VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Evolving for VMware Cloud Providers

VMware Tanzu has seen enormous traction since its availability over a year ago, with VMware Cloud Providers quickly embracing the benefits of adding a fully compliant, multi-tenant Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering to their existing vSphere environments. This exciting addition has allowed our cloud providers to reach and service customers across the globe who are looking for better approaches to migrating, creating, or deploying modern application workloads that can be managed under a unified view whether in private, public, or hybrid cloud environments.

VMware Tanzu has since added a vast array of capabilities to our cloud provider partners which they have turned into impactful services for their customers, including:

  • Tanzu Application Platform, a comprehensive build and application lifecycle management platform with best-of-breed tools that enhance the application development pipeline while creating and maintaining a secure, sustainable, and reusable pathway for modern applications throughout their lifecycle
  • VMware Data Solutions (formerly Tanzu Data Services), a portfolio of data caching, messaging, and database services that most modern applications need in order to deliver their service at massive scale
  • VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, a universal software defined data-center infrastructure platform that consolidates containers and VMs into a single stack equipped with developer focused run time services, unified application and Kubernetes infrastructure visibility with Tanzu Mission Control, and lifecycle capabilities to simplify management operations across the provider’s infrastructure stack
  • VMware Application Catalog, a catalog of trusted, continuously maintained, and verifiably tested open-source images, custom-built to enterprise specifications and privately delivered directly to a customer’s registry of choice

With how fast the market has changed in the past year, VMware recognizes that Tanzu capabilities need to continually evolve to keep up with the change of requirements from partners and their customers. While VMware Tanzu Basic has been the foundation for many Kubernetes clusters within the cloud provider clouds, we are now at a point where the offering needs to include more capabilities for our customers than was provided in the original package. As of October 28, 2022, VMware Tanzu Basic is entering end of availability for direct sales, and for our cloud providers, will no longer be able to be ordered beginning November 3, 2022. Our cloud provider partners will maintain their existing entitlements through the end of their current term.

However, with change comes newer and better things. VMware will be replacing Tanzu Basic with Tanzu Standard Runtime. Note that VMware will also be renaming Tanzu Standard Runtime to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid to simplify and enhance branding of the base offering, and will be referred by this name in the remainder of this document. The revised Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offering will be included within Flex Core for no additional cost, which will provide cloud providers a smooth, seamless transition pathway for their tenants and their modern application workloads. The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offering includes the updated Tanzu Kubernetes Grid runtime, which provides new benefits that are coming as part of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.0 update and vSphere 8, announced at VMware Explore US. The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offering also includes several open-source software (OSS) packages that are core to the needs of customers. These capabilities are a superset of those that were available in Tanzu Basic, so cloud providers and their customers will be able to gain additional benefits by having these capabilities available to them from day one, supported by VMware.

The following table highlights the key areas of Tanzu Basic and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offerings for our cloud providers:

Tanzu Basic Edition (EOA) Tanzu Kubernetes Grid
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Version 1.0 2.0
Supports TKG Service for vSphere (TKGs) Y Y
Supports TKG for multi-cloud (TKGm) Y Y
Supports TKG via Container Service Extension (CSE) Y Y
License Acquisition Path 0-point Add-on Flex Core Included with Flex Core
vSphere Version Compatibility 7.0 7.0, 8.0
Kubernetes Upgrade/migration Required N/A N
Supported by VMware Y Y

Tanzu Basic vs. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid comparison

The following table shows the available OSS packages that were available in Tanzu Basic, versus those that are available in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid:

Open-Source Software Component Tanzu Basic Edition (EOA) Tanzu Kubernetes Grid
Harbor (Registry) Y Y
Antrea (Container Networking) Y Y
Calico (Container Networking) Y Y
Fluent Bit (Log Processor/Forwarder) Y Y
HAProxy (Proxy/Load Balancer) Y Y
Contour (Ingress Controller) N Y
Prometheus (Metrics) N Y
Grafana (Metrics Visualization) N Y
Velero (Backup and DR) N Y

Open-Source Software Component Comparison

Where do VMware Cloud Providers go from here?

As mentioned above, VMware cloud providers that have a Rental contract and have deployed Tanzu Basic today as a part of the Flex Core model will maintain existing entitlements until the end of their current term. At that time, the cloud provider will need to renew Tanzu with the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid SKU. There will be no impacts to deployed Kubernetes Clusters as a result of this change. Optionally, you may want to consider upgrading to Tanzu Standard, an optional upgrade add-on for Flex Core, which includes all of the features found in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, and also comes with Tanzu Mission Control SaaS service for unified management of all your deployed Kubernetes clusters in your provider clouds.

Refer to the product usage guide for current information regarding Tanzu portfolio offerings for our VMware cloud providers.

Transition and Additional Resources

We are committed to ensuring that our cloud providers and customers have the very best capabilities for their modern application workloads, and that you have the resources necessary to continue executing on your cloud smart journey. Please reach out to your VMware contacts with any questions. We will continue posting new technical and product information on our VMware Cloud Provider blogs. Join us by following the blog directly using the RSS feed, on Facebook, LinkedIn and on Twitter, and by visiting our YouTube channel too.


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