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By Michael West, Technical Product Manager, VMware

The Cloud-Native Apps Business Unit at VMware is pleased to announce that we have updated and expanded our portfolio of Hands-on Labs available at VMworld. This year’s labs include an update of VMware Pivotal Container Service (PKS) to version 1.1 and a new lab for the recently announced VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE).

What Are VMware Hands-on Labs?

Hand-on Labs include more than 80 independent labs covering the entire breadth of VMware products. When you take a Hands-on Lab (HOL), a vPod is instantiated for you. A vPod is a complete virtual data center with VMware ESXi hosts, VMware vCenter, storage, networking, and a Windows Console VM. For PKS, the lab manual guides you through a series of exercises specific to PKS and Kubernetes. You have 90 minutes to complete the lab (the modules are independent so you can start with any of them), and the vPod is removed when you exit. These labs are available on-demand. Simply go to the HOL URL and register, then take the lab. You can return whenever you want and start the lab again.

 

How to Access the Lab

There are two types of HOL available at VMworld. You can either register for the expert-led workshops to try these labs with the help from our PKS and VKE experts, or attend the self-paced lab at times that work for you. Check the links to PKS and VKE HOLs here.

Both the new PKS and VKE labs will be online after VMworld too; you can go to https://labs.hol.vmware.com and register for an account, and then take the lab anytime and anywhere at your convenience.

 

PKS or VKE or Both?

Follow a simple decision tree to select the product that is right for you:

Do you need to deploy Kubernetes on-premise?  If you do, PKS is the solution.

Do you need to deploy Kubernetes in a public cloud?  If you want your platform team to be responsible for the management of the underlying control plane and the clusters themselves, choose PKS running on the public cloud.  For a complete abstraction from the underlying details of deployment and management of your clusters running in the public cloud, choose VKE. It is a SaaS solution that turns Kubernetes into a policy-driven, always-on service.  

The labs overlap a bit – this is intentional.  The solutions are architected so that developers are required to make minimal changes to their Kubernetes applications as platform teams choose the appropriate Kubernetes abstraction to deploy.

 

HOL-1931-01-CNA Pivotal Container Service (PKS) – Getting Started

Module 1: Introduction to Kubernetes—(45 minutes) (Basic): In Module 1, you will learn what container orchestration with Kubernetes is all about. Terminology is a barrier to understanding technology, and the fundamental components of the Kubernetes platform will be explained in detail. This module contains no lab steps but will provide you with a foundational understanding that will make the other modules more intuitive. If you already have an understanding of Kubernetes and want to get to the hands-on steps, start with Module 2.

Module 2: Introduction to Pivotal Container Service (PKS)—(45 minutes) (Advanced): Operationalizing Kubernetes at scale is not for the faint of heart. PKS is a purpose-built product  to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters. This module will introduce PKS, highlighting its capabilities to extend high availability, scale, health monitoring and lifecycle management to Kubernetes. You will see how to deploy persistent volumes as part of an upgrade to an existing app. Project Harbor, an open source container registry from VMware, is also part of PKS. You will see how to upload both signed and unsigned images to Harbor and use them in a Kubernetes app. You will also be exposed to the integration with VMware NSX Transformers, including network policy.

Module 3: Kubernetes Deep Dive—(45 minutes) (Advanced): This module is pure Kubernetes lab work. You will use the kubectl command-line utility to manipulate the Kubernetes components you read about in Module 1, create the deployment that defines the pods and services that make up a web server application and scale the application up and down, adding pods to provide either increased capacity or availability. By the end, you should be comfortable with manipulating your application components through the CLI.

Module 4: Deploy and Manage a Multi-tiered Application—(30 minutes) (Advanced): This module can be taken independently from the first two, but builds upon the knowledge gained there to deploy a more complex application. You will see the components of a web-based, restaurant-rating application that includes a backend database. Once your application is deployed, you will upgrade to a newer version with no downtime, and you will subsequently roll the upgrade back without downtime as well.

 

HOL-1932-01-CNA VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE) – Getting Started

Module 1 – Introduction to VMware Kubernetes Engine (30 minutes) (Basic) In Module 1, you will learn what container orchestration with Kubernetes is all about. Terminology is a barrier to understanding technology and the fundamental components of the Kubernetes platform will be explained in detail. You will also be introduced to VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE), including a high-level look at the components of the service.  This module contains no lab steps but will provide you with a foundational understanding that will make the other modules more intuitive. If you already have an understanding of Kubernetes and SaaS-based Kubernetes services and want to get hands-on, start with Module 2.

Module 2 – Creating Your First Cluster and App (30 minutes) (Basic/Advanced) You will go from basic to advanced quickly in this module.  You will quickly deploy your application using the Kubernetes Dashboard for your cluster.  A GUI is nice for getting started and deploying an application in minutes — but cloud-native applications are about automation.  You will move to the command-line interface (CLI) and see how you accomplish the same tasks in a way that can easily be scripted. You will also see how VMware Smart Clusters in VKE not only deploy in just a few minutes, but also elastically scale as your applications need access to more resources — without any manual intervention.

Module 3 – Managing Day-Two Operations (30 minutes) (Basic/Advanced) VKE includes granular access control for users.  In this module, you will explore how to control access by creating groups and assigning policies to the groups for resource access.  You will also learn how to monitor your deployment using open-source tools that allow you to gather and visualize your data. Finally, you will step through the process of upgrading your VKE environment to the latest release while monitoring the availability of your apps.

Sign up for a Cloud-Native Hands-on Lab at VMworld. Stay tuned to @CloudNativeApps on twitter and this blog for more VMworld content. If you have VMworld-related questions that you’d like us to cover in a subsequent post, tweet to us @CloudNativeApps.