Well here we are again – another VMworld has come around. As most of you will know, VMworld 2021 is going to be another “fully virtual” event (no pun intended), the same as it was for VMworld 2020. Hard to imagine that it is 3 years since I presented at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas, and 2 years since I presented at VMworld EMEA 2019 in Barcelona. Strange days indeed. Let’s hope we can all get together at VMworld 2022 and have a blast. Like previous years, I have picked out a few presentations that I plan on attending at this year’s event. As I am spending a lot of my time these days on all things related to Kubernetes, I decided I would pick a selection of sessions that resonate with me. Thus, in no particular order, here are my top 10 picks:
Getting started with vSphere with Tanzu
I’m going to start by pooling together a number of sessions associated with the vSphere with Tanzu product. I’ve written about vSphere with Tanzu on a number of occasions on this site, and it is the ideal product for vSphere administrators to deploy, manage and monitor Kubernetes clusters deployed on vSphere infrastructure. I would start by recommending session – Getting Started with vSphere with Tanzu [MCL1648] – by my good pal, Mike Foley. If you’re a vSphere admin who is just getting started with Kubernetes, this is a great session to take. I would then suggest reinforcing this session with the hands-on-lab on vSphere with Tanzu [GWS-HOL-2213-01-SDC]. Here you will learn from Peter, Jose and Bob how vSphere admins can use their existing skills to not only provide Kubernetes clusters to the Kubernetes platform teams, but also how to utilize vSphere with Tanzu for monitoring and troubleshooting. I would then take another vSphere with Tanzu session, a level 200 session from Karthik Balachandran in Technical Support. This session is entitled Deep Dive on vSphere with Tanzu Updates [APP2063] and Karthik will describe the lifecycle management of a vSphere with Tanzu environment, including both the Supervisor control plane and TKG guest/workload clusters. Having taken these 3 sessions, you should have a really good appreciation of the vSphere with Tanzu product.
vSphere with Tanzu and NSX-T
A fundamental component to any Kubernetes infrastructure is networking and associated network services. Not only does one need a Load Balancer service for many applications, but secure Pod to Pod communication is another critical factor. In this session, NSX-T Reference Designs for vSphere with Tanzu [NET1426], Raymond, Vijendra and Ionut share their reference designs and best practices for deploying container workloads on vSphere with Tanzu and NSX-T.
vSphere with Tanzu and the VM Provisioning Service
This one is pretty cool and introduces a new enhancement to vSphere with Tanzu, namely the VM provisioning service. As we have mentioned many times before, the nature of the application is changing. In many cases, it is no longer simply a set of VMs. Similarly, it is not simply a set of containers either. In many cases, an app is often a combination of both VMs and containers. In The Future of VM Provisioning – Enabling VM Lifecycle through Kubernetes [APP1564], Myles and Nikitha will talk about the new VM service built into vSphere with Tanzu, and how one can use standard Kubernetes API calls to manage the lifecycle of virtual machines alongside managing the lifecycle of containers and Pods. This is sure to be a good session.
vSphere with Tanzu and vSAN Data Persistence platform
Because many new modern apps require the ability to persist both structured and unstructured data, a recent vSphere with Tanzu feature, in conjunction with vSAN, was the introduction of the vSAN Data Persistence platform (or DPp for short). In this first session – Modernize Infrastructure with S3-Compatible Object Storage on VMware HCI [APP1980] – my good buddy Pete Flecha will show how you can deploy S3-compatible object storage from partners such as Cloudian and MinIO on vSphere with Tanzu. Pete is one of the best presenters I know, so no doubt this will be a fun session.
There is a second session on this topic of DPp which you might be interested in – VMware and DELL EMC ObjectScale: Deploying Software-defined Object Storage [APP2763S]. In this session, our friends over at DELL Technologies will demonstrate their Kubernetes-native object storage platform, ObjectScale, and show how it can be deployed as a modern stateful service on vSphere with Tanzu through the vSAN DPp.
Kubernetes, vSphere CSI and vSAN
This is probably a good point to tell you about the session that I am presenting with Duncan. The session is entitled VMware vSAN – Dynamic Volumes for Traditional and Modern applications [MCL1084], and whilst Duncan will telling you about many of the new features of vSAN, I’ll be focusing on the Kubernetes side of things, showing what we are able to do today as well as highlighting some of the new Kubernetes / CSI driver features that will soon be available. Hope you can find time in your schedule to come and join us.
Kubernetes at the Edge
This looks to be a very interesting one from our xLabs team. In Containerized Applications at the Edge Using VMware Tanzu and SASE [EDG2325S] the team will tell us all about the investments being made at VMware to run Kubernetes at the edge. This will include a walk-through on how you can use Tanzu Mission Control and VMware SD-WAN to securely manage your edge-based container workload deployments. I look forward to watching this one.
Tanzu Basic vs. Tanzu Standard
Do want to learn more about our Tanzu portfolio and understand what you get with the different editions? If so, don’t miss this session – The Fast Path to Kubernetes with VMware Tanzu [APP1630] – from Kendrick Coleman. This session explores the Tanzu portfolio including some of the core concepts. Note that this is not focused on looking solely at vSphere with Tanzu, but also looks at the standalone Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) editions. Another great session for vSphere admins and/or developers who are looking to use Kubernetes on vSphere.
And that concludes my top ten session picks around Kubernetes for VMworld 2021. If you are interested in storage topics, then please check out my top 10 storage picks for VMworld 2021 post.