VMware Cloud Provider Container Service Extension Developer Ready Cloud Developer Ready Clouds with Tanzu

Container Service Extension 3.1.3 – A Technical Overview

The Container Service Extension(CSE) provides Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, Opensource Kubernetes as a Service on VMware Cloud Director with Multi-tenancy at its core. The CSE continues to improve Kubernetes as a Service for cloud providers. CSE announced release 3.1.3 with new features. The release focuses on improved user experience for tenants by introducing a default storage class, Tanzu Core packages on the Tanzu Kubernetes clusters, and a New supported TKG release. For Cloud providers, the release features focus on expanding Python library support for CSE Server and ‘vcd-cli’, and more customizations in the cse server config.yaml files. Let’s take a closer look at each feature in the sections below.

Default Storage Class

Until CSE 3.1.2 release, the Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster author would create a default storage class on the Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster before leveraging Persistent Volumes for the Applications. Starting with CSE 3.1.3, the Kubernetes Cluster author can optionally generate a default Storage class while creating a TKG cluster and install Applications with the default storage class. This feature automates steps for the user to manage the TKG cluster for their developers in the customer organization. Figure 1 showcases new options to declare TKG Clusters on the VMware Cloud Director Tenant portal.


Figure 1 Create Default Storage Class from VCD Container UI plugin when creating Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster

Tanzu Core Packages on Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster

Until the CSE 3.1.2 release, users have to install kapp-controller and metrics server packages as an additional step on the Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster to install the Tanzu Packages. Starting the CSE 3.1.3 release, the tanzu core packages are pre-installed on the Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters. This ability provides the users reduced steps to get ready-to-use Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters by developers. Figure 2 below shows pods and namespaces on the CSE 3.1.3 Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster.

Figure 2 New added Core Packages on Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster on VMware Cloud Director Customer Org

Updated Python Library Support for CSE Server

CSE Server install is improved to support additional versions. Now CSE server supports installation with python library versions 3.7.3+, 3.8.x, 3.9.x, and 3.10.x.The below table showcases the updated support metrics for the Python library to run CSE Server. Please note that the CSE server can be installed on any OS as long as python library versions are satisfied.

Supported Python Library-VersionOperating System
3.7.5Photon OS 3
3.10.2Photon OS 4
3.7.3+, 3.8.x, 3.9.x or 3.10.x.Ubuntu, mac-os, windows, RHEL, windows
Support Metrics for Python Library and Various Operating Systems

Supports Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 1.5.1

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid VersionProvided Kubernetes Versions
1.5.1,1.5.21.22.5, 1.21.8, 1.20.14
1.4.01.21.2, 1.20.8, 1.19.12
1.3.11.20.5, 1.19.9, 1.18.17
1.3.01.20.4, 1.19.8, 1.18.16, 1.17.16
CSE 3.1.3 and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Templates Supported

New Customizations in config.yaml

CSE Server ‘config.yaml’ file includes new customizations for Cloud Storage Interface(CSI), Cloud-Provider Interface(CPI), and Antrea(Cloud Network Interface-CNI) plugins. On the Customer organizations end, users can choose to override the default settings by providing these values in the yaml configuration. The optional extra option provides flexibility to service providers to select the latest Plugins without upgrading the CSE Server.

For Cloud Providers: Sample optional parameters in CSE config.yaml and update the versions

For Customer/Kubernetes Cluster users: Sample cluster.yaml to create Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster

This summarizes the high-level overview of the new features of Kubernetes as a Service on VMware Cloud Director with Container Service Extension and Tanzu Kubernetes Grid.

Further Reading

  1. Container Service Extension release page
  2. Feature Friday Playlist for Developer Ready Cloud
  3. Container Service Extension release announcement
  4. Compatibility Metrix for CSE 3.1.3
  5. New Template Announcement for CSE 3.1.3
  6. Release notes for CSI and CPI

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