VMware’s biggest fans are also its biggest challenge when it comes to growth. The admirers tend to be in operations and have positioned themselves as VMware’s champions inside customers. The reason? Server consolidation, private clouds, and now hybrid clouds have elevated them from back-room tech heads to financially efficient and agile stars.
The company has struggled to get the same level of adoration from developers, who are more likely than ops people to appreciate Virtzilla’s new Kubernetes-oriented app development and management platform: Tanzu. VMware is also not jazzed about the fact that customers do not appreciate the breadth of its stack.
Attract and entice
Senior execs describe attending meetings where customers know surprisingly little and rent across even established product lines like the company’s user-end computing products, let alone Tanzu. What do you do now? VMware has decided to give Tanzu away, in a Community Edition. The offering is a free and complete Kubernetes stack that runs on a workstation fitted with a couple of CPUs, 6GB of RAM (8G in Windows), and Kubectl and Docker Desktop installed.
Kubernetes clusters can be created locally, on Azure, AWS, or vSphere-tended resources.
What you get
The Community Edition has a Kubernetes runtime, networking, ingress management, load balancing, and container registry management. It even includes policy management, observability & monitoring, and diagnostics tools that VMware does not include in the Basic Edition (Tanzu’s lowest-end package).
VMware said the package does not limit the number of virtual machines or containers one can deploy, has no expiration, no scaling restrictions, or functional limitations.
The plan seems to be aimed at enticing users to develop a taste for Tanzu, who may go on to run real workloads using the Community Edition. The company admits there is a gap here and this move is a way to fill it.