Modern Apps

VMware IT’s Journey with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid on vSAN

by: VMware Director of Solutions Engineering and Design Swapnil Hendre; VMware Director of Cloud Infrastructure Kandy O’Mara; VMware Senior Cloud Infrastructure Engineer Telmo Rodrigues; VMware IT Manager Manas Sing; and VMware Lead Cloud Infrastructure Administrator Darren Truong

Our cloud-native journey

Monolithic applications are simple to develop, test and deploy. However, they pose a challenge when various components of the monolithic application develop at a different pace. In this case, simplicity becomes a roadblock. In order to improve the speed of delivery, VMware started its journey toward cloud-native applications by switching to a microservices architecture. We achieved our agility goal by using a full stack of VMware products, leveraging VMware vSphere®, vSAN, NSX®, VMware® Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, Bitnami, Tanzu Observability, Tanzu Mission Control, vRealize® Operations, and vRealize Log Insight.

Our Tanzu Kubernetes Grid solution provides us with faster, highly scaleable and resource-efficient deployments, which enables us to run resilient enterprise operations, including business-critical applications like our ticketing system.

End-to-end VMware stack

We used our products and services to modernize our apps and infrastructure, running VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid as the Kubernetes platform of choice aligning to or our cloud-native strategy.

We deployed enterprise-ready Tanzu Kubernetes clusters, backed by vSphere, vSAN and NSX, to provide resiliency and high availability, truly leveraging VMware products end-to-end.

VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid is our supported Kubernetes distribution packaged for enterprise adoption. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid makes efficient container orchestration a reality for us and brings the advantages of blue-green deployments and high uptime of the services deployed on the platform. The result was faster and more efficient deployments, in a highly scalable, resource-efficient environment.

Bitnami provides secure container images for workloads running on Tanzu Kubernetes Grid, making deployment of secure and hardened versions of open-source containers much smoother.

NSX Advanced Load Balancer platform provides automated application services, including load balancing, application analytics, predictive autoscaling, and security. NSX Advanced Load Balancer allows the use of appropriate annotations in our application manifests file to make items configurable for our CI/CD pipelines. This allows us to easily deploy load balancer services or ingress, as well as trace pod traffic, provide improved metrics, and reduce fault isolation time.

NSX-T Network Container Plugin lets us dictate how pods interact with each other not only by manipulating routing but also through its distributed firewall.  It also allowed us to microsegment every network element within the cluster.

vSAN’s dynamic volume provisioning is possible with the vSphere Container Storage Interface (CSI) driver. It gives our DevOps teams the freedom to fulfill their automation objectives with persistent volume claims without any dependencies on the infrastructure of administration and support teams.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid cluster health and monitoring

Tanzu Observability provides us with comprehensive monitoring of our complete infrastructure, starting from vSphere and going to pod level. Even slight fluctuations of these metrics receive alerts, and it is this very fine-grained monitoring that helps us adjust our offering.

vRealize Log Insight is our log aggregator of choice. It is immensely useful for troubleshooting, making log search and retrieval a minor task.

vRealize Operations monitors, optimizes, and allows us to plan and scale our self-driving IT operations starting from our apps to the infrastructure, including all pieces of our Kubernetes clusters and containers. 

Using our own products

At VMware, we believe every solution must withstand the rigors of internal use—including being put to the test by globally dispersed teams, as well as enterprise production applications. Our Tanzu portfolio streamlines operations and lets developers deliver apps to any cloud, ultimately allowing VMware IT to deliver better software faster, streamline operations, run Kubernetes across clouds, and unify and optimize a multi-cloud infrastructure.

VMware on VMware blogs are written by IT subject matter experts sharing stories about our digital transformation using VMware products and services in a global production environment. Contact your sales rep or to schedule a briefing on this topic. Visit the VMware on VMware microsite and follow us on Twitter.   


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