VMware Expands Tanzu Kubernetes Universe

VMware today announced a series of updates to its core platforms that includes repackaging the Tanzu instance of Kubernetes that paves the way for a forthcoming edition optimized for DevOps teams.

The subsidiary of Dell Technologies initially made Tanzu available as part of VMware Cloud Foundation 4, which required IT organizations to deploy the entire VMware stack of compute, networking and storage software to run Kubernetes. Now the company is making available a Basic Edition that can be deployed as an add-on to VMware vSphere in a few minutes, as well as a Standard Edition that can be deployed across multiple clouds.

Dell Technologies today also announced it will be making instances of its VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform available for all editions of Tanzu, extending its availability beyond the current VMware Cloud Foundation.

Craig McLuckie, vice president of research and development for VMware, says a forthcoming Advanced Edition of Tanzu on VMware vSphere will be optimized for DevOps environments, and the company also plans to roll out an Enterprise Edition. VMware did not specify when they will be available.

In addition to making Tanzu more accessible to traditional IT teams, VMware announced updates to VMware Cloud Foundation, VMware vSphere 7 and VMware vSAN. The latest edition of VMware Cloud Foundation adds support for a vSAN Data Persistence platform, a framework for enabling stateful services for applications deployed on Tanzu designed to be easier to operate and manage. VMware is also integrating Dell EMC ObjectScale software with the vSAN Data Persistence platform and noted that Cloudian, DataStax and MinIO have pledged support for their respective platforms that manage persistent storage.

Other capabilities being added to VMware Cloud Foundation include support for remote clusters, integration with VMware vVols to provide instances of Tanzu running on the platform with access to external storage and the ability to use VMware Skyline analytics tools to proactively identify potential deployment issues.

At the same time, VMware is making a Sphere 7 Update 1 available that makes it possible to scale virtual machines (VMs) up to 24TB across as many as 768 vCPUs. Those so-called “monster VMs” will make it easier to deploy, for example, in-memory databases. The number of hosts per cluster has also been expanded to 96, representing a 50% increase.

Finally, an update to vSAN 7 adds support for HCI Mesh, which will enable IT teams with HCI platforms based on VMware storage software to scale storage independently from servers. Previously, HCI platforms required IT teams to scale out integrated compute and storage appliances in lockstep. VMware is also making available a compression-only option of its storage software, support for SMB v3 and v2.1 protocols and integration between vSAN File Services and Microsoft Active Directory.

As Kubernetes adoption accelerates in enterprise IT environments, VMware is determined to make the cloud-native platform for running microservices applications based on containers as much a natural extension of its platform as possible, in addition to making Kubernetes more accessible to traditional IT administrators. VMware is also making a case for running monolithic and microservices-based applications alongside one another to reduce the total cost of IT. Less clear is the degree to which VMware will be able to convince organizations that do adopt Kubernetes to employ its entire stack of infrastructure software. Regardless of the path chosen, however, VMware is making it clear it intends to support Kubernetes in all its forms one way or another.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

Mike Vizard has 1634 posts and counting. See all posts by Mike Vizard