VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 on VxRail 7.0 introduced a major architectural upgrade to the platform. The biggest innovation in this version is VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu, providing native integration of Kubernetes directly into the vSphere hypervisor. This integration delivers a new set of VMware Cloud Foundation services, including VMware Tanzu Runtime Services and Hybrid Infrastructure Services, providing the basis for the cloud infrastructure and container ecosystems to accelerate developer productivity.
On VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0, virtual infrastructure administrators get unified visibility of virtual machines (VMs), containers, and Kubernetes clusters directly in vCenter Server, which is also the standard management console for VxRail, they are familiar with. Containers and Kubernetes are managed alongside VMs from the same console and the concept of Kubernetes namespace is integrated into vSphere, becoming the unit of management. Resource objects, such as VMs and containers can be grouped into logical applications using namespaces, simplifying the management of cloud-native workloads at scale. Administrators can set policies, quota, and role-based to a namespace, allowing developers to access the namespace within the predefined boundaries.
Developers can also create Supervisor Clusters and Guest Clusters. Supervisor Clusters run Kubernetes natively on ESXi for better container performance and integration, while Guest Clusters run Kubernetes in Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) clusters on VMs. Similar to VMware administrators who can manage Kubernetes environment in vSphere using their native management tools (such as vCenter), developers can consume cloud resources such as Kubernetes clusters, disks, and networks using familiar Kubernetes CLI and API tools (see Figure 6).
The following list summarizes the key benefits of VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu functionality that is introduced in VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0:
VMware vSAN as a core component of VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail includes a CSI driver that enables developers to provision persistent storage for Kubernetes on vSphere on-demand in an automated fashion. VMware administrators can manage container volumes through the Cloud Native Storage UI within VMware vCenter as if they were VM volumes. Developers and IT administrators can have a consistent view of container volumes and troubleshoot at the same level.
Cloud Native Storage through the CSI driver on vSAN is natively integrated into the vCenter and provides comprehensive data management for both stateless and stateful applications. Customers using cloud native storage can create containerized stateful applications capable of surviving container restarts and outages. Stateful containers leverage storage exposed by vSphere that can be provisioned using Kubernetes primitives such as persistent volume, persistent volume claim, and storage class for dynamic provisioning.
NSX, another key component of VMware Cloud Foundation stack, removes the need for end users to understand underlying network architecture. Networking can be easily managed with Kubernetes clusters—deployment, upgrade, and scaling out. NSX can automatically create load balancers, routers, and switches to be used by Tanzu. It also provides end-to-end security by firewalls, namespace isolation, and more.
To learn more about the VMware Tanzu portfolio, see Appendix E: VMware SDDC common component details.