VMware Offers Sneak Peek at Tanzu App Platform

VMware made a slew of announcements at this week's VMware Explore conference that included some developer-focused news around its Tanzu Application Platform, as well as some key enhancements to its Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations portfolio.

The Tanzu Application Platform, a modular, "application-aware" platform designed to provide a rich set of developer tools and a "pre-paved path to production," helps developers build and deploy software quickly and securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster.

VMware pre-announced upcoming capabilities in the platform aimed at enhancing developer and application operator experiences, which increasing supply chain security and visualization and additional Kubernetes runtime support. There are also some new API integrations in the mix.

The list of new capabilities expected to become generally available in the platform in late 2022 includes: 

  • Tanzu Application Platform 1.3 will be available on RedHat OpenShift, the company says, running in vSphere and on bare metal. This is perhaps the biggest news for developers to come out of this year's conference, because it allows devs to leverage their existing investment in RedHat OpenShift to realize the value of the Tanzu platform.
  • There will also be new support air-gapped installation for regulated and disconnected environments in the next release, which helps to ensure that the components, upgrades, and patches are made available to the system, and that they operate consistently and correctly in the controlled environment and keep data secure. 
  • Secure software supply chain enhancements designed to help seamlessly shift security left with three new capabilities that increase efficiency across dev and ops and accelerates the path to productions. These include: a beta integration with VMware Carbon Black scanner; a new, centralized vulnerability monitoring dashboard; and software bill of materials (SBoM) support for SPDX in addition to CycloneDX to give teams choice in how they import and export SBoMs via the VMware Tanzu insight CLI plug-in.
  • Look also for dynamic API specification registration "to improve the developer experience for workloads exposing API specifications." Workloads will be able to define a given set of APIs, and a secure supply chain will auto-register the workload’s specification with the Backstage API catalog, the company says.
  • Jenkins integration for users with existing Jenkins pipelines will be able to use them alongside the Tanzu Application Platform. This integration will allow Jenkins and the Tanzu App Platform to manage specific steps in the overall CI/CD pipeline​, and to automate triggering of Jenkins jobs from Tanzu Application Platform. This feature will enable users to leverage and extend investments in existing CI/CD processes on Jenkins. 

Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, announced earlier this year, is a suite of tools for running and managing multiple Kubernetes clusters across public and private clouds.

The team behind VMware's Tanzu Mission Control , which provides a centralized hub for simplified, multi-cloud, multi-cluster Kubernetes management, announced a number of enhancements, including:

  • Integration with VMware Aria Automation (formerly known as VMware vRealize Automation Cloud), which enables operators to design cloud infrastructure and underlying services on any vSphere-based or public cloud.
  • The ability to employ clusters through GitOps for consistent Kubernetes cluster configuration. "This feature provides a method for managing cluster configurations with VMware Tanzu Mission Control via continuous delivery from a Git repository," the company says.
  • More flexibility for Kubernetes application operators with Mission Control cross-cluster backup and restore. "This feature enables application operators to move applications between any cluster, running on any cloud, or on-prem data center for improved application resiliency and simplified site recovery," the company says.

The release of Mission Control also comes with a preview of lifecycle management of Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service  (EKS). "With lifecycle management for Amazon EKS clusters, operators and developers will be able to offer a controlled and consistent environment that enables a more predictable route to deployment," Morgan Fine, group product line manager for VMware Tanzu Mission Control, explained in a blog post.

VMware also announced the availability of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 , the next version of its enterprise-ready Kubernetes runtime "designed to help IT teams and developers address the growing complexity of agile development environments," Cindy O’Brien, senior product marketing manager at VMware, said in a blog post.

New capabilities within Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 include a unified experience for applications, whether they are running in hybrid, private, or public clouds, which streamlines the management, provisioning, and lifecycle management of Kubernetes clusters, O'Brien added. The second edition of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is tightly integrated with VMware vSphere 8 and also brings open-source API alignment, improved application lifecycle management capabilities with Carvel-based tooling, and provides platform operators with more flexibility and control thanks to the cluster API feature, ClusterClass, she said.

The company also updated (and renamed) its observability platform. This release, dubbed VMware Aria Operations for Applications  (formerly VMware Tanzu Observability), now provides organizations with an observability platform that pulls together traces, metrics, and logs to enable more actionable insights and reduce mean-time-to-resolution at enterprise scale. The platform was designed to unify data, insights, and actions across IT, and offer both out-of-the-box and customized dashboards for applications.

VMware and DellEMC also jointly unveiled VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations on Dell VxRail, a co-developed solution that "accelerates the delivery of Kubernetes infrastructure and simplifies management of containers through a simplified, consistent approach to container deployment, scaling and lifecycle management," the company said. The joint solution provides hyperconverged infrastructure that is fully tested for VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations’ software modules. It allows for rapid and automated deployment of new clusters needed by DevOps teams to deliver modern applications. Serving as the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) for the solution, Dell VxRail accelerates Kubernetes infrastructure delivery while providing the operational flexibility to add new nodes non-disruptively to existing clusters in as little as 15 minutes, the companies say.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].