VMware released a new version of the Tanzu Kubernetes Toolkit. In this post, I will discuss the new features of version 1.3. VMware Tanzu is a great success for VMware, and vSphere with Tanzu is the most popular tool that VMware has ever released. You can run the Community version of Tanzu following our detailed post here.

Tanzu Kubernetes Toolkit is a subscription-based product packaged by VMware. All the products inside the toolkit are open source and VMware provides enterprise class support.

With the Tanzu Toolkit, VMware wants to give the same level of support as with vSphere to enable enterprise support for and the best possible guidance on Prometheus, Grafana, and Alertmanager for use with Tanzu Kubernetes. You'll learn about the installation, upgrade, and initial configuration of the utilities.

VMware Tanzu

VMware Tanzu

Tanzu Toolkit includes enterprise-level support for Harbor, Velero, Contour, and Sonobuoy. Within the bundle, you'll also benefit from advisory guidance for the latest stable release for PrometheusGrafana, and Alertmanager. Advisory guidance is a form of support whereby VMware informs you about some security vulnerabilities or issues via KB articles or release notes.

Let's have a look at the open-source projects supported by Tanzu Kubernetes Toolkit.

Velero 1.6.2 ^

Velero was previously called Heptio Ark. The software allows you to back up and restore your Kubernetes cluster resources and persistent volumes. It is possible to install and run Velero on a public cloud or on-premises. Velero installs a server part (runs on your cluster) and a client part (runs locally).

Velero backup and restore your Kubernetes cluster

Velero backup and restore your Kubernetes cluster

Velero features

  • Backup—Allows you to create backups of your cluster and restore them in case of loss.
  • Migration—You can also migrate cluster resources to other clusters.
  • Replication—Allows you to replicate cluster resources. For example, you can replicate your production cluster to development or testing clusters.

Velero is used for the backup and replication or migration of resources from one cluster to another. While some applications running in containers can be stateless, some workloads are stateful. In these cases, the workloads need to be backed up and protected.

Sonobuoy 0.20.0 ^

For diagnostics, you can use Sonobuoy, which allows you to check whether your cluster is correctly configured and that it's behaving as it should. It allows you to generate diagnostics for troubleshooting workloads, which are typically difficult to debug.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) runs the Certified Kubernetes Conformance Program using Sonobuoy. More and more products have a certified Kubernetes logo.

Sonobuoy as a diagnostic tool

Sonobuoy as a diagnostic tool

Sonobuoy features

  • Conformance testing—Tests that are made for Kubernetes clusters to validate that workloads are certified, conformant, and interoperable.
  • Workload debugging—Allows you to debug workloads when they're normally not so easy to debug.
  • Custom data collection via extensible plugins—The product is extensible via community plugins. It allows you to test custom configs.

Contour 1.17.1 ^

Contour is another open-source Kubernetes product. It is an ingress controller that has a control plane for the Envoy edge and the service proxy.​ Contour supports dynamic configuration updates and multiteam ingress delegation.

Contour features

  • Built for Kubernetes—You can deploy native apps via the HttpProxy API. It has a high-performance L7 proxy and load balancer.
  • Secure ingress delegation—It has the capability to delegate ingress configuration to protect service access on multiteam Kubernetes clusters.
  • Dynamic reconfiguration—Allows you to update Envoy configuration even if the underlying elements change without restarting the main load-balancing service.

Harbor 2.2.3 ^

Harbor is an open-source registry, a repository of images. It manages roles-based access control (RBAC) and makes sure that all images are free of vulnerabilities, compliant, secure, and interoperable. Harbor manages and serves container images in a secure environment.

Harbor is deployed as several Docker containers. It is basically a self-hosted container registry. Instead of relying on Google or Azure to host your images, you can manage it yourself. You don't have to expose your infrastructure to public clouds if you don't want to.

Harbor as container image registry

Harbor as container image registry

Harbor features

  • Image replication between instances—Allows you to replicate image repositories from one instance of Harbor to another
  • Multitenant content signing and validation
  • Extensible API and graphical UI

You can check the release notes for the VMware Tanzu Toolkit for Kubernetes here.

Final words ^

VMware has embraced open-source projects for a long time, and open-source has been present with all its products in some way since the beginning of VMware software. The Tanzu Kubernetes Toolkit continues with this idea and tries to bring this technology to as many VMware users as possible.

The core of VMware technology has always been virtualization of workloads; however, their portfolio of products surrounding virtualization grows wider and wider every year.

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Kubernetes clusters with modern containerized workloads are now fully part of the VMware ecosystem via the Tanzu portfolio of products. However, while containers and Kubernetes are great for some workloads, they are not good for others, so in my opinion, both workloads will continue to coexist on the same underlying virtualization platform with VMware ESXi hypervisors managed by vSphere.

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