VMware PKS enables enterprises to deploy and consume container services with production-grade Kubernetes orchestration. It’s a purpose-built container platform that provides a Kubernetes dial tone and helps to quickly and easily operationalize Kubernetes for enterprises moving to hybrid and multi-cloud deployments, as well as service providers. It significantly simplifies the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters with Day 1 and Day 2 operations support.
VMware vSAN as a core component of Cloud Foundation on VxRail provides the storage platform for deploying VMware PKS in a persistent environment. vSAN’s Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) offers users flexibility to define policies on demand in VMware vCenter and delivers ease of management of storage for containers. Data services such as snapshots, cloning, encryption, deduplication and compression are available at a container volume level of granularity. Deep integration between PKS and vSAN means developers can consume storage as code by abstracting the complexity of the underlying storage infrastructure.
With NSX-T, another key component of Cloud Foundation stack, there is no need for end users to know the underlying network architecture. Networking can be easily managed with Kubernetes clusters – deployment, upgrade and scaling out. NSX-T can automatically create load balancers, routers, switches to be used by PKS. It also provides end-to-end security by firewalls, namespace isolation, etc.
Figure 8. PKS Workload Domain in VMware Cloud Foundation on VxRail
Probably the biggest value of leveraging PKS workload domains in VMware Cloud Foundation comes from accelerated time-to-value and ease of deployment. The deployment is fully automated end-to-end down from the infrastructure, up to the PKS environment running on the top. When the VI workload domain is provisioned, SDDC Manager is used to layer the PKS on the top automatically, leveraging proven design patterns for the production-ready deployment documented in the VVD guidance. For instance, it can support multiple Compute Availability Zones and ensures that the applications’ network traffic doesn’t go through the management domain. The deployment workflow validates the inputs and checks the pre-requisites upfront to minimize a risk of error. However, even if for some reason the automated workflow fails, it simplifies troubleshooting via logging and allows to resume the workflow when the root cause is resolved.
PKS integration with Cloud Foundation on VxRail also simplifies Day 2 operations. For instance, if there’s a need to expand or shrink the capacity of the PKS deployment, SDDC Manager can be used to scale the underlying infrastructure for PKS deployment in a matter of few clicks.
To learn more about VMware PKS itself, please consult Appendix E.