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Today VMware announced Project Pacific, what I believe to be the biggest evolution of vSphere in easily the last decade.  Simply put, we are re-architecting vSphere to deeply integrate and embed Kubernetes. The introduction of Project Pacific anchors the announcement of VMware Tanzu, a portfolio of products and services that transform how the enterprise builds software on Kubernetes.

Project Pacific evolves vSphere to be a native Kubernetes platform. What’s driving this shift?  Fundamentally it goes to what constitutes a modern application.  Modern apps are often complex combinations of many different technologies – traditional in-house apps, databases, modern apps in containers, and potentially even modern apps in functions.  Managing these apps across that heterogeneity is a complex task for both developers and operators.  Indeed, enabling dev and ops to work better together is a key problem many businesses face.

When we looked at this space and asked ourselves how we can help our customers here, it was clear that vSphere would play a central role.  But we realized that newer technologies, such as Kubernetes, were also critical to the solution.  So we thought – why not combine them and get the best of both worlds?

This is exactly what Project Pacific achieves.  Project Pacific fuses vSphere with Kubernetes to enable our customers to accelerate development and operation of modern apps on vSphere.  This will allow our customers to take advantage of all the investments they’ve made in vSphere and the vSphere ecosystem in terms of technology, tools, and training while supporting modern applications.

Specifically, Project Pacific will deliver the following capabilities:

  • vSphere with Native Kubernetes

Project Pacific will embed Kubernetes into the control plane of vSphere, for unified access to compute, storage and networking resources, and also converge VMs and containers using the new Native Pods that are high performing, secure and easy to consume. Concretely this will mean that IT Ops can see and manage Kubernetes objects (e.g. pods) from the vSphere Client.  It will also mean all the various vSphere scripts, 3rd party tools, and more will work against Kubernetes.

  • App-focused Management

Rather than managing individual VMs (and now containers!), Project Pacific will enable app-level control for applying policies, quota and role-based access to developers. With Project Pacific, IT will have unified visibility into vCenter Server for Kubernetes clusters, containers and existing VMs, as well as apply enterprise-grade vSphere capabilities (like High Availability (HA), Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and vMotion) at the app level.

  • Dev & IT Ops Collaboration

IT operators will use vSphere tools to deliver Kubernetes clusters to developers, who can then use Kubernetes APIs to access SDDC infrastructure. With Project Pacific, both developers and IT operators will gain a consistent view via Kubernetes constructs in vSphere.

VMware’s extensive ecosystem of partners will also benefit from Project Pacific which will enable their tools to work against container-based applications seamlessly and without any modifications. Ultimately, Project Pacific will help enterprises to accelerate the deployment of modern apps while reducing the complexity involved to manage them in the hybrid cloud. Project Pacific is currently in technology preview*.

This is a truly groundbreaking innovation for vSphere.  I’m really excited about our broader vision for helping customers build software on Kubernetes. You should read more about VMware Tanzu. If you’re at VMworld this week, please check out the on-site resources below.  Otherwise, we have plenty of content online for you to learn more!

Learn more about Project Pacific with these resources:

* There is no commitment or obligation that technology preview features will become generally available.

About the Author

Kit Colbert

Kit Colbert is VP & CTO, Cloud Platform BU at VMware, driving technical strategy and innovation for the vSphere, VMware Cloud on AWS, and Project Dimension product lines. Previously he was GM of Cloud-Native Apps, CTO for End-User Computing, the Chief Architect and Principal Engineer for Workspace Portal, and the lead Management Architect for the vRealize Operations Suite. At the start of his career, he was the technical lead behind the creation, development, and delivery of the vMotion and Storage vMotion features in vSphere. Kit holds a ScB in Computer Science from Brown University and is a recognized thought-leader on Cloud-Native, End-User Computing, and Cloud Management trends. He speaks regularly at industry conferences, on the main stage at VMworld, and is the Cloud-Native voice for the VMware Office of the CTO blog.