Virtualizing the Cloud in the World of Kubernetes with VMware Tanzu Mission Control

October 5, 2021 Ning Ge

Today, infrastructure strategy is mainly driven by the needs of applications. At VMware, we believe that having a multi-cloud strategy is an essential part of cloud infrastructure transformation in the world of modern apps. We are striving to offer the best multi-cloud solutions to help our customers make the most out of the innovations happening across the clouds, in the worlds of both virtual machines and Kubernetes. We are committed to making multi-cloud easy, and believe that customers should not worry about underlying infrastructure while developing, running, operating, and managing any types of applications on top of it.

VMware Tanzu Mission Control is built with this mission in mind—virtualizing the cloud by delivering a consistent Kubernetes-based platform that enables management, operation, and distribution of applications at scale on any cloud. To deliver on this mission, our team has shipped many great features onto the platform since we announced availability back in March 2020. Our platform also gained the trust of hundreds of customers across the globe for building their own multi-cloud Kubernetes platform. 

"VMware Tanzu is the keystone to the microservices hub, one of the key components of our IT modernization project, specifically Tanzu container orchestration for deploying and operating cloud native applications, and Tanzu Mission Control for managing our Kubernetes infrastructure centrally. It’s changing the way we work with the business and IT. We’re increasing productivity, enhancing our skills and development opportunities, and basically doing more with less effort, to a higher quality, and we have the inherent benefit of reuse."

– Mark Leonard, Director of IT, Drax Group

Today, I’m thrilled to share with you several new capabilities and offerings that are being added to Tanzu Mission Control, which I hope will make you as excited as I am about where we are heading with our platform.

Tanzu Mission Control Starter – A multi-cloud Kubernetes management platform at zero cost

We are excited to announce Tanzu Mission Control Starter, a free tier of Tanzu Mission Control, which will give anyone and everyone access to a multi-cloud Kubernetes management plane. 

Tanzu Mission Control Starter will provide its users with a set of core Kubernetes management functionalities such as global visibility and policy control over any conformant Kubernetes clusters anywhere—on-premises, in public clouds, and at the edge. You can either use Tanzu Mission Control Starter to manage your VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters deployed across clouds or attach clusters from other vendors, such as Amazon EKS, Google GKE, or Azure AKS, for centralized management, all at zero cost.

Even better, you can combine Tanzu Mission Control Starter with VMware Tanzu Community Edition, a freely available, community-supported, open source Tanzu software distribution we announced yesterday at DevOps Loop, to get started with running and managing Kubernetes-based containerized applications with Tanzu at no cost. 

To stay updated on features and general availability of Tanzu Mission Control Starter, sign up here.

Support for lifecycle management of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters on Azure

One of the key functional pillars of our platform is Kubernetes cluster lifecycle management. Tanzu Mission Control helps operators minimize the operational toil of provisioning, upgrading, scaling, and deleting Kubernetes clusters by centralizing them onto our platform, where platform operators can manage clusters across clouds or distributions in an easy, repeatable, and scalable way. 

Tanzu Mission Control has supported lifecycle management of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters on AWS, vSphere, and VMware Cloud Foundation, as well as VMware Cloud offerings such as VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware Solutions. Today, we are excited to announce that Tanzu Mission Control now supports lifecycle management of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters on native Azure cloud. Our customers who deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters on Azure Cloud are able to centrally manage the entire lifecycle of the clusters through Tanzu Mission Control UI, API, and CLI. 

Tanzu Mission Control Essentials available in VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC

Today, VMware announced VMware Cloud with Tanzu services, which will offer Tanzu capabilities directly through VMware Cloud offerings. Tanzu services on VMware Cloud will provide customers with a managed Tanzu Kubernetes Grid service, which enables IT operators to provision Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters in VMware vSphere with a few simple clicks via the VMware Cloud Console.

Also included in Tanzu services on VMware Cloud is Tanzu Mission Control Essentials, which is a version of Tanzu Mission Control specifically designed for VMware Cloud offerings. It will provide a set of essential capabilities for multi-cloud, multi-cluster Kubernetes management of any conformant Kubernetes clusters anywhere. Key capabilities will include lifecycle management of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid clusters, ability to group clusters and namespaces for scalable operations, global visibility on clusters and workloads, basic access and security policy management, and more.

More recent features of Tanzu Mission Control 

Expanded data protection. Soon after the availability of Tanzu Mission Control last year, we introduced a data protection feature, which enabled our customers who are running stateful applications on Kubernetes to easily back up and restore their clusters and workloads. We further expanded this feature recently to support more storage options, allowing customers to bring their own self-provisioned AWS S3 bucket or S3-compatible on-prem storage locations, as well as restoring a namespace or resources into a different namespace than where they were backed up originally.

Policy enhancements. One of the key functional pillars of our platform, policy management of Tanzu Mission Control enables enterprise-grade security and governance over multi-cloud Kubernetes. Our recent policy enhancements include adding storage and object limits in quota policies. The policy insights page can now show alerts when resource requests approach or meet quota policy limits.

Proxy support. Users can now manage clusters that run behind a proxy using Tanzu Mission Control. Platform operators can use Tanzu Mission Control’s proxy configuration when performing operations that require communication with clusters that run behind a proxy. 

Improved integration with VMware Tanzu Observability by Wavefront. We enhanced our integration with Tanzu Observability by allowing platform operators to centrally manage and make credentials available for use by the integration, and also to enable the integration at the cluster group level. 

See details about all the recent new features in the release notes.  Learn more about VMware Tanzu Mission Control in general here, or try a Hands-on Lab. Interested in VMware Cloud with Tanzu services? Check out this blog for more details. Attending VMworld? You don’t want to miss this Tanzu Mission Control session, APP1187 Manage Kubernetes Across Multiple Clouds.

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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