What’s in a Name? How Pivotal’s Products Are Being Renamed as Part of VMware Tanzu

March 12, 2020 Dan Baskette

As of April 21. 2020, VMware Enterprise PKS is now called VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition.

At VMworld 2019 in Las Vegas, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and the team detailed their plans to build out a robust product portfolio known as VMware Tanzu, which has a lofty goal of transforming the way the world builds software on Kubernetes. It includes a healthy mix of new and existing products and is already well on the way to achieving that goal.

VMware Tanzu is unique in that it is powered by open-source software and designed to work on VMware or any IaaS stack. You can use it to develop great software and deploy that code to a consistent Kubernetes environment across multiple cloud providers. And because VMware is focusing on both the developer and the operational experiences, Tanzu provides your teams with the best way to deploy, manage, and run Kubernetes while also being the best way to deploy, manage, and run your applications.

The products VMware acquired from Pivotal fit nicely into the Tanzu portfolio. They include purpose-built tools that enable developers to boost feature velocity and help operation teams deliver world-class uptime. 

The Pivotal Platform was an umbrella identifier covering many of the Pivotal products. With the VMware acquisition, that umbrella identifier is being retired and the Pivotal products themselves are joining these other products in the new VMware Tanzu portfolio. These products work together to help you get value to production faster, and operate your platforms better.

Let's take a quick look at some of these products and how their names are changing to better align with the VMware Tanzu goals.

Pivotal Application Service => VMware Tanzu Application Service for VMs or VMware Tanzu Application Service for Kubernetes

The phrase “cf push” has become an industry-specific term describing a powerful yet simple development experience that frees a developer to focus only on writing code. In the meantime, the “cf push” experience continues to evolve and, as announced last summer, will also be expanded to Kubernetes. As a result, the Pivotal Application Service gets a name change and adds a new qualifier depending on how it’s deployed.

VMware Tanzu Application Service (TAS) for VMs is the industry-leading app platform deployed by many of the largest companies in the world. VMware’s goal is to add a robust set of new features and feature enhancements to the product and continue its lifecycle well into the future. What does that mean? It means customers choosing the BOSH-based version of TAS are selecting an established, supported, innovative product that will accelerate your teams for years to come. This version has incredible support for traditional Linux workloads but particularly shines in its support of Windows and .NET, an area where Kubernetes has a lot of work left to do.

VMware Tanzu Application Service (TAS) for Kubernetes is an upcoming version of the traditional PAS platform. Interestingly, "for Kubernetes" has two meanings with this new version.

The first refers to the fact that the foundation or the platform infrastructure itself runs on a Kubernetes cluster. This is a significant change. The infrastructure for a traditional PAS deployment consists of 10s of VMs and, in smaller deployments, made the management infrastructure overshadow the actual workload infrastructure. There is a small-footprint version that addresses this issue, but it introduced some limitations that customers weren't always comfortable with. This new version containerizes all those management infrastructure VMs so they can be run inside a Kubernetes cluster. This means that a full-featured Tanzu Application Service can run on far fewer resources than before.

The second refers to the fact that the workload scheduler within traditional PAS, Diego, has been replaced with Kubernetes. In TAS for Kubernetes, the infrastructure and user workloads can share a Kubernetes cluster. This change allows VMware to tap into a rapidly expanding market around Kubernetes and its related tools to replace pieces of the functionality within TAS for Kubernetes with a de facto-standard OSS offering. This means that the VMware engineering team can spend more time solving higher-level challenges that enterprises face in helping developers get to production as fast as possible.

Pivotal Build Service => VMware Tanzu Build Service

VMware Tanzu Build Service is currently in beta, where it has been undergoing changes based on great customer feedback. Build Service is the commercial offering based on kpack, a Kubernetes-native OCI image build service. Build Service removes the toil of building and supporting Dockerfile-based images by monitoring your code repositories and building container images based on updates to your code. Those new images are then automatically pushed to your container registry, where they can be accessed for testing or production rollouts. This technology will be at the heart of Tanzu Application Service, but Tanzu Build Service enables its use for all container-based environments.  

Pivotal Container Service (PKS) => VMware Enterprise PKS

In the world of Kubernetes, this product was where the Pivotal and VMware relationship began. This name change is just a retirement of the Pivotal version. PKS is a BOSH-based Kubernetes deployment and management tool that makes it easy to support multiple clusters (including Windows!). PKS continues to be enhanced and is an important member of the product family, and BOSH remains the gold standard for working with immutable infrastructure. For customers that want a consistent Kubernetes experience across IaaS providers, PKS is the fastest path to production.

VMware Wavefront -> VMware Tanzu Observability by Wavefront

Monitoring and observability are sometimes used interchangeably, but in the enterprise, there is a pretty distinct difference. Monitoring is typically aimed at capturing and reporting specific metrics, while observability is the ability to see everything and ask open-ended questions about why things are happening within an environment. From the hardware stack to application metrics, ensuring they are all visible in relation to one another is the only way to truly optimize systems. With that in mind, VMware Wavefront is being renamed VMware Tanzu Observability to better represent the value it brings to modern software environments. Tanzu Observability is a cloud-native enterprise observability platform built from the ground up to support the needs of modern cloud applications at scale. 

As you can see, while the names of the Pivotal core product set have changed, the goal of making the life of operations managers and developers easier has not. By bringing the products under the umbrella of VMware and fully integrating the two respective engineering teams, the development of the products has accelerated, opening up new opportunities for customers to experience their value.

If you want more information, please watch this webinar, which walks you through these important product naming changes in further detail.

Also, contact your local sales teams about joining the beta programs for VMware Tanzu Application Service for Kubernetes and Tanzu Build Service.

About the Author

Dan Baskette

Dan is Director of Technical Marketing at Pivotal with over 20 years of experience in various pre-sales and engineering roles with Sun Microsystems, EMC Corporation, and Pivotal Software. In addition to his technical marketing duties, Dan is frequently called upon to roll-up his sleeves for various "Will this work?" type projects. Dan is an avid collector of Marvel Comics gear and you can usually find him wearing a Marvel shirt. In his spare time, Dan enjoys playing tennis and hiking in the Smoky Mountains.

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