About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid allows you to make Kubernetes available to developers as a utility, just like an electricity grid. Operators and developers can use this grid to create and manage clusters in the declarative manner that is familiar to Kubernetes users and keep them version-compatible with upstream Kubernetes.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid deploys clusters using an opinionated configuration of Kubernetes open-source software that is supported by VMware, so that you do not have to build a Kubernetes environment by yourself. In addition to validated Kubernetes component binaries, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides packaged services such as networking, authentication, ingress control, and logging that a production Kubernetes environment requires.

To deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) uses a management cluster that takes requests from a client CLI or UI and executes them using Cluster API, a standard open-source tool for low-level infrastructure and Kubernetes cluster operations.


Tanzu Kubernetes Grid v2.5 does not support the creation of standalone TKG management clusters or workload clusters on AWS and Azure. Use Tanzu Mission Control to create native AWS EKS and Azure AKS clusters on AWS and Azure. For information about how to create native AWS EKS and Azure AKS clusters with Tanzu Mission Control, see Managing the Lifecycle of AWS EKS Clusters and Managing the Lifecycle of Azure AKS Clusters in the Tanzu Mission Control documentation.

For more information, see End of Support for TKG Management and Workload Clusters on AWS and Azure in the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid v2.5 Release Notes.

The management cluster has two deployment options that run on different infrastructures using different sets of components:

  • Supervisor is a management cluster that is deeply integrated into vSphere with Tanzu in vSphere 7 and vSphere 8, that also performs infrastructure-level functions apart from supporting TKG.
  • A Standalone management cluster is a management cluster that runs as dedicated VMs, to support TKG on multiple cloud infrastructures, including vSphere 6.7, 7, and 8 without a Supervisor (all TKG versions), or on AWS and Azure (TKG versions up to and including v2.4 only).

Where to Find TKG Documentation

TKG documentation* is published in different locations based on management cluster deployment option.

What Do You Want to Do? Deployment Option Documentation
Learn about the difference between Supervisors and Standalone management clusters Supervisor and standalone management clusters See Management Clusters: Supervisors and Standalone in this publication
Set up and use TKG with a Supervisor on vSphere 8 Supervisor See Using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 with vSphere with Tanzu in the vSphere with Tanzu documentation
Set up and use TKG with a standalone management cluster on vSphere 6.7, 7, and 8 without Supervisor Standalone management clusters See Deploying and Managing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.5 Standalone Management Clusters on vSphere
Use the Tanzu CLI to deploy workload clusters, either with a Supervisor on vSphere 8 or with a standalone management cluster Supervisor and standalone management clusters See Creating and Managing TKG 2.5 Workload Clusters on vSphere with the Tanzu CLI
Learn about the Tanzu CLI Supervisor and standalone management clusters See Installing and Using VMware Tanzu CLI v1.1.x

* Another product in the Tanzu portfolio, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition, does not use Cluster API and is not covered by this publication.

Why Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source system that replicates apps and keeps them running and accessible through network outages, changes in demand, and other potential stressors. To do this, Kubernetes hosts apps in portable containers that run on any compatible VM or physical machine, where “compatible” means running an OS and Kubernetes version that can support the containerized apps.

Combine Kubernetes with an infrastructure that can configure, create, and manage VMs, storage, and other resources, and you can securely and reliably host apps anywhere that the infrastructure extends, including private datacenters, public clouds, and edge hardware.

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