vSphere with Tanzu you can turn a vSphere cluster to a platform for running Kubernetes workloads in dedicated resource pools. Once enabled on a vSphere cluster, vSphere with Tanzu creates a Kubernetes control plane directly in the hypervisor layer. You can then run Kubernetes containers by deploying vSphere Pods, or you can create upstream Kubernetes clusters through the VMware Tanzu™ Kubernetes Grid™ Service and run your applications inside these clusters.
What Is vSphere with Tanzu? You can use vSphere with Tanzu to transform vSphere to a platform for running Kubernetes workloads natively on the hypervisor layer. When enabled on a vSphere cluster, vSphere with Tanzu provides the capability to run Kubernetes workloads directly on ESXi hosts and to create upstream Kubernetes clusters within dedicated resource pools.
What Is a vSphere Pod? vSphere with Tanzu introduces a new construct that is called vSphere Pod, which is the equivalent of a Kubernetes pod. A vSphere Pod is a VM with a small footprint that runs one or more Linux containers. Each vSphere Pod is sized precisely for the workload that it accommodates and has explicit resource reservations for that workload. It allocates the exact amount of storage, memory, and CPU resources required for the workload to run. vSphere Pods are only supported with Supervisor Clusters that are configured with NSX-T Data Center as the networking stack.
What Is a Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster? A Tanzu Kubernetes cluster is a full distribution of the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration platform that is built, signed, and supported by VMware. You can provision and operate Tanzu Kubernetes clusters on the Supervisor Cluster by using the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service. A Supervisor Cluster is a vSphere cluster that is enabled with vSphere with Tanzu.
When to Use vSphere Pods and Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters Using vSphere Pods or Tanzu Kubernetes clusters provisioned by the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service depends on your goals related to deploying and managing Kubernetes workloads on the Supervisor Cluster.
vSphere with Tanzu User Roles and Workflows The vSphere with Tanzu platform involves two roles, the vSphere administrator and the DevOps engineer. Both roles interact with the platform through different interfaces and can have users or user groups defined for them in vCenter Single Sign-On with associated permissions. The workflows for the vSphere administrator and DevOps engineer roles are distinct and determined by the specific area of expertise these roles require.
How Does vSphere with Tanzu Change the vSphere Environment? When a vSphere cluster is configured for Kubernetes workloads, thus becoming a Supervisor Cluster, it adds objects to the vCenter Server inventory, such as namespaces, vSphere Pods, and Tanzu Kubernetes clusters provisioned using the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service.
Licensing for vSphere with Tanzu Once you configure a vSphere cluster for vSphere with Tanzu and it becomes a Supervisor Cluster, you must assign the cluster a Tanzu edition license before the 60 day evaluation period expires.