VMware Tanzu- An Exciting New Portfolio for Application Developers
As a System Integrator Partner of the Year, we squarely focus on the developer; this has always been a strength and focus of both Pivotal and VMware. VMware’s core virtualization products provided a quantum leap in agility for developers; this only extended when they created the groundbreaking Cloud Foundry software, and transferred to Pivotal at its inception. The ability to “just push” an app, and have the platform securely containerize and run it, is at the heart of why Pivotal Application Service, now VMware Tanzu Application Service is so powerful and appealing to developers.
The simplicity of “cf push” allows developers to quickly and with fewer steps than any other developer platform, build and deploy their apps by managing concerns that in prior days would cause delays in getting to production. For teams who still haven’t applied this paradigm, it can seem almost banal. Nestled in that simplicity, however, are a bevy of benefits for developers; capacity planning, scalability, and failover are all large upfront efforts. The platform utilizes a shared pool of resources that scale automatically with demand, and automatically manage failover of backing machines - thus greatly reducing the amount of planning, coordination, and management required with all those efforts. With this platform, application developers focus, more than ever, on just building out great application code.
That’s why we are so excited about VMware Tanzu. With VMware Tanzu, Application development teams get full-stack software modernization backed by the pioneer of the software-defined data center. The portfolio retains - and extends - that premier developer experience with rich and comprehensive support for multi-cloud operations and observability, and a ubiquitous Kubernetes run time for consistent operations and application portability. This provides a highly flexible environment to host and manage heterogeneous workloads. Do you want a premier application modernization experience? You’ve got it! If you need to implement a third party packaged toolset packaged as a pod - well, now you can do that! Do you want to migrate a legacy application without transforming it into a cloud-native application? VMware Tanzu provides that enterprise Kubernetes environment to run legacy applications in an on-premise or public cloud.
Running Kubernetes is hard. Many of our clients have tried to run their own private clusters, both on-premise and in the cloud, and have struggled with it. They have either abandoned these efforts or have kept it for a smaller core of the workloads than initially intended. With VMware Tanzu, enterprises will be able to build applications, run them on Kubeneretes, and manage their clusters more effectively than they have before.
The Tanzu portfolio provides the next generation the building blocks and steps for modernizing your existing workloads while providing extensible feature rich capabilities of Kubernetes. Developers can continue to build upon the “push” experience, while also taking advantage of the rich ecosystem evolving around Kubernetes, via VMware’s Enterprise PKS. As the Kubernetes ecosystem grows VMware has taken an active role to simplify the process of scaling the growth of enterprise infrastructure by providing guided capabilities in multi-cluster ingress routing. VMware has taken much of the guesswork out of configuring ingress across multiple clusters through their offering through VMware's Pivotal Ingress Routing, which eliminates the need to manually configure a load balancer or DNS for newly created clusters.
Additionally, VMwareTanzu also has broad and rich support for containerization across the entire application lifecycle. VMware is now also the steward for the the most popular cloud-native app development framework, Spring. The Spring community recently announced that containers are now a first-class packaging option for Spring applications. With the latest versions of Spring, you can package any Spring application as a docker container using your Gradle or Maven build file. Spring’s test containers project, which utilizes Docker containers for dependent resources, greatly improves the workflow for testing complex interdependencies.
Tanzu Build Service is a great addition to enterprise portfolios. It provides an in-house service to construct container images. It uses the excellent buildpacks.io project, which every enterprise should absolutely be using. Build Service has many great features, but its workflow to patch vulnerabilities is exceptional and will be a huge boon to enterprises that utilize this feature. Taking advantage of the buildpack experience and building on top of Kubernetes, VMware also provides a Kubernetes Native Container Build Service through their open source offering KPack. So many of our clients have awesome success stories around silently patching the platform for vulnerabilities, and the Build Service brings that amazing Day 2 functionality to the Kubernetes ecosystem.
VMware also adds to the Enterprise container centric ecosystem, the flexibility to run your own container registry, leveraging VMware Harbor Registry. VMware Harbor Registry is an enterprise-class registry server that stores and distributes container images. Harbor allows you to store and manage images for use with VMware Enterprise PKS. Organizations that leverage Harbor will benefit from features such as container vulnerability scanning, auditing, and managed Helm charts, to name a few.
Tanzu also adds Service Mesh offerings on top of Istio, through NSX Service Mesh. Enterprises will benefit from features in observability, service mesh federation, and unified operations. For developers this means flexibility across multiple clusters across multiple clouds.
Tanzu Mission Control is an exciting new product under the Tanzu umbrella that provides central management and governance of containers and clusters across data centers, public clouds, and edge. It has important features for Kubernetes administrators, but the aspect of Mission Control that I am most excited about is its focus on developer self-service. Using a combination of the API capabilities of the Cluster API, access control and the ability to apply policies across clusters, Mission Control provides the ability to create self-service workflows for developer teams to provision clusters - in developer, test and production environments, and even across Google, Amazon, Azure, and on-premise Kubernetes clusters!
Last but not least, is Tanzu’s updated offerings to vSphere, with the introduction of their next generation app platform VMware vSphere with Kubernetes. Formerly known as Project Pacific, this aims to integrate Kubernetes containers into VMware’s vSphere platform with native Kubernetes. vSphere administrators can now extend these capabilities to developers building a variety of modern and traditional applications.
Putting it all together, VMware Tanzu offers a compelling portfolio for application modernization. For developers, it offers improvements in the Spring ecosystem to support containerization, the incorporation of buildpacks to facilitate Day 2 security concerns, and an efficient approach to self-service provisioning and management of their applications and services. For DevOps, it offers an optimized way to run Kubernetes-based infrastructure and any services running on it. They can manage security and compliance policies across multiple regions, clouds, and remote site locations. We have told many of our clients that 2020 is the time to invest, or re-invest in Kubernetes based development. Tanzu brings a great point of focus for large enterprises, with multi-cloud environments, who want to fully enable their developers to focus on what they do best - writing unique and differentiating applications for their customers.