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vSphere 7 Debuts with Kubernetes Support Among Many New VMware Products

VMware today marked "a new chapter" in its history with the introduction of a portfolio of application/infrastructure modernization offerings headed by the new vSphere 7 with Kubernetes support.

That provides the company's customers with a new first: a common platform for running both Kubernetes/containerized workloads and virtual machines (VMs) at the same time.

The new edition of the company's flagship server virtualization platform comes among a new raft of products featured in the VMware Tanzu portfolio for modern applications, and VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu.

The latter is another new portfolio that provides hybrid cloud infrastructure for modern apps via an automated, turnkey hybrid cloud platform that includes the new support for container-based applications, along with traditional VM-based applications.

VMware Cloud Foundation is powered by the new vSphere 7 that has been rearchitected to use Kubernetes. With its new support of both containers and VMs, vSphere 7 will be offered only as a part of VMware Cloud Foundation 4 at first.

VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu
[Click on image for larger view.] VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu (source: VMware).

Kubernetes support is provided in VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu by the new VMware Cloud Foundation Services, featuring integrated Kubernetes and RESTful APIs to give organizations API access to all core services. VMware Cloud Foundation Services will comprise:

  • Tanzu Runtime Services to deliver core Kubernetes development services, which includes an up-to-date distribution of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.
  • Hybrid Infrastructure Services that are powered by the new VMware vSphere 7, described as enhanced services to supply full Kubernetes API access along with the infrastructure-as-code automation APIs from vRealize Automation to span VM-based applications and cloud-native applications deployed with containers.

Meanwhile, VMware Tanzu, for app modernization, is yet another portfolio of products including a Kubernetes runtime called Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, helping organizations run Kubernetes mini-cluster environments on different infrastructure systems. Other components of VMware Tanzu include:

  • VMware Tanzu Mission Control, a centralized management platform for securely running Kubernetes infrastructure and modern applications across multiple teams and clouds. It acts as a single control point for managing resources across environments, along with increased security and governance.
  • The newly available VMware Tanzu Application Catalog, a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami catalog that is said to be verifiably secured, tested, and maintained for production use.

It's the new vSphere 7, with streamlined, self-service developer functionality, though, that's likely to garner much attention among the spate of new releases.

vSphere with Kubernetes
[Click on image for larger view.] vSphere with Kubernetes (source: VMware).

"You no longer need to have multiple separate systems for your virtual machines and containers," said exec Himanshu Singh in a March 10 blog post introducing vSphere 7. "We believe this release will have a transformative impact because we are removing a key barrier to the adoption of Kubernetes in enterprises: multiple, silo technology stacks."

"In the past, we have seen customers set up separate environments for Kubernetes with specialized teams and processes. By building Kubernetes into vSphere natively, customers can now consolidate their modern and traditional application environments into a single stack and immediately leverage existing technology and processes. This also addresses another key constraint of Kubernetes success: the skills gap. With minimal additional training, your vSphere administrators are now able to support Kubernetes and the modern applications run in containers."

By helping organizations boost developer and operator productivity, VMware vSphere 7 will enable faster-time-to-innovation along with security, stability, governance, and lower costs of traditional enterprise infrastructure, said VMware, which also said its new functionality will help organizations:

  • Boost productivity by giving developers self-service access to infrastructure and more capabilities to simplify infrastructure management. "Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is embedded into vSphere 7 with Kubernetes as part of VMware Cloud Foundation 4 to deliver Kubernetes clusters as a service to developers."
  • Achieve Agile operations by providing IT operations teams with new application-focused management, simplified lifecycle management capabilities, and a unified platform for operating across clouds, datacenters and edge environments.
  • Accelerate innovation by further leveraging GPU hardware to accelerate the performance of AI/ML applications through the use of elastic pools of GPU resources. "Additionally, customers will be able increase the performance of latency-sensitive applications using improved DRS, enhanced vMotion, and augmented support for persistent memory (PMEM) capabilities."

With all of the new portfolios, products and services announced today (March 10), availability is a bit complicated so it's presented in full here:

VMware Tanzu Application Catalog, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and VMware Tanzu Mission Control are all available today. VMware Cloud Foundation 4, VMware vSphere 7, VMware vSAN 7, VMware vRealize Automation 8.1 and VMware vRealize Operations 8.1 (both on-premises and as SaaS) are all expected to become available by May 1, 2020 (the end of VMware's Q1 Fiscal Year 2021).

VMware vSphere 7 will be available in two major configurations. The first configuration, vSphere with Kubernetes, will be available in VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu to power container- and VM-based applications. vSphere 7 will also be available in a configuration for VM-based applications in a number of editions including VMware vSphere Standard Edition.

"Today, we bring to market a comprehensive portfolio for modern apps to help customers accelerate their pace of innovation," said Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware, in a news release. "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."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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