It has been awhile since I have updated my Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG) Demo Appliance Fling, which is a virtual appliance that enables anyone to go from zero to Kubernetes in less than 30 minutes with just an SSH client and a web browser. For VMware Cloud on AWS customers interested in running TKG, this is a great way to quickly get started on a proof of concept, demo or for development and testing purposes. One great benefit is that everything required for TKG is self contained within the appliance including an embedded Harbor registry and the respective TKG container images, great for air-gapped or non-internet accessible environments.
Here is a summary of what is new:
Support for latest TKG 1.1.3
There have been several of smaller releases to TKG since their 1.0.0 release but due to their short lifecycle, I decided to hold off. Behind the scenes, I have actually been working closely with TKG team on the latest TKG 1.1.3 release which was just release last week. One really cool feature that was introduced in TKG 1.1.2 is the ability to upgrade an existing TKG Workload Cluster to a newer version of Kubernetes.
With TKG 1.1.3, support for Kubernetes v1.18.6 and v1.17.9 is now possible and the latest version of the demo appliance will also support this workflow. In fact, I have also updated my TKG Workshop Guide to include all new updates including the upgrade workflow. To reduce the maintenance burden on myself, the TKG Demo Appliance 1.0.0 will be removed in the near future, for now it has been deprecated but all existing content is still available. I highly recommend checking out the latest version as you will get all the latest features of TKG.
CLI Utility Updates
In addition to updating to the latest version of Harbor (1.10.3), Docker Compose (1.26.2), Kubectl (1.18.6), Octant (0.14.1) and TMC (d11404fb) which is bundled within the appliance, TKG Crash Diagnostic utility (crash-diagnostics) which can be useful for debugging purposes as well as Helm (3.2.4) for installing additional Kubernetes-based applications also now included within the appliance.
Although I have outlined a detailed step-by-step pre-req guide for setting up all the configurations for running TKG on VMware Cloud on AWS, it can take some time due to the number of clicks in the various UIs. Based on feedback from our customers, I have created a simple PowerCLI script which will automate all NSX-T configuration your SDDC along with subscribing to the TKG Demo Content Library and deploying all required images so that you can can start playing with TKG in as little as 8 minutes! For more details, please check out the github repo https://github.com/lamw/tkg-on-vmc-setup for more information.
Hope folks enjoy this latest version of the TKG Demo Appliance and if you have any questions or comments, feel free to engage with me on the VMware Fling Site.
Lastly, if you are interested in running TKG on VMware Cloud on AWS, fellow VMware colleagues Yuvraj Mehta and Tom Schwaller will be hosting a 1 hour webinar diving into this on this Thursday (8/13) @ 11am PST. If you want to learn more, sign up for webinar here.
Darren Head says
Apologies if this is ground you've covered before... in the demos you've seen for TKG have you come across a good "Hello World" style application that helps us show our management, our customers (or even ourselves) some of the differences between deploying and managing a Kubernetes-based application (with perhaps an update) versus how we manage traditional apps delivered on VMs?
If feasible, I think this would be a pretty cool demo to be able to do, especially when comparing TKG to other container delivery models.