Announcing VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7: New Capabilities to Support Enterprises Running Kubernetes in Production

April 21, 2020 Donna Lee

We’re excited to announce the release of VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (formerly Enterprise PKS) 1.7 with support for Kubernetes 1.16.7. This release highlights our continued investment in a production-ready container platform that provides the best experience for customers who want to run containerized workloads.  

Today’s launch comes on the heels of an even broader set of releases. A couple of weeks ago, we made generally available central elements of the VMware Tanzu portfolio (and a little product called vSphere 7 with Kubernetes). You can read more about that news via our blog.  

But in this post, we'll focus on some of the key capabilities offered in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7 that further support customers with production readiness. 

Supporting customization with Kubernetes profiles 

In order to move into production, enterprises often need to satisfy specific security and configuration requirements. With Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7, customers can now create Kubernetes profiles, which enables them to customize Kubernetes clusters to meet the needs of particular workloads.  

For example, with the introduction of Kubernetes profiles, customers can now encrypt secrets in etcd and specify service node port ranges. Additionally, service providers and other customers with multitenant environments can now specify different OpenID Connect endpoints, so that each tenant can have their own identity provider (IDP).  

A multitenant architecture with unique IDPs 

For customers who may have more unique customization needs, we’ve rolled out additional customizations of the API server, kubelet, and controller manager. These are included in an experimental section within the Kubernetes profile that makes it easy for customers to try these customizations and reach out with feedback and questions.   

Creating a customized Kubernetes profile in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7 

Enhancing cloud-native storage options 

The Kubernetes community has shifted toward supporting out-of-tree cloud providers to enable more extensibility and flexibility with cloud provider plug-ins. In alignment with the community, we’ve updated Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition with this release to support the Cloud Native Storage (CNS) out-of-tree plug-in for vSphere.  

For Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition customers, this means that you can expect more features and capabilities for container storage as we continue to add more value to this plug-in.  

Adding resiliency with vSphere stretched clusters and new disaster recovery features 

Customers can now deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition on vSphere stretched clusters for greater resiliency. These clusters can be “stretched” across multiple data centers so that, if a disaster scenario affects one data center, business can continue to run as usual with data protection and redundancy in the other.   

Topology for a stretched vSphere cluster  

Additionally, we’re investing heavily in the following further disaster recovery measures to help our customers proactively protect against data loss and keep business moving forward in the event of a disaster scenario: 

Multi-node support for the control plane – Customers can now run the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition control plane (including the API server, MySQL database backend, and UAA—User Account and Authentication) in a multi-node manner for high availability. Among other benefits, this capability enables continuous availability during control plane upgrades; developers can self-authenticate via UAA to a different instance of the control plane to avoid any productivity loss. This feature is currently in beta.     

Backup and recovery of the control plane and Kubernetes clusters with NSX-T – Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition customers have always been able to deploy Flannel as their CNI and backup and recovery solution. Now, they can also use NSX-T for backup and recovery.   

Boosting operational efficiency 

Enabling resource tracking with IaaS tags – Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7 now enables resource tracking on an IaaS level. Customers can assign IaaS tags to cluster nodes so that operators can better track cost, usage, performance, and more. This feature is currently supported on vSphere and Azure.   

Enabling resource tracking with IaaS tags 

Automating multi-cluster lifecycle management – With the introduction of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition Management Console, we provided customers with an easy-to-use GUI for rapid installation and then configuration of their NSX-T integration. Now, as a next step, we’ve made it easier for customers to deploy Kubernetes clusters and automate Day 2 operations when deploying Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition on vSphere—including scaling, upgrading, and deleting clusters—as well as using existing network and Kubernetes profiles when creating those clusters.  

Supporting VMware Tanzu interoperability 

In addition to running on the same, upstream-aligned Kubernetes distribution as VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid—benefiting customers who may want to take advantage of vSphere 7 with Kubernetes—Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition integrates with the following VMware Tanzu solutions announced earlier this month:  

Auto-attachment to Tanzu Mission Control – Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) provides centralized management for Kubernetes across multiple clouds and clusters. Customers can also benefit from the auto-attachment of provisioned clusters in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition to TMC for streamlined observability, management, and policy-based governance of their cluster fleet. This auto-attach functionality is currently in beta*.  

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition clusters auto-attach to Tanzu Mission Control for centralized observability and governance 

VMware Tanzu Service Mesh integration – Customers seeking to deploy an Istio-based service mesh in multiple clusters and manage service mesh visibility and governance across their cluster fleet can take advantage of integration with Tanzu Service Mesh, built by NSX.  

Investing in Windows container support  

As support for Windows containers continues to mature in the Kubernetes community—it’s now a GA feature—we’re investing more deeply in it so as to help customers seeking to containerize .NET applications and deploy and manage clusters running both Windows- and Linux-based applications. Customers can now start deploying Windows containers on Kubernetes using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition.  

If you’re ready to start testing out Windows containers on Kubernetes, reach out to your VMware account manager today to join our beta program.   

Want to explore the new features of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition? Try our Hands-on Lab or contact your VMware account manager.    

* There is no commitment or obligation that beta features will become generally available 

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About the Author

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

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