Getting Started with VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced

VMware Application Catalog is a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami collection that is continuously maintained and verifiably tested for use in production environments. VMware Application Catalog gives developers the productivity and agility of pre-packaged apps and components, while enabling operators to meet the stringent security and transparency requirements of enterprise IT.

VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced enables organizations to simplify delivery and deployment of custom applications on Kubernetes. VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced provides a catalog based on a hardened base image (Ubuntu 18.04) which can be accessed and consumed by all the users. All containers and Helm charts are stored in a common registry. You can access this by using your account credentials.

This guide demonstrates how to use VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced. It shows you how to sign in, obtain your registry credentials, and start using containers and Helm charts on your local machine via Docker or Helm.

Assumptions and prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that:

Step 1: Sign in to the VMware Application Catalog with your VMware account

Go to VMware Marketplace and sign in using your VMware Account.

VMware Marketplace login page

Step 2: Browse the VMware Application Catalog

VMware Application Catalog has an extensive collection of continuously maintained and tested container images and Helm charts. source applications. To browse the VMware Application Catalog:

  1. After signing into VMware Application Catalog, click “Catalog”.
  2. Click “Applications”.

A list of all the applications available on VMware Application Catalog appears.

VMware Application Catalog overview

These applications are continuously updated and so that you can consume them for development and deployment.

Browse the container image catalog

To browse the extensive list of contain images available on VMware Application Catalog, on the left pane, click the Container Image filter. List of all the container images available on VMware Application catalog is displayed with the following information:

  • Base image
  • Container image version
  • Release status of the container
  • Date of the most recent release
  • “Details” link to view more information associated with that container image

Container information

If a container image has more than one version, you also see the different versions available for that image:

Container versions

You can use the following filters to search the container of your choice in the catalog:

  • By Type
  • By Flavor
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

Container catalog filters

Clicking on the “Details” link next to a container image displays the following additional information:

  • The name of the container image and the dependent Helm charts
  • The status of the release
  • Example Docker commands to consume the container image
  • A list of available releases, with the digest and tags
  • A list of reports that includes:
    • An asset specification report describing the contents of the image
    • A test results report
    • An antivirus scan report
    • A CVE scan report
  • Release relationship that includes dependents and dependencies

An example of a container image detail page is shown below:

Container detail

Browse the Helm charts catalog

The default list shows, at first glance, the following information for Helm charts:

To browse the extensive list of Helm charts available on VMware Application Catalog, on the left pane, click the Helm Chart filter. List of all the Helm charts available on VMware Application catalog is displayed with the following information:

  • Base image
  • Chart version
  • Status of chart’s release
  • Date of the latest release
  • Dependencies: container image included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image, and release version
  • “Details” link to view more information associated with that chart or its container image

Helm chart information

You can use the following filters to search the Helm charts of your choice in the catalog:

  • By Type
  • By Flavor
  • By Status
  • By Operating System

The following image shows the catalog filtered by type, operating system, and status:

Helm charts catalog filtered by status

You can view the following information when you click “Details” next to a Helm chart:

  • Name of the Helm chart and if it has any container image as a dependency
  • Status of the release
  • Release information: commands to install the chart
  • Chart information: digest, name, version, and repository URL
  • Build Time Reports: Click “Download” to save a copy of the available reports in your local machine. There are two types of reports for charts:
    • Asset Specification
    • Test Results
  • Dependencies: container image included in the chart and its related information such as status, base image and release version

An example of a Helm chart detail page is shown below:

Chart detail

You can inspect the Helm chart’s dependencies by clicking the container images shown in the “Dependencies” section. This redirects to the container details page (described in the previous section).

Helm chart dependencies

Step 3: Obtain registry credentials

Before using the VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to obtain credentials for the VMware Application Catalog registry. These credentials allow you to access the registry, and pull the container images and Helm charts.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the menu bar, click “Configure” > “Registries”.
  2. On the “Tanzu Advanced Registry” tile, click the “DETAILS” button.

    Registry credentials

  3. In the “Registry Credentials” tab, click the “GENERATE NEW CREDENTIALS” button.

    Registry credentials

  4. In the resulting dialog box, enter a description for the new credentials. Click the “GENERATE THE NEW CREDENTIALS” button.

    Registry credentials

The credentials are generated and displayed. Note the username and token, or click the “Download as JSON file” button to download them as a JSON file.

![Registry credentials](images/generate-credentials-3.png)

NOTE: These credentials will not be displayed again, so ensure that you download or copy them to a secure location, as you will need them in subsequent steps.

Step 4: Consume VMware Application Catalog artifacts

The VMware Application Catalog builds trusted and continuously maintained content that can be consumed in many different ways. The easiest way to get started is to use VMware Application Catalog container images and Helm charts in your local development environment using the Docker or Helm CLI.

Consume container images

To use a container image from the VMware Application Catalog:

  1. Find the container image in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  2. Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  3. Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Container” section, as shown below:

    Container commands

Here is an example of how to run a VMware Application Catalog container image for MySQL. Enter the registry credentials obtained in Step 3 when prompted.

    $ docker login registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/containers
    $ docker run --rm registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/containers/mysql@sha256:0090965aef191c9bd49f3d7ac93657f1e0257b1c4fc5ade87b82bfcf87408bd3

Consume Helm charts

Before deploying a Helm chart from VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to create a Kubernetes ImagePullSecret for registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced with the registry credentials obtained in Step 3.

Here is an example of how to create an ImagePullSecret. Replace the USERNAME andTOKEN placeholders with the registry credentials obtained in Step 3.

    $ kubectl create secret docker-registry tac4adv \
      --docker-server https://registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced \
      --docker-username 'USERNAME' \
      --docker-password 'TOKEN'

Charts can then be deployed either by adding the global.imagePullSecrets[0]=SECRET-NAME parameter to each Helm deployment command, or by configuring the ImagePullSecret globally.

To use a Helm chart from the VMware Application Catalog:

  1. Find the Helm chart in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  2. Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  3. Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Helm chart” section, as shown below:

    Helm commands

Here is an example of how to deploy a VMware Application Catalog Helm chart for Apache Kafka using the ImagePullSecret created earlier:

If you are using Helm CLI version older than 3.7.0

$ export HELM_EXPERIMENTAL_OCI=1
$ helm registry login registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts
$ helm chart pull registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts/kafka:12.2.1
$ helm chart export registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts/kafka:12.2.1
$ helm install kafka/ --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv"

If you are using Helm CLI version 3.7.0 or later

$ export HELM_EXPERIMENTAL_OCI=1
$ helm registry login registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts
$ helm install oci://registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts/kafka --version 12.2.1 --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv"

Useful links

You should now have a good understanding of how to begin using the VMware Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, including browsing the catalog, obtained detailed information on container images and Helm charts and using these artifacts for development.

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, reach out to your VMware sales representative or use the links below:

check-circle-line exclamation-circle-line close-line
Scroll to top icon