VMware’s Tanzu Advanced hit GA, talking to devs rather than ops

VMware Tanzu Advanced

Virtualization giant VMware has expanded its Tanzu portfolio by making an advanced edition generally available. The new package is supposed to complement the basic and standard plans introduced last autumn by adding security, observability and some developer-geared elements into the mix.

According to VMware, Tanzu is meant to help organisations modernise their applications and infrastructures, which nowadays seems to amount to getting Kubernetes involved. To quench its customers’ thirst for the CNCF project and accommodate the fact that applications tend to have become more complex, VMware put together Project Pacific in 2019

As part of a wider Tanzu initiative, it included a reworking of vSphere to use Kubernetes as the product’s control plane to handle a greater variety of entities.

Tanzu Basic looks like just that, as it allows you to run Kubernetes in vSphere so that admins familiar with VM tooling can stick to this – without keeping devs from dipping their toes into Kubernetes waters. Tanzu Standard adds multi-cloud support to facilitate deployments across different environments, and a multicluster SaaS control plane so it’s easier to stay on top of it all.

While the Basic and Standard have been built with those who want to run pre-packaged containers in mind, Advanced is – as the name suggests – for those a bit ahead on the matter, offering help to deploy custom apps on Kubernetes. 

To make this easier, the new addition comes with functionality to build containers, service meshes for secure communication between the latter, data services, and additional networking, policy management, and monitoring features.

Keen to make things easier for developers, VMware also integrated the microservice framework Spring, which Java folks will surely appreciate, but is mostly because of Spring’s Pivotal and therefore VMware connection, and a curated catalogue of backing services and building blocks to speed up the implementation process. 

Self-service access to resources and container builds are also part of the package, providing devs with a bit of flexibility, while admins can still keep an eye on usage and make sure no one lives beyond their means. 

Pricing information for the various Tanzu editions is available on request only, which suggests it isn’t for everyone (although the software heavily relies on open source projects such as container registry Harbor or the Open Policy Agent for policy enforcement). VMware also used the announcement of the new tier to remind customers of their consulting branch, which has shed its Pivotal skin and now goes under the name of VMware Tanzu Labs.