To date, many companies build their applications with large, monolithic system architectures—organically grown, proprietary and static. They are difficult to repair, can hardly be upgraded in terms of functionality and require a lot of preparation time. Companies are losing momentum and falling behind the competition. There are new, more agile methods of software development, but they require management platforms as a basis.
Instead of focussing on the construction of monoliths, modern software development focusses on containers that take on parts of an application, also known as microservices. These then form a cluster. Each container can be exchanged , updated and expanded separately. This leads to some major advantages: Companies and their developers can react to changing market conditions this way, while implementing new ideas and dynamically growing the IT landscape.
As a standard application for the development with containers, the free open-source application "Kubernetes" has established itself. Developers use this to manage and orchestrate the software container while receiving a connection to an application cluster. But even for Kubernetes—like every other software—you have to patch regularly about three times a year. This way the application receives important security updates that close some newly discovered security breaches and also benefits from other features.
Containerisation poses some additional challenges for IT as Kubernetes clusters also need to work in virtualised environments. There are no companies nowadays that want to forfeit the financial, functional and administrative advantages that server and application virtualisation offer. At the same time, IT has to consider that using several cloud services nowadays is the new standard. Even in such a multi-cloud environment, use of containerised applications must be possible.
Tanzu is a VMware solution that companies can use for container-supported software development without having to forfeit the benefits of virtualisation and the cloud. With Tanzu, Kubernetes is integrated in VMware VSphere. This has enabled a unified platform for management of virtual machines and containers, which decreases the complexity of the IT landscape. IT receives a new platform for their Kubernetes projects which lets them use containers and clusters across several clouds.
In this picture, IT has generated a new namespace with the name work-auth. Directly below the organisational unit (left in the picture) the developers can see the Kubernetes cluster. (Image: VMware)
Tanzu can be used to marry the sometimes conflicting interests of IT and application development. For developers, the platform serves as a workbench of sorts they can use to create microservices or containers where they can easily create, edit and manage their projects. With Tanzu, IT is giving them a workbench they can use without any special expertise. At the same time, IT can make sure that there is no shadow IT—no cloud services that don’t fit into the security concept. This way both parties get what they need: The developers receive the most modern services for agile working and the IT stays in control of the infrastructure in use.