Enterprises are slowly realizing that they quickly need to adopt cloud-native technologies such as Containers and Kubernetes to accelerate their Digital Transformation initiatives. These technologies are the driving forces behind legacy application modernization and net new cloud-native applications that are needed to meet the ever changing demands of customers. These technologies provide various benefits for both Developers and Operators including:
- Portability: Portability is the key benefit of containers. Write once, package the code in a container image, and run it anywhere.
- Faster releases: Developers can ship the code and release new features faster allowing for better resource utilization on the platform.
- Declarative-style manifest approach: Kubernetes provides operators a consistent declarative-style manifest approach to manage the apps and the related resources/objects.
- Ease of use: Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are also packaging their software as a cloud-native app to help operators easily run and debug their apps on Kubernetes platform.
According to Gartner, more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production by 2022, which is a significant increase from fewer than 30% today.
Kubernetes Adoption Journey in an Enterprise
In a typical Enterprise, Containers and Kubernetes adoption is initially slow. Normally, it starts with a small team developing an app (not mission critical) that they plan to containerize and deploy on a k8s cluster in a single environment (typically using Managed CaaS offering on Public clouds) for PoC purpose.
However, when the adoption accelerates, more teams start working on identifying the apps that they would like to containerize and deploy on Kubernetes clusters in various environments (on-premise, Public cloud, or even on bare metal servers). Suddenly, the whole landscape gets crowded.
According to the IDC, Enterprises will build and deploy ~ 500 million apps in Production over next 5 years using cloud-native tools and technologies such as Containers and Kubernetes.
Kubernetes Adoption Reality – Growing Fragmentation
Fragmentation is being seen today within Enterprises. For example, say one team decided to deploy their app(s) on Amazon EKS cluster, and another decided to leverage Google GKE cluster. Although it is good for application teams to have the flexibility to deploy the applications on their choice of Kubernetes clusters, it causes problems for operators.
Operational Challenges with Fragmentation
If your team has struggled to resolve the following questions, you are facing challenges with fragmentation:
- How can we gain visibility into all the clusters from a centralized console?
- How can we troubleshoot containerized workloads across disparate environments?
- How can we quickly enforce Network and Security policies across the board and comply with the Enterprise guidelines?
- How can we efficiently provision the Clusters and manage it’s lifecycle?
Unfortunately, operations tools that companies have today, do not solve these questions. Each vendor provides their own tools to provision clusters, manage it’s lifecycle, and troubleshoot workloads. To solve this problem, you either need to hire an army of resources with a specific skill-set or push your existing resources to learn all these tools to support the infrastructure and app, both of which are not realistic approaches.
However, now there is a better solution, and the solution is VMware Tanzu Mission Control.
What is Tanzu Mission Control?
VMware Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) is a centralized management platform for consistently operating and securing your Kubernetes infrastructure and modern applications across different teams and clouds. As an API-driven service, TMC enables you to declaratively manage all your clusters through its API, the CLI, or the web-based console. From the TMC console, you can see your clusters and namespaces, and organize them into logical groups for easier management of resources, apps, users, and security. Some of the cluster management capabilities of TMC include:
- Cluster Lifecycle Management: Using TMC, you can connect to your own cloud provider account to create new clusters, resize and upgrade them, and delete clusters that are no longer needed.
- Cluster Observability and Diagnostics: See the health and resource usage for each of your clusters from a single console. View cluster details, namespaces, nodes, and workloads directly from the TMC console.
- Cluster Inspections: Run preconfigured inspections against your clusters using Sonobuoy to ensure consistency over your fleet of clusters.
- Data Protection: Back up and restore the data resources in your clusters using Velero to ensure the protection of the valuable data resources in your clusters.
- Access Control: TMC starts with a secure by default service, and allows you to use federated identity management and apply granular role-based access control to fine tune your security requirements.
- Policy Management: Rather than manually dealing with the many aspects of managing your Kubernetes resources and the apps that use them, you can create policies to consistently manage your clusters, namespaces, and workloads.
VMware Tanzu Mission Control allows you to manage all your Kubernetes clusters–across packaged Kubernetes distributions, managed Kubernetes Services, and DIY footrpints–from a single control point.
If you are an operator, you will have complete visibility into all the clusters, be able to enforce Enterprise policies related to Container registry, Network, Security and more. That allows exceptional control over diverse environment.
If you are developer, you will have the freedom to use modern constructs and self-service access to Kubernetes resources. You do not need to worry about Kubernetes infrastructure but focus on what you do best–writing quality code.