VMware Expands Kubernetes Portfolio Based on Tanzu

At the online VMworld 2021 conference this week, VMware launched a series of initiatives to spur adoption of both microservices-based applications based on containers alongside monolithic applications residing on multiple clouds.

In the case of microservices-based applications, a managed VMware Cloud with Tanzu services offering is based on its distribution of Kubernetes that is being made available at no additional charge for existing managed VMware Cloud on AWS customers. That service will be made available next year.

At the same time, VMware is looking to encourage developers to build applications on its Tanzu distribution of Kubernetes with the addition of a community edition. The Tanzu Application Platform, an application development and deployment platform that is currently available in beta, has also gained capabilities, including an instance of open source cartography software to create pre-approved paths to production for developers, an integrated development environment (IDE) for building plug-ins, a convention service framework to configure policies of deployed workloads, an ability to create and update workloads from a local data source and additional security tools for signing, scanning and storing container images.

A free VMware Tanzu Mission Control—Tanzu Mission Control Starter tier for a Kubernetes management platform based on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform also was added.

Ajay Patel, general manager for the modern applications and management business at VMware, says a community edition of the Tanzu Application Platform should help close the cloud-native skills gap that is currently slowing down the rate at which microservices-based applications might otherwise be built.

In the meantime, Patel adds, the bulk of new applications now being deployed are based on a microservices-based architecture and IT teams are now looking to VMware to help them manage those applications at scale alongside existing monolithic applications being deployed mostly on top of the company’s hypervisors that enable higher levels of density per platform than a bare-metal platform. That advantage justifies deploying Tanzu on VMware vSphere even though VMware does provide the ability to deploy VMware Tanzu on a bare metal server that eliminates the need to license a commercial hypervisor.

VMware also revealed that, as part of a series of security updates, it has enhanced VMware Tanzu Service Mesh, which is based on the open source Istio platform to provide deeper visibility into how, when and where application programming interfaces (APIs) are being employed to advance DevSecOps best practices.

At the same time, the CloudHealth Secure State service provide by VMware now delivers Kubernetes Security Posture Management (KSPM) capabilities that provide visibility into misconfiguration vulnerabilities across both Kubernetes clusters and connected public cloud resources. The Secure State KSPM today supports 176 rules.

Elsewhere, VMware today also launched VMware Edge, a new portfolio of offerings that will enable organizations to support container applications on a range of edge computing platforms.

At the same time, VMware launched VMware Cross-Cloud Services, a set of integrated services that includes Project Arctic, a tech preview, that natively integrates cloud connectivity into the VMware vSphere hypervisor. VMware also launched a Sovereign Cloud initiative to help customers engage with trusted national cloud service providers to meet geo-specific requirements relating to data sovereignty and jurisdictional control.

It’s still early days as far as enterprise deployment of microservices-based applications are concerned, but the momentum has clearly shifted away from monolithic applications. VMware, however, is betting most organizations will wind up having to support both microservices-based and monolithic applications for years to come running on multiple public clouds, in on-premises IT environments and at the edge. The challenge will be finding a way to achieve that goal at scale using an IT framework capable of spanning it all.

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.

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