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VMware Unlocks the Power of Kubernetes for 70 Million-Plus Workloads Running on vSphere

New VMware vSphere with VMware Tanzu Brings Kubernetes to the Fingertips of Millions of IT Administrators


VMware Unveils Tanzu Editions to Accelerate Customers’ App Modernization Initiatives


Updates to VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1, vSphere 7 Update 1 and vSAN 7 Update 1 Deliver Innovations to Help Customers to Further Scale Infrastructure and Streamline Operations


PALO ALTO, Calif., September 16, 2020 – VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) today unveiled new offerings to help customers further accelerate their app and infrastructure modernization initiatives. VMware vSphere 7 Update 1, VMware vSAN 7 Update 1 and VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 product releases streamline customer adoption of Kubernetes and support stateful applications with new developer-ready capabilities and enhance scalability and operations with new features. VMware today also announced Tanzu editions—packaging portfolio capabilities to address the most common scenarios customers encounter in their modernization efforts.


“A year ago, we embarked on an effort to help customers succeed along each step of their app and infrastructure modernization journey,” said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, Products and Cloud Services, VMware. “Today, we take a leap forward to unlock the potential of Kubernetes for hundreds of thousands of VMware vSphere customers. Our new solutions and offerings help remove the guesswork out of Kubernetes and provide the requisite capabilities needed to help customers’ achieve their modernization objectives.”


Delivering Developer-Ready Infrastructure

In a year’s time, VMware has delivered a comprehensive software stack that enables customers to develop new modern applications as well as modernize existing applications and infrastructure. At VMworld 2019 US, VMware unveiled the Tanzu portfolio and the tech preview of Project Pacific—to rearchitect vSphere into an open platform using Kubernetes APIs. In March 2020, VMware introduced the Tanzu portfolio for modern applications. Additionally, VMware delivered on the first phase of Project Pacific with VMware Cloud Foundation 4 with Tanzu—which provides hybrid cloud infrastructure with consistent management for both VM-based and container-based applications. (Read VMware App Modernization press release).


Today, VMware is delivering on the next phase of Project Pacific with new product releases to help customers rapidly adopt Kubernetes. VMware vSphere with VMware Tanzu will provide a simple way for hundreds of thousands of vSphere customers globally to get started with Kubernetes and modernize the 70 million-plus workloads running on vSphere. Customers will be able to take advantage of existing investments in technology, tools and skillsets to quickly set up and provision Kubernetes clusters in support of modern applications.


Specifically, vSphere with Tanzu will allow customers to configure enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure with their existing network and block or file storage in less than an hour. (1) This includes enabling customers to extend vSphere Distributed Switch support for Kubernetes clusters. vSphere with Tanzu will also allow customers to deploy NSX Advanced Load Balancer Essentials (with option to upgrade to the  Enterprise Edition) or choose their own L4 load balancing solutions. Using VMware vCenter Server, customers will be able to deploy Kubernetes clusters in minutes, provision role-based access and allocate capacity to developers. (2) The integration with VMware Tanzu allows administrators to manage consistent, compliant and conformant Kubernetes while providing developers self-service access to IT infrastructure.


Additionally, VMware is introducing new capabilities across its HCI and hybrid cloud platforms to further support customers’ modern applications needs. VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 with VMware Tanzu will introduce the vSAN Data Persistence platform—a framework for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) enabling modern stateful services such as NoSQL databases and object storage to integrate with the underlying infrastructure. The integrations will enable customers to run their stateful applications with lower TCO and simplified operations and management.


Today, VMware is announcing that Dell EMC ObjectScale will be integrated and validated on the vSAN Data Persistence platform. VMware is also announcing partnerships and co-engineering efforts with Cloudian, DataStax and MinIO to integrate and validate their respective offerings on the platform. Partners will introduce plug-ins in support of the platform over time. (3) In conjunction with partners, the new platform will enable customers to:

  • Allow developers to use Kubernetes APIs to provision and scale stateful services on-demand in a self-service model with minimal administrator intervention;
  • Deliver integrated service health and capacity monitoring through dedicated dashboards in vCenter;
  • Leverage service-aware infrastructure operations to enable service availability during infrastructure changes including maintenance and lifecycle management;
  • Run stateful services with optimal storage efficiency.

Simplifying the Customer Journey through the VMware Tanzu Portfolio  

Building on today’s new product releases, VMware is simplifying how customers realize compelling outcomes with the capabilities of its VMware Tanzu portfolio. VMware is introducing VMware Tanzu editions—packaging portfolio capabilities that address the most common enterprise requirements to modernize infrastructure and applications. The VMware Tanzu editions lineup consists of Basic, Standard, Advanced and Enterprise. VMware Tanzu Basic is an add-on to vSphere that entitles customers to run Kubernetes as part of their vSphere environment. VMware Tanzu Standard edition enables customers to run and manage Kubernetes across multiple clouds with a single, open source aligned distribution, and centralized management of policy across clouds, clusters and teams. The Basic and Standard editions will be available this quarter; the Advanced and Enterprise editions will be available later with more details to follow.


Scale Infrastructure without Compromise and Simplify Operations

Beyond the app and infrastructure modernization updates introduced today, VMware vSphere 7 Update 1, VMware vSAN 7 Update 1 and VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 are introducing new capabilities in support of customers running traditional workloads. New features and enhancements will enable customers to scale their infrastructure and simplify their operations, including:

  • Monster VMs – vSphere 7 Update 1 virtual machines (VMs) scale up to 24 terabytes (TB) and 768 vCPUs to deliver “monster VMs” in support of resource intensive applications such as in-memory databases.
  • Cluster Scale Enhancements – vSphere 7 Update 1 has expanded support for the number of hosts per cluster by 50% for a total of 96 hosts per cluster.
  • HCI Mesh – vSAN 7 Update 1 introduces HCI Mesh, a unique software-based approach for disaggregation of compute and storage resources that helps customers to scale incrementally. This feature helps customers to reduce CAPEX by sharing capacity across clusters while lowering OPEX as they reduce the amount of storage resources managed by scaling efficiently.
  • Compression-Only Option – This new vSAN 7 Update 1 option will allow customers to enable compression-only instead of deduplication and compression. Customers will benefit from an increase in usable capacity and improved performance across both all-flash and hybrid systems without compromising space efficiency for databases.
  • Enterprise-Ready File Services – vSAN 7 Update 1 now offers all of the most common file service protocols by adding support for the SMB v3 and v2.1 protocols. Additionally, vSAN File Services now features Active Directory integration, a critical component of enterprise-ready file storage, and Kerberos support for network authentication. With these new capabilities, customers can use vSAN for both block and file storage for most use cases.
  • Remote Clusters – New remote cluster capabilities enable VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 to extend its operational capabilities to edge locations and branch offices.
  • vVols Integration – New vVols integration into VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 with Tanzu provides a common storage management framework for external storage.  
  • VMware Skyline Support for VMware Cloud Foundation VMware Skyline brings proactive intelligence to VMware Cloud Foundation by identifying management and workload domains and proactively surfacing VMware Cloud Foundation solution findings.

Product Availability

VMware vSphere with Tanzu, VMware vSphere 7 Update 1, VMware vSAN 7 Update 1, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.1 with Tanzu, VMware Tanzu Basic and Tanzu Standard editions, and VMware Skyline support for VMware Cloud Foundation are all expected to become available in VMware’s Q3 FY21 (ending Oct. 30, 2020). VMware NSX Advanced Load Balancer Essentials is expected to be in beta in Q3 FY21. (4) VMware Tanzu Advanced and Enterprise editions will be available at a later date.


Supporting Quotes

“Enterprise IT organizations have made Kubernetes a standard for container orchestration in most application modernization projects; it’s widely adopted by operations, DevOps, and development teams.” – Stephen Elliot, IDC Program Vice President for I&O and DevOps


“Customers seeking to adopt agile, cloud-native development methods need to quickly spin up Kubernetes environments on the same infrastructure already supporting their other business-critical applications. As the first HCI solution with a fully integrated Tanzu portfolio, Dell EMC VxRail offers the fastest path to Kubernetes when deployed with vSphere with Tanzu and a fully integrated Kubernetes environment when deployed with VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu. These offerings exemplify the ongoing work between Dell Technologies and VMware to bring integrated, innovative solutions to customers.” – Jeff Boudreau, president, Dell Technologies Infrastructure Solutions Group


“We’re excited about extending our strong VMware partnership to offer their customers Cloudian‘s limitlessly scalable, geo-distributed, multi-tenant and fully native S3-compatible object storage services within their cloud-native environments.” – Sanjay Jagad, senior director of products and solutions at Cloudian


“Modern, cloud-native applications require a transformational data architecture and microservices approach to enable dramatically improved operations and TCO, developer productivity, and time-to-market. With VMware vSAN Data Persistence platform and DataStax Enterprise hybrid-database as a service, organizations can run any workload on any cloud with zero downtime at global scale.” – Ed Anuff, Chief Product Officer, DataStax


“The addition of the Kubernetes API and vSAN Data Persistence platform to the heart of VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu represents a tectonic shift for the Kubernetes community. The native Kubernetes API enables VMware’s customers to immediately access a rich ecosystem of cloud-native applications, many of which are natively integrated with MinIO.” – AB Periasamy, co-founder and CEO of MinIO


Additional Resources

About VMware

VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to customers globally, aided by an extensive ecosystem of partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact.


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VMware, vSphere, VMware vSAN, Tanzu, VMworld, NSX, vCenter Server, Skyline are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.

  1. Based on internal VMware testing and expectations for a production environment, where appropriate networking settings are preconfigured for consumption (August 2020)
  2. Based on internal VMware testing and expectations for a production environment, where appropriate networking settings are preconfigured for consumption (August 2020)
  3. Each partner must develop their own plug-in for VMware customers to receive the benefits of vSAN Data Persistence platform. The platform is not operational until the partner solution running on top is operational.
  4. There is no commitment or obligation that features or products in beta will become generally available.

Contact Information


Rachel Beauchamp

Senior Manager Communications, VMware ANZ