By Paul Fazzone, VP/GM VMware Cloud Native Apps Business Unit
Editor’s note: On February 26th, 2019, VMware renamed VMware PKS to VMware Enterprise PKS. To learn more about the change, read here.
On November 6th, 2018, VMware renamed VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE) to VMware Cloud PKS. To learn more about the change, read here.
Today, VMware announced VMware Kubernetes Engine or VKE, a new offering as part of VMware Cloud Services. VKE is a fully managed SaaS-based service running on AWS, that enables enterprise developers to provision Kubernetes clusters on-demand, without the need to stand up or operate Kubernetes or the supporting infrastructure. VKE Beta is immediately available for sign up. GA is planned later in the year.
PKS and VKE: Consistent Developer Experience Everywhere with Operational Flexibility
VKE builds on the progress already made with PKS, providing even more flexibility over how organizations provide a consistent Kubernetes experience to developers running application workloads anywhere while enabling operators with more flexibility and control.
PKS: Best solution for Enterprise Managed Kubernetes
Pivotal Container Service (PKS) is a joint VMware and Pivotal solution providing everything needed to stand-up and operate Kubernetes in production, on-premises or in a cloud. PKS includes BOSH infrastructure automation, Harbor container registry, and NSX-T container networking to provide an out-of-the-box Kubernetes stack. Since reaching general availability in February 2018, PKS has gained adoption with customers looking to rapidly install and operate Kubernetes in production.
CNCF’s User Survey from December 2017 indicated that users’ biggest challenges are networking, security, storage, monitoring, and logging. PKS helps to solve these challenges by integrating with NSX, vSAN, vSphere, vRealize, and Wavefront, providing a full solution that is supported and backed by VMware. As a result, PKS was recognized as a top 3 container platform by Enterprise Management Associates earlier this year.
VKE: New SaaS-based Kubernetes-as-a-Service
VMware built VKE to enable the consumption of Kubernetes as a SaaS-based offer, with the infrastructure invisible and fully managed for the customer. VKE is multi-cloud ready and will launch first on AWS. In the future, VKE will support Kubernetes clusters on Azure and additional cloud environments as part of our multi-cloud strategy. VKE also offers Smart Cluster technology for resource optimization, global policy management, and an ecosystem supporting developer and IT tools across AWS, Kubernetes, and VMware.
Consistent Kubernetes Experience Running Anywhere
VKE and PKS share common design principles, delivering a consistent, production-grade Kubernetes experience to enterprise developers across private and public cloud infrastructure. VKE and PKS both provide a pure Kubernetes dial-tone with constant compatibility and leverage common operational tools like Wavefront for observability and monitoring. Both are designed for multi-cloud environments for enterprises to run Kubernetes on a broad range of infrastructure and enable productivity for developers and operators.
With PKS and now VKE, enterprises can balance their need for operationalizing Kubernetes and/or consuming Kubernetes-as-a-Service. Our goal is to provide a consistent, simple developer experience with flexibility and control for operators across PKS and VKE with support for common tools such as Wavefront for observability and monitoring.
For more information on VKE, please visit our web site and sign up for the beta program, at no cost.
 CNCF User Survey on cncf.io, December 2017