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.

Important:
What is TKG 2?

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 refers to how the latest versions of the Tanzu CLI (shipped with TKG v1.6.x and v2.1) work with the Supervisor in vSphere 8 or with TKG 2.1 standalone management clusters, and the new capabilities of this client/server pair. Specifically, TKG 2 uses improved Cluster object definitions backed by a new ClusterClass object type defined in version v1.x (v1beta1) of the Cluster API open-source toolset for Kubernetes cluster management. These redesigned cluster objects are simpler, more modular, and more cross-compatible than the corresponding objects in previous versions of Cluster API used by TKG 1.x.

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, 7, and 8 without Supervisor, and in the cloud on AWS and Azure

vSphere with Tanzu Supervisor Deployment

Standalone Management Cluster 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 on vSphere 8 below.

A standalone management cluster can deploy Kubernetes clusters in private and public cloud environments, including vSphere 6.7, vSphere 7, and vSphere 8 without Supervisor, and on 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.

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

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

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?

Publication

Applies to TKG with a standalone management cluster?

Applies to TKG with Supervisor on vSphere 8?

Applies to TKG with Supervisor Cluster on vSphere 7?

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

About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

Install the Tanzu CLI and use it to deploy standalone management clusters on vSphere 6.7, 7, and 8 without Supervisor, or on AWS and Azure

Deploying and Managing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 Standalone Management Clusters

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 TKG 2 workload clusters with Supervisor on vSphere 8 or with standalone TKG 2.1 management clusters

Creating and Managing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 Workload Clusters with the Tanzu CLI

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

VMware Tanzu CLI Reference

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

vSphere with Tanzu Configuration and Management

Use the Tanzu CLI to deploy TKG 1.x management clusters on vSphere, AWS, and Azure, or 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 Standalone Management Clusters

The documentation for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 provides the latest information about how to install, configure, and use Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with standalone management clusters on vSphere 6.7, 7, and 8 without a Supervisor, and on AWS and Azure.

Publication

Contents

About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid

This publication applies to both TKG 2 with Supervisor on vSphere 8 and to TKG 2.1 with standalone management clusters, and provides:

Deploying and Managing Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 Standalone Management Clusters

This publication applies only to TKG 2.1 with standalone management clusters, and describes how to:

Creating and Managing TKG 2.1 Workload Clusters with the Tanzu CLI

This publication applies to both TKG 2 with Supervisor on vSphere 8 and to TKG 2.1 with standalone management clusters, and explains how to:

For information about new features, compatibility, component versions, and resolved and known issues, see the VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 Release Notes.

Docs for TKG with Supervisor on vSphere 8

In addition to the About Tanzu Kubernetes Grid and Creating and Managing TKG 2.1 Workload Clusters with the Tanzu CLI publications listed above, 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.

In particular, Using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2 with vSphere with Tanzu describes how to use TKG with a Supervisor on vSphere 8, 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 from the vSphere Client rather than with the Tanzu CLI, as well as installing packages and deploying workloads on those clusters. Other Supervisor-specific topics included are how to use container registries, how to back up and restore workloads, and how to deploy AI/ML workloads.

Docs for TKG Service with Supervisor Cluster on vSphere 7

If you are using Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service in vSphere with Tanzu in vSphere 7, see vSphere with Tanzu Configuration and Management.

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 2.1 contains updates for all 2.1.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.

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