Jan 22 2021

VMware Tanzu Can Help Agencies Innovate at a Faster Pace

As agencies look to deploy modern applications more quickly, IT leaders are increasingly looking to Kubernetes and related technologies to do so.

The coronavirus pandemic has spurred the federal government to be more agile to help get data out to the public and connect citizens to government services. As the pandemic continues to unfold and even after it has been tamed, citizens’ demands for digital government services are only likely to increase, and their expectations are bound to grow as well.

Agencies are modernizing their application portfolios, but doing so can be a time- and labor intensive process. To increase the pace of digital transformation, agencies are increasingly exploring the use of Kubernetes, an open-source container-orchestration platform that helps automate app development and management. While Kubernetes is not a new phenomenon in the private sector, many agencies are still getting used to using the tools and may need help leveraging them to their full extent.

VMware Tanzu helps agencies make the most of Kubernetes and cloud-native application development. Tanzu is a portfolio of Kubernetes-based solutions meant to abstract and automate away the complexity of deploying and managing container-based workloads. Tanzu helps organizations rapidly build, deploy and manage software across any cloud. Additionally, Tanzu-based VMware cloud management capabilities uniquely reduce total cost of ownership and solve training, operational security complexities of managing both modern and legacy applications with a highly automated, single-pane-of-glass console familiar to agency IT operations teams, most of which have leveraged VMware’s virtual infrastructure capability, vSphere, for years.

DISCOVER: Find out how to accelerate digital transformation at your agency.

“This operational simplicity is critical to propelling agency digital transformation during the inter-years of app portfolio modernization, cloud migration, and adoption of containers and orchestration technologies like Kubernetes agencies are accelerating in the era of COVID” says Jeremiah Sanders, VMware’s federal strategist.

Going on the Kubernetes Journey

“As Kubernetes increases in popularity and enterprises are leveraging it to automate the deploying, scaling, and management of the applications. The concept is often still not well understood,” says Bill Rowan, vice president of federal at VMware. “Because VMware is cloud agnostic, we’re able to help agencies leverage the value of Kubernetes, thus allowing them to rapidly operationalize applications and get the software into production faster and more efficiently.”

At many agencies, operations teams are still getting tasked with setting up Kubernetes platforms for software developers, according to Sanders. “That skillset is one that is a very daunting task to learn,” he says. “And one of the avenues that VMware brings its federal customers is that they can easily deploy and operate full-stack infrastructure for Kubernetes workloads anywhere they are run vSphere. This is totally flattening the learning curve and is a game-changer in the federal space.”

MORE FROM FEDTECH: Find out how containers help agencies develop modern applications.

How Tanzu Helps Accelerate Federal Software Development

While other vendors can provide technologies that make it easy to “take the sharp edges” off of using Kubernetes, the real challenge is teaching a development team to use it and change how they develop software. Kubernetes is a commoditized automation layer, and Tanzu adds value around the software development cycle, from consuming open source technologies to managing Kubernetes and multiple clouds. Tanzu helps make it easier for developers as they learn a new skillset using Kubernetes.

“Kubernetes is an extremely powerful tool with really powerful APIs,” Sanders says. “If you open those up in the wrong way you put your organization into a lot of risk, from a security perspective and from an operational software perspective.”

Tanzu provides guardrails for agencies as they deploy Kubernetes, and those controls can be turned up or down based on the agency’s operational needs and how the development team evolves. And everything VMware enables with Tanzu is done with a security-first mindset.

Ultimately, Tanzu helps agencies get modern applications running in production and helps accelerate the learning curve for organizations that are new to Kubernetes and cloud-native frameworks, Sanders says. With Tanzu, VMware is also squarely focused on “ensuring that the developers have a self-service, seamless way to onboard applications to this new modern, automated infrastructure.”

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