Consistency Makes the Tanzu Difference

April 14, 2020 Dormain Drewitz

Modernizing applications feels like an overwhelming job. Maintaining dev and prod environment parity seems a Sisyphean task. Container builds vary wildly, creating snowflakes with every sprint. Even new, promising runtimes that come along face fragmentation as different teams adopt different versions. With a consistent approach, however, the layers between infrastructure and application code become manageable.

Today, VMware is announcing important milestones for key products in the VMware Tanzu portfolio, which brings consistency to building, running, and managing code. VMware is the only company that addresses the challenges of application modernization from both the application and the infrastructure perspective.

From the application perspective, VMware Tanzu has reached the following milestones designed to accelerate developer velocity: 

  • VMware Tanzu Application Service 2.9 is now generally available

  • VMware Tanzu Application Service on Kubernetes is now in beta*

  • VMware Tanzu Build Service is now in beta*

From the infrastructure perspective, VMware Tanzu is furthering the ways it brings stability and consistency across environments with these milestones: 

  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (formerly known as VMware Enterprise PKS) 1.7 is now generally available

  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is now generally available

This combination of milestones reflects VMware Tanzu's vision to support app modernization today and into the future. VMware also announced general availability of VMware Cloud Foundations 4.0, including vSphere 7 with Kubernetes, which is enabled by VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. 

At VMware, we recognize there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to app modernization. In fact, 80 percent of executives find that matching the best platform to each application is very or extremely challenging, according to a March 2020 Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper commissioned by VMware, in which Forrester Consulting surveyed more than 600 global enterprise CIOs and SVPs of IT to learn how their application portfolios are impacting customer experience and revenue goals, “Improving Customer Experience And Revenue Starts With The App Portfolio.” But while we live in a multiplatform world, it doesn't have to paralyze our ability to modernize and run applications in our cloud of choice. The breadth of the VMware Tanzu portfolio simplifies running any application, on any cloud, by providing consistency.

Let's learn what's new from VMware Tanzu in the context of providing consistency for applications, build processes, and infrastructure.

VMware Tanzu Application Service: The consistent developer experience

There are tools and there are outcomes. VMware Tanzu Application Service is an application platform designed for a specific outcome: getting code to production faster. It brings together many technologies to simplify the complexity of delivering code in a consistent way, making it a foundation for a highly productive developer experience.

According to a Total Economic Impact™ study we commissioned from Forrester Consulting, Tanzu Application Service delivers a three-year ROI of 142 percent. This ROI is based on the amount of time developers spend building and debugging environments being reduced by 5x, along with shorter release cycle times for revenue-generating applications, reduced downtime, automated patching, and the retirement of legacy infrastructure. 

With hundreds of thousands of containers in production, Tanzu Application Service 2.9 is a proven solution for developer productivity and operational efficiency. Tanzu Application Service 2.9 continues to expand the number of workloads—like certain .NET and “chatty” applications—that run on the platform. This new version is now available to download and install, and remains the proven holistic solution for companies seeking ways to accelerate getting code into production.

VMware Tanzu Application Service for Kubernetes retains the familiar developer experience of Cloud Foundry, “cf push,” combining the leading developer API with cutting-edge infrastructure. From an outcomes perspective, the goal of enhancing speed with simultaneous stability, scalability, and security improvements remains unchanged. The difference is how the goal is achieved. 

With Kubernetes under the covers, the beta* integrates elements of Cloud Foundry, Istio, and Envoy into a single package that installs in less than 10 minutes. Tanzu Application Service for Kubernetes also introduces more flexibility as to where you can run Tanzu Application Service with a smaller footprint. This small footprint means you can try the beta on your favorite local K8s dev environment. It also opens new possibilities for Tanzu Application Service in edge locations, so you can run apps closer to your customers. 

Get started with VMware Tanzu Application Service 2.9 today and begin testing the beta release of VMware Tanzu Application Service for Kubernetes.

VMware Tanzu Build Service: Container creation and governance

One of the operational benefits of VMware Tanzu Application Service is having more uniformity in how containers are built. Knowing what's inside the containers that your developers deliver helps with vulnerability management and upgrades. Now in beta*, VMware Tanzu Build Service evolves the popular Cloud Foundry build model to support any Kubernetes runtime.

Try out VMware Tanzu Build Service, which uses kpack to consistently create production-ready container images. 

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid: Flexible infrastructure on demand

While VMware Tanzu Application Service speeds up getting code to production, some workloads need more flexibility. A Kubernetes platform offers the ability to control how workloads are managed, or to build an entirely custom application platform. VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is an enterprise-ready Kubernetes runtime that brings a consistent way to run Kubernetes across your data center, public clouds, and edge locations. 

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition is a proven platform for bringing Kubernetes to the enterprise. For example, upgrading and patching for new Kubernetes versions is simplified. As James Webb of T-Mobile noted at KubeCon 2018, "We are already seeing a benefit from the seamless upgrades, especially with [Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition...] the same day that the 1.11.5 patch was released for the API CVE, we were patched within 36 hours." 

The new version of VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition adds more security and configurability features—great for enterprises that require strict controls to run in production. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition 1.7 supports profile customization, resource tracking across clouds with IaaS tags, and stretched clusters for greater resiliency when running atop vSphere. Customers like T-Mobile are already running Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition in production today, and are enjoying the consistency it brings to their infrastructure operations.

It’s still early days for Kubernetes, so not everyone is running it in production yet. But three-quarters of the industry plan to use Kubernetes as the orchestration platform for their modern apps program, according to a study of more than 1200 IT leaders, decision makers, and developers commissioned by VMware for the study, "App Modernization in a Multi-Cloud World." But there are challenges. That same study, for example, found that 51 percent of respondents faced a lack of operational and developer skills. This finding echoes that of the 2020 State of Kubernetes report, in which more than two-thirds of study respondents cited a lack of experience and expertise as a top deployment and management challenge. In order for Kubernetes to become ubiquitous, it needs to be easier to deploy and manage. 

Enter VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. Powered by Cluster API, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is now available with a command line interface (CLI) to simplify the installation, multicluster operation, and high availability of Kubernetes.

In order for Kubernetes to become ubiquitous, it also needs to become embedded in the ways we already work. As Ray O'Farrell noted in his blog back in March, "We’re also making it easy to extend an enterprise-ready Kubernetes operating model across data centers and clouds for the 80 percent of enterprise workloads that are already running on VMware." With vSphere 7 availability, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is becoming embedded pervasively across enterprises. Now is a great time to uplevel your infrastructure to support dynamic application workloads.

Get started with VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition today and try out VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Start modernizing today

With VMware Tanzu, you can get started quickly and see immediate results with out-of-the-box solutions like VMware Tanzu Application Service and VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition. At the same time, you can make progress on a larger vision of modernization across your organization from both an applications and an infrastructure perspective. And if you need the skills and expertise to transform, VMware Pivotal Labs can help you master a modern way of building and operating software. 

Works cited

* Note there is no commitment or obligation that beta features will become generally available. 

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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