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VMware Enterprise PKS enables operators to provision, operate, and manage enterprise-grade Kubernetes clusters using BOSH and Pivotal Ops Manager.


PKS uses the On-Demand Broker to deploy Cloud Foundry Container Runtime, a BOSH release that offers a uniform way to instantiate, deploy, and manage highly available Kubernetes clusters on a cloud platform using BOSH.

After operators install the PKS tile on the Ops Manager Installation Dashboard, developers can provision Kubernetes clusters using the PKS Command Line Interface (PKS CLI), and run container-based workloads on the clusters with the Kubernetes CLI, kubectl.

PKS is available as part of Pivotal Cloud Foundry or as a stand-alone product.

What PKS Adds to Kubernetes

The following table details the features that PKS adds to the Kubernetes platform.

Feature Included in K8s Included in PKS
Single tenant ingress
Secure multi-tenant ingress
Stateful sets of pods
Multi-container pods
Rolling upgrades to pods
Rolling upgrades to cluster infrastructure
Pod scaling and high availability
Cluster provisioning and scaling
Monitoring and recovery of cluster VMs and processes
Persistent disks
Secure container registry
Embedded, hardened operating system


PKS has the following features:

  • Kubernetes compatibility: Constant compatibility with current stable release of Kubernetes

  • Production-ready: Highly available from applications to infrastructure, with no single points of failure

  • BOSH advantages: Built-in health checks, scaling, auto-healing and rolling upgrades

  • Fully automated operations: Fully automated deploy, scale, patch, and upgrade experience

  • Multi-cloud: Consistent operational experience across multiple clouds

  • GCP APIs access: The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Service Broker gives applications access to the Google Cloud APIs, and Google Container Engine (GKE) consistency enables the transfer of workloads from or to GCP

On vSphere, PKS supports deploying and running Kubernetes clusters in air-gapped environments.

PKS Components

The PKS control plane contains the following components:

For more information about the PKS control plane, see PKS Cluster Management.

For a detailed list of components and supported versions by a particular PKS release, see the PKS Release Notes.

PKS Concepts

For conceptual information about PKS, see PKS Concepts.

PKS Prerequisites

For information about the resource requirements for installing PKS, see the topic that corresponds to your cloud provider:

Preparing to Install PKS

To install PKS, you must deploy one of the following versions of Ops Manager:

  • Ops Manager v2.4.3 and earlier in the v2.4 version line
  • Ops Manager v2.3.9 and earlier in the v2.3 version line

You use Ops Manager to install and configure PKS.

If you are installing PKS to vSphere, you can also configure integration with NSX-T and Harbor.

Consult the following table for compatibility information:

IaaS Ops Manager v2.3.1+ or v2.4.x NSX-T Harbor
vSphere Required Available Available
GCP Required Not Available Available
AWS Required Not Available Available
Azure Ops Manager v2.4.0 through v2.4.3 or v2.3.0 through v2.3.9 is required for installing PKS on Azure. Not Available Available

For more information about compatibility and component versions, see the PKS Release Notes.

For information about preparing your environment before installing PKS, see the topic that corresponds to your cloud provider:

Installing PKS

For information about installing PKS, see Installing PKS for your IaaS:

Upgrading PKS

For information about upgrading the PKS tile and PKS-deployed Kubernetes clusters, see Upgrading PKS Overview.

Managing PKS

For information about configuring authentication, creating users, and managing your PKS deployment, see Managing PKS.

Using PKS

For information about using the PKS CLI to create and manage Kubernetes clusters, see Using PKS.

Backing Up and Restoring PKS

For information about using BOSH Backup and Restore (BBR) to back up and restore PKS, see Backing Up and Restoring PKS.

PKS Security

For information about security in PKS, see PKS Security.

Diagnosing and Troubleshooting PKS

For information about diagnosing and troubleshooting issues installing or using PKS, see Diagnosing and Troubleshooting PKS.