Updated on March 16, 2022
The customers I worked with last year were large enterprises with a multi-cloud strategy and they have just started their application modernization journey. Typically, VMware customers interested in Tanzu would take a look at the Standard edition first, which gives you:
- Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Runtime
- Tanzu Mission Control Standard
- Avi Essentials (NSX Advanced Load Balancer)
- Antrea (open-source) for container networking
- and some other open-source software like Prometheus, Grafana, Fluent Bit, Contour
A lot of my customers were interested in Tanzu Advanced, but they were asking for something in between these editions. Tanzu Standard sounded very interesting, but almost all of them asked the followings questions:
- What if I don’t build or modernize my own applications yet and get my application as a container from my ISV?
- Prometheus and Grafana are nice, but I would like to have something more enterprise-ready for observability. How can I get Tanzu Observability?
- Avi Essentials sounds great, but I am thinking to replace my current load balancer. Is it possible to replace my F5 or Citrix ADC (formerly known as Citrix NetScaler) appliances?
- Contour seems to be a nice open-source project, but I am looking for something with built-in automation and analytics capabilities for ingress. Can’t I get Avi Enterprise for that as well?
- I am looking for zero trust application security. How can you help me to encrypt traffic between containers or microservices, which could also be hosted on different clouds (e.g., on-prem and public cloud)?
The answer to these questions is Tanzu Kubernetes for Operations. Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations (TKO) is a bundle of VMware products and services to meet the requirements of cloud platform teams. It provides a centralized, consistent and simplified container management and operations across clouds and currently includes the following products and services:
- Tanzu Standard Runtime (includes Tanzu Kubernetes Grid + open-source software from Tanzu Std), licensed per core
- Tanzu Mission Control Advanced, licensed per core
- Tanzu Observability, licensed based on PPS (points per second)
- Tanzu Service Mesh Advanced, licensed based on core
- Tanzu Application Transformer
- Antrea Advanced, licensed based on core (Antrea feature comparison can be found here)
- NSX ALB (Avi) Enterprise, licensed based on service cores (not included, separate TKO SKU expected for end of Q1 2022)
- Tanzu Activation Services for TKO deployment and configuration, includes migration of one upon-agreed application (not included in the TKO SKU, coming as an add-on)
Important Note: The VMware product guide says that “a Core is a single physical computational unit of the Processor which may be presented as one or more vCPUs“. So, if you plan a CPU overcommit of 1:2 (cores:vCPU) for your on-premises infrastructure, then you have to license 12 cores only.
TKO Reference Architecture
VMware has released TKO reference architectures for vSphere, AWS and Azure.
Use this link to get additional information how to deploy and configure Tanzu Mission Control, Tanzu Observability and Tanzu Service Mesh.
What is Application Transformer for Tanzu?
Application Transformer for VMware Tanzu became generally available in February 2022.
Application Transformer can help you to convert virtual machines and application components to OCI-compliant container images, that then can be deployed into the Tanzu Kubernetes stack.
Tanzu App Navigator
Application Transformer helps you to analyze and visualize application components and dependencies. It also provides customers scores that allow them to decide which applications should be transformed.
App Navigator is a 4-to-6 week engagement that helps you to decide which applications you should tackle first and how much change is needed to drive business outcomes. It’s one thing to containerize an application, but App Navigator helps you to create a modernization strategy based on your goals.
Note: VMware’s App Navigator team uses Application Transformer during their service engagement.
Tanzu Application Platform
Deploying an application on Kubernetes is not an easy thing if you don’t know anything about Kubernetes.
If you would like to focus more on your applications and your developer’s experience, then Tanzu Application Platform (TAP) could be very interesting for you.
With Tanzu Application Platform, application developers and operations teams can build and deliver a better multi-cloud developer experience on any Kubernetes distribution, including Azure Kubernetes Service, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, Google Kubernetes Engine, as well as software offerings like Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.
VMware is known to provide reduction of complexity and to provide cloud-agnostic infrastructures. They started to abstract the underlying server hardware, then the virtualization of the whole data center (compute, storage, network) came and the next step was the abstraction of public clouds like AWS, Azure and Google.
In the case of Tanzu Application Platform we are talking about an opinionated grouping of separate components that run on any conformant Kubernetes cluster (TKG, AKS, EKS, GKE, OpenShift etc.). From an application developer perspective an application can automatically be built, tested and deployed on Kubernetes.
Meaning, with TAP you get a modular application developer PaaS (adPaaS) offering and true application platform portability with the capability of “bring-your-own-Kubernetes”.