 

Simplified application lifecycle management

Previous application lifecycle tools were known to be monolithic, error-prone, and challenging to debug, which is why Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 is introducing Carvel-based tooling. Carvel provides a set of reliable, single-purpose, composable tools that aid in application building, configuration, and deployment to Kubernetes. The tools can be leveraged on an as-need basis, so customers can use only one preferred tool or all of them.  

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid users will have a simple streamlined workflow for declarative application definition and lifecycle management, allowing them to build on Kubernetes with confidence.  

Open source API alignment

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 is the culmination of tremendous innovation in the Tanzu and Kubernetes communities. It unifies the consumption surfaces of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service (the on-premises deployment model) and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (engineered for multi-cloud deployments), so that both have the same APIs for cluster provisioning, the same tooling for managing packaged services, and the same release distribution model. Standardizing this code infrastructure across deployment models enables VMware development teams to deliver new features and improvements at a faster pace. 

Current Tanzu Kubernetes Grid customers have been benefiting from its common user experience for managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters in the same way, no matter which cloud they run on—vSphere or public. With Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2, the common API and ClusterClass Kubernetes object, as well as the Carvel-based package tooling, continue to deliver an ever more consistent experience across infrastructure providers, whether your applications are running on private cloud, public cloud, or at the edge.  

Enterprise-ready Kubernetes with operational efficiency

VMware is committed to bringing customers an enterprise-ready Kubernetes runtime that truly simplifies the Kubernetes experience from start to finish. This second edition of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid enables customers to operate efficiently while determining their own parameters and incorporating customizations that fit their unique business needs.  

The alignment VMware has with upstream Kubernetes distributions and industry-leading open source technologies ensures customers will benefit from the innovation and speed of the global Kubernetes community. VMware engineers contribute to and even drive the development of many of the open source Kubernetes tools that Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and other industry products leverage. Customers can trust that Tanzu Kubernetes Grid will always be at the forefront of innovation by solving customer needs.  

Cloud native technologies are the default for new applications, with containers being deployed increasingly on-premises, in public clouds, and at the edge. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 is a solution that customers can trust for standardization of Kubernetes across their environments.

Read about all of the VMware Tanzu announcements made at VMware Explore 2022.

About the Author

Cindy O'Brien

Cindy O’Brien is a senior product marketing manager on the VMware Tanzu team, supporting Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated version. She has a degree in international business and economics as well as marketing. She’s passionate about community building, self-development, and traveling.

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