User experience is the driving force behind an organization's digital transformation strategy. There is a direct relationship between customer satisfaction and the ability to acquire and retain new customers. Applications play center stage as most products and services are delivered through websites, mobile applications, or both. Microservices-based applications give businesses the ability to more granularly iterate and scale their applications based on customer feedback. This is directly tied to happier customers and increased revenue. As more businesses look to drive innovation using containers and microservices, they face some major headwinds, not least of which is standardizing on Kubernetes to accelerate their application modernization efforts.
To address this challenge, VMware has taken major steps in expanding its portfolio of products and services to help customers benefit from their investments in modern applications, while simultaneously modernizing their infrastructure.
This portfolio expansion is directly related to key acquisitions VMware has made over the past few years. Of note are the acquisitions of Heptio is 2018 and Pivotal in 2019. These two acquisitions along with years of organic innovation are the raw material VMware molded to reshape the multi-cloud, cloud-native space highlighted by today's announcement.
On March 10, 2020, VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, announced that the company was bringing to market “…a comprehensive portfolio for modern apps to help customers accelerate their pace of innovation." VMware gives developers the freedom to deliver apps to any cloud, remove barriers to Kubernetes adoption, and help IT administrators transform their skills in support of a new wave of modern apps.
Let’s look at what’s new:
vSphere with Kubernetes Support
In 2009 VMware made vSphere generally available which forever changed how data centers are operated and managed. Since then, vSphere has evolved from a pure virtualization software for on-premises data centers to an enabler of cloud migration and management across multi-clouds. This journey took a significant step forward with VMware’s announcement that vSphere 7 has been rebuilt around support for Kubernetes touting it as “the biggest evolution of vSphere in a decade.”
With this release, vSphere has been rearchitected into an open platform using Kubernetes APIs to provide a cloud-like experience for developers and operators who are seeking to deliver applications more quickly and reduce time to market. A foundational component of the VMware Tanzu portfolio (more on that below), the new release will support all applications, including modern and traditional, using any combination of virtual machines, containers, and Kubernetes.
What does this mean in practice?
With native support for Kubernetes, customers can now run containers and virtual machines on the same platform, with a simple upgrade of the system that they are currently standardized on and by adopting VMware Cloud Foundation, writes Krish Prasad, General Manager vSphere and SVP Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware.
“Our customers, who are most successful in meeting the changing needs of their customers, simultaneously work on two initiatives: modernize their approach to applications, and modernize the infrastructure that those applications run on, to meet the needs of their developers and IT teams. As part of these initiatives, customers want to gain the benefits of a cloud operating model, which means having rapid, self-service access to infrastructure, simple lifecycle management, security, performance, and scalability. This is exactly what vSphere now provides.”
Read more about the new vSphere and checkout Prasad’s blog: Introducing vSphere 7: Essential Services for the Modern Hybrid Cloud.
Newly Expanded! Tanzu for Building Apps that Run Across Clouds Using Kubernetes
Also headlining the new batch of releases is VMware Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services that enable enterprises to deliver better software – faster. Customers can use the suite to automate the modern app lifecycle, run Kubernetes across clouds, and unify and optimize multi-cloud operations.
Tanzu came about as a result of VMware's acquisition of Heptio and Pivotal, and this release sees the addition of a range of new offerings within the portfolio.
- VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is a Kubernetes runtime that helps customers install and run a multi-cluster Kubernetes environment on the infrastructure of their choice – data centers, service providers, and at the edge environment – in a consistent way. Based on open source technologies, it is packaged for enterprise readiness and is fully supported by VMware.
- Previewed in August 2019, VMware also announced Tanzu Mission Control. It’s a centralized management platform for operating and securing Kubernetes infrastructure and applications across multiple teams and clouds, again, in a consistent manner.
- Tanzu Application Catalog is a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami catalog that is verifiably secured, tested, and maintained for use in production environments. The service gives developers the productivity and agility of pre-packaged apps and components, while enabling operators to meet the stringent security and transparency requirements of enterprise IT. This service was originally previewed as Project Galleon in August 2019.
- Tanzu Application Service is a modern runtime for Java, .NET, and Node apps. The developer brings their code and the platform does the rest. Fast, scalable, and secure.
More to come! VMware pledged that it would continue to expand the Tanzu portfolio to help enterprises increase developer velocity, holistically observe and monitor apps running in multi-cloud environments, including Kubernetes, and simplify the way they connect, monitor, and secure microservices.
Say Hello to VMware Cloud Foundation 4
“By any measure, VMware Cloud Foundation 4 is a massive release that delivers a lot of net new functionality up and down the stack,” says Rick Walsworth who sits on the VMware Cloud Foundation product marketing team.
Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu provides hybrid cloud infrastructure with consistent management for both VM-based and container-based applications while delivering intrinsic security and lifecycle management across software-defined compute, storage, and network resources.
The platform helps to bridge the gap between developers and IT – enabling developers to rapidly build and update apps while providing IT operations with control and enhanced security.
VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu also introduces VMware Cloud Foundation Services, an integrated Kubernetes and RESTful API surface to enable organizations to drive API access to all core services.
Explore all the new features: What’s New in VMware Cloud Foundation 4.
To learn more about how these new products can help your organization modernize its applications and infrastructure and when they’ll be available, contact us by phone (866) 892–3154 or online.
Hands On Labs to Get You Started with The New Releases: