Article | September 9, 2022
Network virtualization (NV) is the act of combining a network's physical hardware into a single virtual network. This is often accomplished by running several virtual guest computers in software containers on a single physical host system.
Network virtualization is the gold standard for networking, and it is being adopted by enterprises of all kinds globally. By integrating their existing network gear into a single virtual network, enterprises can save operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and set the stage for future growth.
Businesses can use virtualization to imitate many types of traditional hardware, including servers, storage devices, and network resources.
Three Forces Driving Network Virtualization
Demand for enterprise networks keeps rising, driven by higher end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business software. Through network virtualization, IT businesses are gaining the ability to respond to evolving needs and match their networking capabilities with their virtualized storage and computing resources.
According to a recent SDxCentral survey, 88% of respondents believe that adopting a network virtualization solution is "mission critical" and that it is necessary to assist IT in addressing the immediate requirements of flexibility, scalability, and cost savings (both OpEx and CapEx) in the data center.
Today, consider any business as an example. Everything depends on IT's capacity to assist business operations. When a company wants to 'surprise' its clients with a new app, launch a competitive offer, or pursue a fresh route to market, it requires immediate IT assistance. That implies IT must move considerably more swiftly, and networks must evolve at the rapid speed of a digitally enabled organization.
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, the average organization experiences two successful cyberattacks every week. Perimeter security is just insufficient to stem the flood, and network experts are called upon to provide a better solution.
The new data center security approach will:
Use the micro-segmentation principle
Adopt a Zero Trust (ZT) paradigm
In an ideal world, there would be no difference between trustworthy and untrusted networks or sectors, but a ZT model necessitates a network virtualization technology that allows micro-segmentation.
Thanks to the emergence of server virtualization, applications are no longer linked to a specific physical server in a single location. Applications can now be replicated to eliminate a data center for disaster recovery, moved through one corporate data center to another, or slipped into a hybrid cloud environment.
The problem is that network setup is hardware-dependent, and hardwired networking connections restrict them. Because networking services vary significantly from one data center to the next, as an in-house data center differs from a cloud, you must perform extensive personalization to make your applications work in different network environments—a significant barrier to app mobility and another compelling reason to utilize network virtualization.
Network virtualization is indeed the future technology. These network virtualization platform characteristics benefit more companies as CIOs get more involved in organizational processes. As consumer demand for real-time solutions develops, businesses will be forced to explore network virtualization as the best way to take their networks to another level.
Virtual Desktop Tools, Server Hypervisors
Article | June 8, 2023
The emergence of the notion of virtualization in today's digital world has turned the tables. It has assisted the sector in increasing production and making every activity easy and effective. One of the most remarkable innovations is the virtualization of applications, which allows users to access and utilize applications even if they are not installed on the system on which they are working. As a result, the cost of obtaining software and installing it on specific devices is reduced.
Application virtualization is a technique that separates an application from the operating system on which it runs. It provides access to a program without requiring it to be installed on the target device.
The program functions and interacts with the user as if it were native to the device. The program window can be resized, moved, or minimized, and the user can utilize normal keyboard and mouse movements. There might be minor differences from time to time, but the user gets a seamless experience.
Let’s have a look at the ways in which application virtualization helps businesses.
The Impact of Application Virtualization
• Remote-Safe Approach
Application virtualization enables remote access to essential programs from any end device in a safe and secure manner. With remote work culture developing as an increasingly successful global work paradigm, the majority of businesses have adapted to remote work-from-home practice.
This state-of-the-art technology is the best option for remote working environments because it combines security and convenience of access.
• Expenditure Limitations
If you have a large end-user base that is always growing, acquiring and operating separate expensive devices for each individual user would definitely exhaust your budget.
In such situations, virtualization will undoubtedly come in handy because it has the potential to offer all necessary applications to any target device.
• Rolling Out Cloud Applications
Application virtualization can aid in the development and execution of a sophisticated and controlled strategy to manage and assure a seamless cloud transition of an application that is presently used as an on-premise version in portions of the same enterprise. In such cases, it is vital to guarantee that the application continues to work properly while being rolled out to cloud locations.
You can assure maximum continuity and little impact on your end customers by adopting a cutting-edge virtualization platform. These platforms will help to ensure that both the on-premise and cloud versions of the application are delivered smoothly to diverse groups sitting inside the same workspace.
• Implementation of In-House Applications
Another prominent case in which virtualization might be beneficial is the deployment and execution of in-house applications. Developers often update such programs on a regular basis. Application virtualization enables extensive remote updates, installation, and distribution of critical software. As a result, this technology is crucial for enterprises that build and employ in-house applications.
There is no doubt about the efficiency and advantages of application virtualization. You do not need to be concerned with installing the programs on your system. Moreover, you do not need to maintain the minimum requirements for running such programs since they will operate on the hosted server, giving you the impression that the application is operating on your system. There will be no performance concerns when the program runs. There will not be any overload on your system, and you will not encounter any compatibility issues as a result of your system's underlying operating system.
Article | May 17, 2023
The modern application world is advancing at an unprecedented rate. However, the new possibilities these transformations make available don’t come without complexities. IT teams often find themselves under pressure to keep up with the speed of innovation. That’s why VMware provides a production-ready container platform for customers that aligns to upstream Kubernetes, VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated (formerly known as VMware Enterprise PKS).
By working with VMware, customers can move at the speed their businesses demand without the headache of trying to run their operations alone. Our offerings help customers stay current with the open source community's innovations while having access to the support they need to move forward confidently.
Many changes have been made to Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated edition over the past year that are designed to help customers keep up with Kubernetes advancements, move faster, and enhance security.
The latest version, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.13, bumped to Kubernetes version 1.22 and removed beta APIs in favor of stable APIs that have since evolved from the betas.
Over time, some APIs will evolve. Beta APIs typically evolve more often than stable APIs and should therefore be checked before updates occur. The APIs listed below will not be served with v1.22 as they have been replaced by more stable API versions:
Beta versions of the ValidatingWebhookConfiguration and MutatingWebhookConfiguration API (the admissionregistration.k8s.io/v1beta1 API versions)
The beta CustomResourceDefinition API (apiextensions.k8s.io/v1beta1)
The beta APIService API (apiregistration.k8s.io/v1beta1)
The beta TokenReview API (authentication.k8s.io/v1beta1)
Beta API versions of SubjectAccessReview, LocalSubjectAccessReview, SelfSubjectAccessReview (API versions from authorization.k8s.io/v1beta1)
The beta CertificateSigningRequest API (certificates.k8s.io/v1beta1)
The beta Lease API (coordination.k8s.io/v1beta1)
All beta Ingress APIs (the extensions/v1beta1 and networking.k8s.io/v1beta1 API versions)
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated helps customers eliminate lengthy deployment and management processes with on-demand provisioning, scaling, patching, and updating of Kubernetes clusters.
To stay in alignment with the Kubernetes community, Containerd will be used as the default container runtime, although Docker can still be selected using the command-line interface (CLI) if needed.
Several updates have been made in regards to networking as well including support of Antrea and NSX-T enhancements.
With Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated version 1.10 and later, customers can leverage Antrea on install or upgrade to use Kubernetes network policies. This enables enterprises to get the best of both worlds: access to the latest innovation from Antrea and world-class support from VMware.
NSX-T was integrated with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated to simplify container networking and increase security. This has been enhanced so customers can now choose the policy API as an option on a fresh installation of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated. This means that users will have access to new features available only through NSX-T policy API. This feature is currently in beta.
In addition, more NSX-T and NSX Container Plug-in (NCP) configuration is possible through the network profiles. This operator command provides the benefit of being able to set configurations through the CLI, and this is persistent across lifecycle events.
We’ve made storage operations in our customers’ container native environments easier, too. Customers were seeking a simpler and more secure way to manage Container Storage Interface (CSI), and we introduced automatic installation of the vSphere CSI driver as a BOSH process beginning with Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.11.
Also, as VCP will be deprecated, customers are advised to use the CSI driver. VCP-to-CSI migration is a part of Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.12 and is designed to help customers move forward faster.
Implementing new technologies provides users with new capabilities, but it can also lead to new security vulnerabilities if not done correctly. VMware’s goal is to help customers move forward with ease and the confidence of knowing that enhancements don’t compromise core security needs.
This year, Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated continued to see improvements that help meet today’s high security standards. Meeting the Center for Internet Security (CIS) benchmarks standards is vital for Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated.
In recent Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated releases, a few Kubernetes-related settings have been adjusted to ensure compliance with CIS requirements:
Kube-apiserver with --kubelet-certificate-authority settings (v1.12)
Kube-apiserver with --authorization-mode argument includes Node (v1.12)
Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxage argument (v1.13)
Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxbackup argument (v1.13)
Kube-apiserver with proper --audit-log-maxsize argument (v1.13)
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated secures all communication between its control plane components and the Kubernetes clusters it manages, using TLS validated by certificates. The certificate rotations have been simplified in recent releases. Customers can now list and simply update certificates on a cluster-by-cluster basis through the “tkgi rotate-certificates” command. The multistep, manual process was replaced with a single CLI command to rotate NSX-T certificates (available since Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.10) and cluster-by-cluster certificates (available since Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated 1.12).
Hardening of images
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated keeps OS images, container base images, and software library versions updated to remediate the CVEs reported by customers and in the industry. It also continues to use the latest Ubuntu Xenial Stemcell latest versions for node virtual machines. With recent releases and patch versions, the version of dockerd, containerd, runc, telegraf, nfs-utils had been bumped to the latest stable and secure versions as well.
By using Harbor as a private registry management service, customers could also leverage the built-in vulnerability scan features to discover the application images CVEs.
VMware is dedicated to supporting customers with production readiness by enhancing the user experience. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition has stayed up to date with the Kubernetes community and provides customers with the support and resources they need to innovate rapidly.
Article | May 17, 2023
Learn setting up a Docker and Kubernetes environment with the right considerations and choose the best-suited software from ten leading tools, softwares and platforms for your business needs.
The blog discusses how Kubernetes and Docker can boost software development and deployment productivity. In addition, it covers the benefits of the role of Kubernetes in orchestrating containerized applications and best practices for implementing these technologies to improve efficiency and streamline workflows. Docker and Kubernetes are both essential containerization ecosystem utilities. Kubernetes, an excellent DevOps solution, manages and automates containers' deployment and scaling, along with operating across clusters of hosts, whereas Docker is used for creating and operating containers. The blog covers tips to consider while choosing tools/platforms. It further enlists ten platforms providing Kubernetes and Docker, featuring their offerings.
1. Considerations While Setting Up a Development Environment with Kubernetes and Docker
1.1 Fluid app delivery
A platform for application development must provide development teams with high velocity. Two factors contribute to high velocity: rapid application delivery and brief development cycles. Application platforms must support build processes that start with source code. The platforms must also facilitate the repetitive deployment of applications on any remote staging instance.
1.2 Polyglot support
Consistency is the defining characteristic of an application platform. On-demand, repetitive, and reproducible builds must be supported by the platform. Extending a consistent experience across all languages and frameworks elevates the platform experience. The platform must support a native build process and the ability to develop and customize this build process.
1.3 Baked-in security
Containerized environments are secured in a significantly different manner than conventional applications. A fundamental best practice is to utilize binaries compiled with all necessary dependencies. The build procedure should also include a directive to eliminate unnecessary components for the application's operation. Setting up a zero-trust architecture between platform components that orchestrate deployments significantly improves the workloads' security posture.
1.4 Adjustable abstractions
A platform with paved paths and the flexibility to accommodate the requirements of software engineering teams has a greater chance of success. Open-source platforms score highly in this regard, particularly those with modular architectures that allow the team to swap out parts as they adjust.
2.Top Tips to Consider While Choosing Tools and Platforms for Kubernetes and Docker
Configuring Kubernetes or Docker can be complex and resource-intensive. A production-ready platform will ensure having the necessary fully automated features without the need for configuration. Security is an essential aspect of production readiness. Additionally, automation is critical, as production readiness requires that the solution manage all cluster management duties. Automated backup, recovery, and restore capabilities must be considered. Also, ensure the high availability, scalability, and self-healing of the cluster's platform.
As the cloud and software evolve, a system's hosting location may affect its efficacy. The current trend is a multi-cloud strategy. Ensure that the platform can support abstracting from cloud or data center providers and building a shared infrastructure across clouds, cloud regions, and data centers, as well as assist in configuring them if required. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of organizations are already collaborating with four or more cloud service providers. (Source: Microsoft and 451 Research)
2.3 Ease of Administration
Managing a Docker or Kubernetes cluster is complex and requires various skill sets. Kubernetes generates a lot of unprocessed data, which must be interpreted to comprehend what's happening with the cluster. Early detection and intervention are crucial to disaster prevention. Identifying a platform that eliminates the issue of analyzing raw data is essential. By incorporating automated intelligent monitoring and alerts, such solutions can provide critical status, error, event, and warning data to take appropriate action.
2.4 Assistance and Training
As the organization begins to acquire Kubernetesor Docker skills, it is essential to have a vendor that can provide 24/7 support and training to ensure a seamless transition. Incorrect implementation will add a layer of complexity to infrastructure management. Leverage automation tools that offer the support needed to use Kubernetes and Docker without the management burden.
3. 10 Tools and Platforms Providing Kubernetes and Docker
3.1 Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform:
Aqua Security provides the Aqua Cloud Native Security Platform, a comprehensive security solution designed to protect cloud-native applications and microservices. Aqua offers end-to-end security for applications operating on Docker Enterprise Edition (Community Edition), protecting the DevOps pipeline and production workloads with complete visibility and control. It provides end-to-end security across the entire application lifecycle, from development to production, for both containerized and serverless workloads. In addition, it automates prevention, detection, and response across the whole application lifecycle to secure the build, cloud infrastructure, and operating workloads, regardless of where they are deployed.
3.2 Weave Gitops Enterprise
Weave GitOps Enterprise, a full-stack, developer-centric operating model for Kubernetes, creates and contributes to several open-source projects. Its products and services enable teams to design, build, and operate their Kubernetes platform at scale. Built by the creators of Flux and Flagger, Weave GitOps allows users to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters and applications in the public or private cloud or their own data center. Weave GitOps Enterprise helps simplify Kubernetes with fully automated continuous delivery pipelines that roll out changes from development to staging and production. Weaveworks has used Kubernetes in production for over eight years and has developed that expertise into Weave GitOps Enterprise.
3.3 Mirantis Kubernetes Engine
Mirantis provides the Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, a platform designed to help organizations deploy, manage, and scale their Kubernetes clusters. It includes features such as container orchestration, automated deployment, monitoring, and high availability, all designed to help organizations build and run their applications at scale. Mirantis Kubernetes Engine also includes a set of tools for managing the lifecycle of Kubernetes clusters, including cluster deployment, upgrades, and patching. It also has security scanning and policy enforcement features, as well as integration with other enterprise IT systems such as Active Directory and LDAP.
3.4 Portworx by Pure Storage
Portworx's deep integration into Docker gives Portworx container data services benefits directly through the Docker Swarm scheduler. Swarm service creation brings the management capability of Portworx to the Docker persistent storage layer to avoid complex tasks such as increasing the storage pool without container downtime and problems like stuck EBS drives. Portworx is also a multi-cloud-ready Kubernetes storage and administration platform designed to simplify and streamline data management in Kubernetes. The platform abstracts the complexity of data storage in Kubernetes. Additionally, it serves as a software-defined layer that aggregates Kubernetes nodes' data storage into a virtual reservoir.
Platform9 provides a powerful IDE for developers for simplified in-context views of pods, logs, events, and more. Both development and operations teams can access the information they need in an instant, secured through SSO and Kubernetes RBAC. The industry’s first SaaS-managed approach combined with a best-in-class support and customer success organization with a 99.9% consistent CSAT rating delivers production-ready K8s to organizations of any size. It provides services to deploy a cluster instantly, achieve GitOps faster, and take care of every aspect of cluster management, including remote monitoring, self-healing, automatic troubleshooting, and proactive issue resolution, around the clock.
3.6 Kubernetes Network Security
Sysdig provides Kubernetes Network Security, a solution that offers cloud security from source to run. The product provides network security for Kubernetes environments by monitoring and blocking suspicious traffic in real time. It helps organizations protect their Kubernetes clusters against advanced threats and attacks. The product and Sysdig Secure offer Kubernetes Network Monitoring to investigate suspicious traffic and connection attempts, Kubernetes-Native Microsegmentation to enable microsegmentation without breaking the application, and Automated Network Policies to save time by automating Kubernetes network policies.
3.7 Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge
Rafay delivers a production-ready Kubernetes Operations Platform for Edge, streamlining ongoing operations for edge applications. It provides centralized multi-cluster management to deploy, manage, and upgrade all Kubernetes clusters from a single console across all edge nodes. In addition, it offers comprehensive lifecycle management, with which users can quickly and easily provision Kubernetes clusters at the edge, where cluster updates and upgrades are seamless with no downtime. Furthermore, the KMC for Edge quickly integrates with enterprise-class SSO solutions such as Okta, Ping One, and Azure AD, among others. Other features include standardized clusters and workflows, integration and automation, and centralized logging and monitoring.
3.8 Opcito Technologies
Opcito provides simplified container management with efficient provisioning, deployment, scaling, and networking. Its application containerization expertise helps containerize existing and new applications and dependencies. Opcito is well-versed in leading container orchestration platforms like Docker Swarm and Kubernetes. While it helps choose the container platform that best suits specific application needs, it also helps with the end-to-end management of containers so clients can release applications faster and focus on innovation and business. The container management and orchestration services include: building secured microservices, Enterprise-scale Container Management and Orchestration, Orchestration, and Container Monitoring.
3.9 D2iQ Kubernetes Platform (DKP)
D2iQ (DKP) enables enterprises to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud-native Kubernetes while laying the groundwork for intelligent cloud-native innovation by simplifying Kubernetes deployment and maintenance. It simplifies and automates the most difficult parts of an enterprise Kubernetes deployment across all infrastructures. DKP helps enterprises easily overcome operational barriers and set them up in minutes and hours rather than weeks and months. In addition, DKP simplifies Kubernetes management through automation using GitOps workflow, observability, application catalog, real-time cost management, and more.
Spektra, by Diamanti, a multi-cluster management solution for DevOps and production teams, provides centralized multi-cluster management, a single control plane to deliver everything needed to provision and manage the lifecycle of multiple clusters. Spektra is built to cater to business needs, from air-gapped on-prem deployments to hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures. It also enables stretching resources across different clusters within the tenant. Furthermore, it allows you to move workloads and their associated data from one cluster to another directly from its dashboard. Spektra integrates with lightweight directory access protocols (LDAP) and Active Directory (AD) to enable user authentication and streamline resource access. In addition, it offers application migration, data mobility, and reporting.
It is evident that Kubernetes and Docker can significantly boost software development and deployment productivity. By adopting appropriate containerization platforms and leveraging Kubernetes for orchestration, organizations can streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and enhance the reliability of their applications. Furthermore, following the tips to choose the tools or platform carefully can further improve productivity.