VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides organizations with a consistent, upstream-compatible, regional Kubernetes substrate that is ready for end-user workloads and ecosystem integrations. As a part of VMware Tanzu Standard Edition, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 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?

With Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, you can deploy Kubernetes clusters across software-defined datacenters (SDDC) and public cloud environments, including vSphere, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon EC2. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid allows you to run Kubernetes with consistency and make it available to your developers as a utility, just like the electricity grid. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid has a native awareness of the multi-cluster paradigm, not just for clusters, but also for the services that your clusters share.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid architecture

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid builds on trusted upstream and community projects and delivers a Kubernetes platform that is engineered and supported by VMware, so that you do not have to build your Kubernetes environment by yourself. In addition to Kubernetes binaries that are tested, signed, and supported by VMware, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides the services such as networking, authentication, ingress control, and logging that a production Kubernetes environment requires.

Find the Docs for the Different Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Implementations

There are different implementations of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. All of the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offerings provision and manage the lifecycle of Tanzu Kubernetes clusters. A Tanzu Kubernetes cluster is an opinionated installation of Kubernetes open-source software that is built and supported by VMware. In all of the offerings, you provision and use Tanzu Kubernetes clusters in a declarative manner that is familiar to Kubernetes operators and developers. The different Tanzu Kubernetes Grid offerings provision and manage Tanzu Kubernetes clusters on different platforms, in ways that are designed to be as similar as possible, but that are subtly different.

Each offering provides documentation that describes how to use its Tanzu Kubernetes Grid implementation in the context of that product. Make sure that you consult the correct documentation for the implementation of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid that you are using.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, informally known as TKG, is a multi-cloud Kubernetes footprint that you can run both on-premises in vSphere and in the public cloud on Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure. In addition to Kubernetes binaries that are tested, signed, and supported by VMware, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid includes signed and supported versions of open source applications to provide the registry, networking, monitoring, authentication, ingress control, and logging services that a production Kubernetes environment requires. If you are using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, see the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Documentation.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service, informally known as TKGS, lets you create and operate Tanzu Kubernetes clusters natively in vSphere with Tanzu. You use the Kubernetes CLI to invoke the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service and provision and manage Tanzu Kubernetes clusters. The Kubernetes clusters provisioned by the service are fully conformant, so you can deploy all types of Kubernetes workloads you would expect. vSphere with Tanzu leverages many reliable vSphere features to improve the Kubernetes experience, including vCenter SSO, the Content Library for Kubernetes software distributions, vSphere networking, vSphere storage, vSphere HA and DRS, and vSphere security. For more information, see the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service for vSphere Documentation.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition

Tanzu Mission Control

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition, informally known as TKGI, is a Kubernetes-based container solution that is integrated with Cloud Foundry BOSH and Ops Manager. Formerly known as VMware Enterprise PKS, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition allows you to provision, operate, and manage Kubernetes clusters. It provides advanced networking, a private container registry, and lifecycle management, so that you can run and manage containers at scale on private and public clouds. If you are using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition, see the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition Documentation.

Tanzu Mission Control, informally known as TMC, provides a hosted Tanzu Kubernetes Grid implementation as a managed service for public cloud environments. Tanzu Mission Control is available through VMware Cloud services. Tanzu Mission Control provides a centralized management platform for consistently operating and securing your Kubernetes infrastructure and modern applications across multiple teams and clouds. If you are using the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid service that Tanzu Mission Control provides, see the VMware Tanzu Mission Control Documentation.

What's in the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Docs?

The documentation for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid provides information about how to install, configure, and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Concepts and References

Introduces the main components of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid. Most importantly, 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, and provide links to the section in which they are documented.

Prepare to Deploy Management Clusters

Describes 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 how to deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Grid on VMware Cloud on AWS and Azure VMware Solution and in environments that are not connected to the Internet.

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, alongside all of your other clusters.

Deploy Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters

Explains how to use the Tanzu CLI to deploy Tanzu Kubernetes clusters from your management clusters, how to deploy clusters that run different versions of Kubernetes, how to manage node pools, and how to create persistent volumes. You can also modify the templates from which you deploy clusters. This chapter includes a tutorial that provides an example of how to deploy a workload on a cluster.

Manage Clusters

Describes how to connect to, manage, scale, restart, and delete your management clusters and Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters after deployment. This chapter also includes information about how to manage cluster secrets, configure machine health checks, and how to back up and restore clusters.

Install and Configure Packages

Shows how to install and configure auto-managed and CLI-managed packages on clusters.

Build Machine Images

Describes how to build your own Linux and Windows custom machine images to run in cluster nodes.

Upgrade Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Provides instructions to upgrade your Tanzu Kubernetes Grid installation, and how to upgrade the management clusters and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters that you deployed with a previous version. This information covers both minor v1.5.x to v1.6.x and patch v1.6.x to v1.6.y upgrades.

Identity and Access Management

Explains how to configure identity and access management with LDAP and OIDC in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, including how to configure Role Based Access Control.


Provides information about networking and network architectures for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, including how to customize Tanzu Kubernetes cluster networking, and how to install, manage, and configure L7 ingress with NSX Advanced Load Balancer. This chapter also explains how to run Tanzu Kubernetes Grid in anIPv6-only networking environment on vSphere.

Security and Compliance

Lists information about ports and protocols, firewall rules, and CIS benchmarking to secure your Tanzu Kubernetes Grid infrastructure and comply with network security policies. The Security Overview Whitepaper describes the current state of the art of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid security. Information is provided about audit logging and about how Tanzu Kubernetes Grid conforms with NIST controls.

Logs and Troubleshooting

Includes tips to help you to troubleshoot common problems that you might encounter when installing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and deploying management clusters and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters. This section also describes how to access the logs and use the Crash Recovery and Diagnostics tool.

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

Use the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 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 Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

To learn more about Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, visit the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid product page to find 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 Tanzu Kubernetes Grid News

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