VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides organizations with a consistent, upstream-compatible Kubernetes substrate that is ready for end-user workloads and ecosystem integrations. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) is central to many of the offerings in the VMware Tanzu portfolio, and provides the Kubernetes runtime for VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations.

What Is 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 architecture

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.

TKG Deployment Options

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid uses a management cluster to create and manage workload clusters, and has different deployment options based on where that management cluster runs. The types of management cluster are:

  • Supervisor, on vSphere with Tanzu in vSphere 8

  • Supervisor Cluster, on vSphere with Tanzu in vSphere 7

  • Standalone management cluster, on vSphere 6.7 and 7 without vSphere with Tanzu, and in the cloud on AWS and Azure

For more information about when to use a Supervisor and when to use a standalone management cluster, see About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

vSphere with Tanzu Supervisor Deployment

Running Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with a Supervisor lets you create and operate workload clusters natively in vSphere with Tanzu and leverage many vSphere features, including vCenter SSO, vSphere networking, vSphere storage, vSphere security, and the Content Library.

You can connect to a Supervisor using the Kubernetes CLI, the Tanzu CLI, and other interfaces.

For details about the contents of the vSphere with Tanzu documentation for vSphere 8, see Docs for TKG with Supervisor below.

Standalone Management Cluster Deployment

A standalone management cluster can deploy Kubernetes clusters in private and public cloud environments, including vSphere 6.7 and 7 without vSphere with Tanzu, Microsoft Azure, and AWS.

A standalone management cluster is a special-purpose Kubernetes cluster that you deploy on an infrastructure and use to create workload clusters on that same infrastructure.

Important:

The latest version of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid that supports standalone management cluster deployment is Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.6. Using a standalone Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.x management cluster on vSphere 8 is not yet supported. If you are using a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.x management cluster, please wait before upgrading from vSphere 7 to 8.

For details about the contents of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid v1.6 documentation, see Docs for TKG with Standalone Management Clusters below.

Find the Right TKG Docs for Your Deployment

To find documentation for the different Tanzu Kubernetes Grid deployment options, consult the table below. Some publications apply to both Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with Supervisor and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with a standalone management cluster.

What do you want to do?

Documentation

Applies to TKG with Supervisor on vSphere 8?

Applies to TKG with Supervisor Cluster on vSphere 7?

Applies to TKG with a standalone management cluster?

Learn about the capabilities of the latest version of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Set up and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with a Supervisor in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 8

Using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 with vSphere with Tanzu

Use the Tanzu CLI to provision workload clusters in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 8

Create and Manage Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 Clusters with the Tanzu CLI

Set up and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with a Supervisor Cluster in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 7

vSphere with Tanzu Configuration and Management

Learn about the architecture, commands, and options of the Tanzu CLI

VMware Tanzu CLI Reference

Use the Tanzu CLI to deploy standalone management clusters and workload clusters on vSphere 6.7 and 7 without vSphere with Tanzu, or on AWS and Azure

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.6 Documentation

Use the Tanzu CLI to log in to the Supervisor Cluster and provision workload clusters in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 7

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.6 Documentation

Deploy and operate Kubernetes clusters from Tanzu Operations Manager.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGI) *

* TKGI uses different APIs to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and is not part of the TKG publications.

Docs for TKG with Supervisor

The VMware vSphere with Tanzu Documentation provides information about how to install, configure, and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 with the Supervisor in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 8. You can use Tanzu CLI version 1.6 to connect to a Supervisor in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 8.

Subject

Contents

Learn about the capabilties of vSphere with Tanzu and plan your deployment

vSphere with Tanzu Concepts describes what vSphere with Tanzu is. Supervisor Architecture and Components and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Architecture and Components provide details about how vSphere with Tanzu and TKG 2 work. Supervisor Deployment Options explains the different configurations in which you can deploy a Supervisor, and the requirements for Zonal, and Cluster Supervisor deployment are listed.

Set up and maintain vSphere with Tanzu

Installing and Configuring vSphere with Tanzu covers subjects including installation, creating storage policies, creating zones for multi-zone Supervisor deployments, networking, creating content libraries, licensing, creating and managing namespaces, connecting to clusters, and managing the Supervisor. vSphere with Tanzu Services and Workloads describes Supervisor services, how to use vSAN Data Persistence Platform, deploying workloads on vSphere pods, and using persistent storage with workloads. Maintaining vSphere with Tanzu provides information about how to update your environment, how to back up and restore vSphere with Tanzu, monitoring and managing resources, monitoring VMs, and log streaming.

Learn about the capabilities of TKG

About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid includes a glossary of TKG terminology, provides information about the types of clusters that you can create and the different ways in which you can create them, and describes what Tanzu Kubernetes releases and custom node images are. It also explains how identity and access management works in TKG, and how you can extend the capabilities of your clusters by installing different packages on them.

Set up and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with a Supervisor in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 8

Using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 with vSphere with Tanzu describes how to use TKG with a Supervisor, including Supervisor identity and access management for clusters, how to manage Tanzu Kubernetes releases, and configuring namespaces. It provides instructions about provisioning, operating, and maintaining clusters, as well as installing packages and deploying workloads on those clusters. Other topics included are how to use container registries, how to back up and restore workloads, and how to deploy AI/ML workloads.

Use the Tanzu CLI to create workload clusters

The Tanzu CLI Command Reference lists all of the commands and options of the Tanzu CLI. Create and Manage TKG 2 Clusters with the Tanzu CLI explains how to obtain and install the Tanzu CLI, how to connect the CLI to a Supervisor, how to use the CLI to create and manage workload clusters, and how to install and configure auto-managed and CLI-managed packages on clusters to add extra functionality to those clusters.

For information about using TKG Service with a Supervisor Cluster in vSphere with Tanzu on vSphere 7, see vSphere with Tanzu Configuration and Management.

Docs for TKG with Standalone Management Clusters

The documentation for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.6 provides the latest information about how to install, configure, and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with standalone management clusters.

Subject

Contents

Learn about TKG with standalone management clusters

Concepts and References introduces the main components of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. The Tanzu CLI Command Reference and Tanzu CLI Configuration File Variable Reference list all of the commands, options, and configuration variables of the Tanzu CLI.

Prepare your environment

Prepare to Deploy Management Clustersdescribes how to set up your environment for deployment of management clusters to vSphere, Azure, and Amazon EC2, as well as how to install the Tanzu CLI and other tools. This chapter also describes how to deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid in environments that are not connected to the Internet.

Deploy and manage management clusters

Deploy Management Clusters provides instructions about how to deploy management clusters to your chosen provider, by using both the installer interface and from a configuration file. There is also information about how to use the Tanzu CLI with a vSphere with Tanzu Supervisor Cluster in vSphere 7. In addition, you can register your management cluster with Tanzu Mission Control, so that you can manage it and use it to deploy workload clusters directly in the Tanzu Mission Control interface.

Create and manage workload clusters

Deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters explains how to use the Tanzu CLI to create workload clusters. Manage Clusters describes how to connect to, manage, scale, restart, and delete your management clusters and workload clusters after deployment. Other topics include how to manage cluster secrets, configure machine health checks, and how to back up and restore clusters.

Extend the capabilities of your clusters

Install and Configure Packages shows how to install and configure auto-managed and CLI-managed packages on clusters to add extra functionality to those clusters. The extra functionality that you can add to clusters includes certificate management, monitoring, ingress control, DNS service discovery, support for multiple network interfaces, and deploying a Harbor container registry.

Customize and manage your deployments

Build Machine Images describes how to build your own custom machine images to run in cluster nodes. Identity and Access Management explains how to configure identity and access management with LDAP and OIDC. Networking provides information about networking and network architectures for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, including how to install NSX Advanced Load Balancer. The docs also include information about how to Upgrade Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, Security and Compliance, and Logs and Troubleshooting.

For information about new features, compatibility, component versions, and resolved and known issues, see the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.6 Release Notes.

TKG Reference Architectures

VMware provides reference architecture documents that describe validated deployment configurations for Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations. These reference architecture documents cover Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with both Supervisor and standalone management cluster configurations, both on vSphere and in the public cloud. Reference architectures for different TKG versions and deployment scenarios are available from the VMware Tanzu Reference Architecture Documentation home page.

Use the TKG Docs

The Tanzu Kubernetes Grid documentation in HTML reflects the latest update release of each Tanzu Kubernetes Grid version. For example, version 1.6 contains updates for all 1.6.x releases. All our documentation comes in PDF format, which you can access by selecting the Download PDF icon on any page in the HTML documentation.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid operates the N-2 Lifecycle Policy, wherein the latest minor release and the two minor releases that immediately precede it are supported. PDF documentation for older releases of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid that are no longer supported is available for download in a ZIP archive format. The archive can be found under Previous Releases in the table of contents on the left of this page.

If you are logged in to docs.vmware.com with your VMware Customer Connect account, you can use MyLibrary to create custom documentation collections, that contain only the content that meets your specific information needs.

Learn More About VMware Tanzu and TKG

To learn more about Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, visit the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Tech Zone and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid product page to find technical articles, whitepapers, solution briefs, FAQs, videos, customer testimonials, demos, and other resources.

Visit the VMware Tanzu Documentation page to learn more about the products in the VMware Tanzu Portfolio.

Stay Up to Date with TKG News

VMware posts regularly about Tanzu Kubernetes Grid news, product releases, and events on the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Blog.