Kubernetes on VMware- What Are the alternatives?

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Dec 12, 2023

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A VMware is a server that helps install a shared physical server on which multiple virtual machines or VMs run. Every VM works with a separate operating system, meaning that this physical server allows various operating systems to run together. One will learn in a DevOps training in detail about VMware and how it can manage containerized workloads on Kubernetes servers. 

How does Kubernetes run on a VMware?

Kubernetes is a platform that allows one to manage containerized applications. VMware provides these containers with an infrastructure with virtualization platforms, making it easier for enterprises to manage these containerized applications. VMware has supported Kuberkenets on its vSphere virtualization platform since 2019 using its ESXi hypervisor. 

Tanzu, another platform by VMware, is a Kubernetes Grid Platform and allows users to manage clusters of Kubernetes that are compatible with upstream Kubernetes development. Furthermore, Tanzu will enable enterprises to run Kubernetes during production, allowing them to manage Kubernetes clusters across various VMware infrastructures, public clouds, and bare metal servers. 

Both vSphere and Tanzu enable the management of Kubernetes on VMware. Therefore, one needs to understand how each of them works with Kubernetes for better execution. 

Kubernetes on VMware with vSphere

The addition of Kubernetes APIs to vSphere has become deeply integrated with Kubernetes. Kubernetes APIs act has a control pane for vSphere, allowing users to use the services available on the VMware environment seamlessly like any other public cloud platform. This update has allowed vShpere to manage workloads like applications, VM, and applications without disruptions on its platform. 

At the core of vSphere, the ESXi hypervisor works as a management agent. It is based on the Kubernetes kubelet. The hypervisor contains Kubernetes API, which lets it act as a local Kubernetes node, allowing it to connect clusters of Kubernetes in one place. 

The ESXi hosts can run multiple containers on the hypervisor. This feature is possible due to adding the latest container runtime CRX to the vSphere. While using this approach, a user does not need to load the full Linux OS but can use a Linux kernel along with an init process to run Kubernetes. 

Features of vSphere 

While running Kubernetes on VMware, the vSphere has certain features that make it an efficient platform for this task. These features are :

  • As a part of the Supervisor clusters, administrators can create namespaces on this platform which can work as a separate team with their own memory space, storage, and CPU units. 
  • This platform allows DevOps engineers to work with Kubernetes containers with a shared resource pool. 
  • An essential part of DevOps Online Training is learning how to create and manage Kubernetes clusters and how one can manage their lifecycle. This platform allows DevOps engineers to perform all these operations with ease. 
  • vSphere administrators can monitor both Tanzu Kubernetes clusters and vSphere pods with regular VM tools. 
  • A person can also manage and observe Kubernetes clusters on different namespaces simultaneously. 

Running Kubernetes on VMware with Tanzu

Tanzu is a VMware platform that provides products and services to enterprises to enable them to build, run and manage the Kubernetes environment. One can use this modern cloud-native model to develop applications on this platform. Furthermore, one can also deploy any existing legacy applications alongside this application on the Tanzu platform. One can also run this platform on any OS and manage their Kubernetes framework. 

Users can deploy Tanzu’s lifecycle management capabilities at their data center, edge, or public cloud server. Tanzu also ensures that all the Kubernetes clusters are centrally connected at a central point. This allows users to back up, access, and manage all the clusters in a centralized manner. 

Features of Tanzu

Some of the critical features of Tanzu that every DevOps engineer should be aware of are as follows: 

  • The Tanzu server is known for its high availability and supports multi-AZ replication and etcd deployments. Furthermore, the server is capable enough to detect defects in the VMs and repair them. 
  • Tanzu provides ample storage space to its users. It compiles both vShpere Cloud Provider storage and CSI storage which can support persistent volumes, storage classes, and stateful sets. 
  • Users can manage the lifecycle of Kubernetes on Vmware and can have the entire lifecycle under their control. Users can manage Kubernetes clusters that run on public servers, bare metal, and VMware vSphere. 
  • One can also manage access to the clusters; any enterprise can define which team can access the cluster. This allows teams to have an additional management layer over active directory groups. 
  • Tanzu also comes with a security and configuration management system, which makes formulating security and network policies for various clusters easier.  

Challenges involved in running Kubernetes on VMware

Enterprises have used VMware to manage Kubernetes along with containerized workloads. Although this platform has many benefits, one may face challenges while running Kubernetes on VMware. 

  • One can find it difficult and complex to run open-source software on bare metal. 
  • VMs run slower when a user manages multiple higher application loads on the platform. This can cause the node to malfunction. The cluster can lose quorum if such defects happen with the manager node.
  • Due to the presence of a hypervisor that monitors Kubernetes on VMware, the development process slows down. 
  • The most severe challenge that DevOps engineer face on VMware is application modernization, meaning that applications running in traditional VMs cannot make the most of the latest VMware platforms. 

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This is all one needs to know if they plan to run Kubernetes on VMware. As discussed earlier, managing Kubernetes is a complex task, and if a person wants to specialize in this, they need to take a DevOps Course.

StarAgile offers a DevOps Course in India, which is an excellent path to understanding the concepts of DevOps online. They offer one of the Best DevOps Training in India and provide certification with knowledge of tools such as Git, SVN, Docker, and Nagios. Enroll today to learn more about DevOps!

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