From Project Pacific to vSphere 7

Submitted by Matts Bos on Fri, 07/24/2020 - 22:45
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From Project Pacific to vSphere 7
There has been a lot of talk about Project Pacific the past months and finally the product, vSphere 7 was released a few days ago. During the VMworld US and VMworld EU there have been several announcements and a few sessions, there were a lot of webinars the past two weeks about vSphere 7, but what is it exactly?

vSphere 7 is a re-design of the vSphere environment with built in Kubernetes support. The ways to manage and run workloads will differ from what we are used to in the old vSphere 6 environment. Instead of split environments (vSphere – Kubernetes) both will be available from the same view within the familiar vSphere interface. In terms of running workloads in Kubernetes clusters, it is now an internal part of the hypervisor.

Running Kubernetes

The base of Project Pacific is being able to run Kubernetes clusters which are available from the known interface of vSphere. This creates visibility and clarity for vSphere Administrators that don’t know exactly what happens within Kubernetes. There are two variants of running Kubernetes in a Supervisor Cluster (managed and viewed within vSphere), vSphere Pods and Tanzu Kubernetes. Clusters.


vSphere Pods

vSphere Pods will allow the vSphere Administrators and/or DevOps Engineers to use Kubernetes in a simple way without extensive configuration and knowledge of Kubernetes. It enables running containerized workloads managed and monitored from within the vSphere environment. Keep in mind that running vSphere Pods does not allow for much Kubernetes customization while keeping full security options in place. A vSphere Pod is directly deployed onto an ESXi host.

Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters

The Tanzu Services managed clusters are aimed to be used by DevOps and/or developers currently working with Native Kubernetes and haven’t got much to do with the vSphere side of life. These clusters are fully fledged Native Kubernetes clusters and can be used by developers like any other Kubernetes setup they are used to without ever having to deal with deployments from vSphere. At the same time vSphere Administrators still see it all in the vSphere client.

For more information about the differences please have a look at the VMware vSphere 7 Kubernetes Cluster Documentation

Networking and Security

One big requirement, apart from the new license, is that you can’t use any of the above without NSX-T. It has been a misunderstanding that you can run Kubernetes on vSphere without NSX on a default vSphere environment, I’ve heard a lot of people claim this lately. Please remember, you need NSX-T!

NSX-T is the network virtualization/abstraction layer required to connect the containers with the actual network. Just like for normal VM’s, NSX-T will provide Layer-2 to Layer-7 networking capabilities for containers running in Kubernetes on vSphere.

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