Tanzu Mission Control Getting Started Guide

Tanzu Mission Control Getting Started Guide

March 10, 2020 1 By Eric Shanks

VMware Tanzu is a family of products and services for modernizing your applications and infrastructure with a common goal: deliver better software to production, continuously. The portfolio simplifies multi-cloud operations, while freeing developers to move faster and access the right resources for building the best applications. VMware Tanzu enables development and operations’ teams to work together in new ways that deliver transformative business results.

One of these new solutions within the Tanzu brand is Mission Control. If you’re looking to get started with Tanzu Mission Control for management and visibility for your Kubernetes Clusters, start with the articles below. You’ll learn the basics of Tanzu Mission Control, how to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters, assigning policies, and managing lifecycles of those clusters.

Deploying Kubernetes Clusters

Attaching Clusters

Resizing Clusters

Cluster Upgrades

Namespace Management

Access Policies

Conformance Testing

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In Swahili, ’tanzu’ means the growing branch of a tree. In Japanese, ’tansu’ refers to a modular form of cabinetry. At VMware, Tanzu represents our growing portfolio of solutions to help you build, run and manage modern apps.

https://cloud.vmware.com/tanzu

Simply put, Tanzu consists of the VMware software that will be used to help customers deploy and manage Kubernetes. This post focuses on the Tanzu Mission Control product.

So what does Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) do for us? TMC was built to help customers manage their Kubernetes clusters from a centralized location. In the early days of Kubernetes, users thought that giant clusters might be built and shared between teams with some security built in. In practice many clusters are being built and assigned to different teams, projects, or environments. This second pattern allows for each cluster to have its own autonomy, but becomes very difficult for operations teams to secure, manage, and monitor these clusters. Tanzu Mission Control aims to allow this multi-cluster world to thrive while giving operations teams control across all of these clusters.

Feature Introduction

Deploy New Clusters

The product itself includes tools to spin up new clusters not only on vSphere, but also within Public Cloud vendors like AWS or Azure. I’ve written posts before on setting up Kubernetes clusters, and mentioned that this can be a painful process. TMC aims to simplify that process and let you build clusters where they make sense for your organization. Instead of operations teams setting up VMs and installing software like Kubeadm or Kublets, TMC can do this for us and once done, add it to our management portal.

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Manage Existing Clusters

If you’ve been using Kubernetes already, you might think that this product sounds neat but you’re not interested in rebuilding that cluster you spent weeks on setting up. Not to worry, TMC will let you attach existing clusters into the product so you can manage any cluster you want. And when I say it can attach a Kubernetes cluster, I mean any cluster that is conformant with upstream Kubernetes, so this can include PaaS solutions as well.

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Apply Policy

One of the biggest features of TMC is setting policies on the clusters. A base Kubernetes cluster might not meet corporate standards for security for example. Perhaps containers running between environments shouldn’t be able to communicate with one another. This has been done via network policies set on namespaces in the past, but managing these for each cluster is cumbersome. Tanzu Mission Control will allow you to set these types of policies across your clusters and managed centrally, saving tons of time and effort as well as configuration drift.

Cluster Lifecycle Management

Deploying clusters is cool, but at some point those clusters need to get upgraded, or expanded, or removed. TMC will allow you to add additional worker nodes, delete clusters, or perform in place upgrades to existing clusters. These are three tasks that often take some considerable time for operations teams. Tanzu Mission Control provides an avenue to do this from the GUI or CLI.

Authentication

Setting up access to a Kubernetes cluster can be an incredibly tedious task. Setting up users, roles, cluster roles, role bindings etc will need to be created for all of your clusters. In good cases, you’re using something like Dex/Gangway to do LDAP authentication for your clusters. Well with TMC we can centralize our administration of the authentication and access policies for our clusters.

Summary

I’ve only listed a few of the features of TMC and there will be new features added over time I’m sure, but those features are compelling. Having a centralized tool for operations teams to respond to the demands of Kubernetes users while meeting standards set throughout the company is a real challenge, that TMC can really help with.

If you want to know more, there are a series of posts discussing how to use some of these new features found here.

Disclosure: The author of this post is an employee of VMware within the Modern Applications Platform BU.