Tanzu Academy by VMware
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)
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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 course links.

Watch the overview video and then follow the links 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.

Kenny Coleman

Staff Technical Marketing Architect at VMware

Looks to spread knowledge on interesting ways to integrate open source cloud native infrastructure tools with VMware Tanzu products.

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