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Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations: Products and Components

15 Lessons 4:45:35



Lesson 1 5:00


Goals of this course

The primary goal of this course is to give you a good high-level view of the main products and components that make up VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations, and how they fit together.

You are not expected to become an expert in any of these components by the end of the course. These products are all significantly complex in their own right. You should, however, have an appreciation of what each of them does, and how they might be used by customers.

It is also a goal of this course that you should be able apply what you have learned to understanding the TKO Reference Architecture. That will, however, also require some understanding of the cloud platforms onto which TKO will be deployed. Those — completely vital — components of the overall solution are beyond the scope of this course.

About the lessons

This course brings together material from a variety of sources. For this reason, they are at different levels of detail and there may be some duplication of topics between the lessons.

While most of the lessons contain video content, there are usually links to additional information at the bottom of each lesson page. Please make sure you scroll down to see these.

Questions to ask

As you go through the course some questions to bear in mind might be:

  • How does this build on base Kubernetes and networking functions?
  • What value does this product or component specifically add?
  • What kind of customer problems have I seen that this might solve?
  • Why might I choose not to use this component?
  • What else do I need to learn about to understand this component better?

Lesson 3 9:00

Product: Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides organizations with a consistent, upstream-compatible, regional Kubernetes substrate that is ready for end-user workloads and ecosystem integrations. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is central to many of the offerings in the VMware Tanzu portfolio, and is a key part of the VMware Tanzu Basic, Tanzu Standard, and Tanzu Advanced Editions.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid builds on trusted upstream and community projects and delivers a Kubernetes platform that is engineered and supported by VMware, so that you do not have to build your Kubernetes environment by yourself. In addition to Kubernetes binaries that are tested, signed, and supported by VMware, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides the services such as networking, authentication, ingress control, and logging that a production Kubernetes environment requires.

Comparing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Implementations

Something to be aware of is that there are different implementations of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. The most common implementations are:

  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service (TKGS)
  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid multi-cloud (TKGm)

At their most basic all of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid implementations provision and manage the lifecycle of Tanzu Kubernetes clusters and provide a platform for running containerized Kubernetes workloads. The way that they do this however is slightly different based on the features and functionality that need to be provided to a consumer. The major thing to be aware of is the supported infrastructure the platform can be deployed on. TKGS is provided as part of vSphere with Tanzu and is only supported on vSphere based infrastructure. TKGm however can be deployed on vSphere, AWS and Azure based infrastructure.

Both have the concept of a Management Cluster which can be used to manage and deploy Kubernetes clusters but in the case of TKGS this is a highly opinionated VMware variant named the Supervisor cluster. The Supervisor cluster is not a conformant Kubernetes cluster by design and makes use of Kubernetes and its inherent functionality to enhance vSphere and add a number of additional features such as:

  • vSphere Namespaces (Basic Multi-Tenancy)
  • vSphere PODs (Ability to run Kubernetes Pods natively on ESXi hypervisor alongside virtual machines)
  • vSphere SSO integration (Cluster authentication via configured vSphere mechanisms)
  • vSphere Registry Service (Embedded Harbor instance)

The Supervisor cluster is deployed by enabling Workload Management from within vSphere. Workload Management provides tight integration with the underlying vSphere storage and networking stack such as vSAN and NSX-T.

In comparison TKGm makes use of the upstream Cluster API Kubernetes sub-project and can be used to deploy a conformant Kubernetes cluster to your choice of supported infrastructure. The management cluster is deployed as an initial step after which workload clusters can be deployed. Due to the fact that TKGm is based on upstream Kubernetes it is much more customizable to advanced use cases such as those for Telco for instance.

A more detailed comparison of the TKG implementations can be found in the links below.

Watch the overview video and then follow the links below to get some quick hit information about TKG, but don't worry about becoming an expert at the current point. The goal here is to familiarize yourself with the product in its standalone form, at a high level.

Share your thoughts!

Help us improve. We want to know what you think of this course — good, bad, and ugly.


Eitan Suez

Eitan is an instructor who joined VMware via the acquisition of Pivotal. In this capacity, Eitan has delivered training on the Tanzu Application Service (TAS), on Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGI), and on Platform Automation with Concourse.

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Boskey Savla

Boskey Savla is Technical Marketing Manager @VMware focusing on Cloud Native Applications, she has 15 years of experience in systems and operations.

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