Recently as part of Tanzu Vanguard community we’ve been privileged to be introduced to VMware Tanzu Hub (previously known as Aria Hub).
Personally I’ve heard about this offering already in the past as it was quite a hot topic during VMware Explore US and I guess will be the same in Barcelona. However, despite I’ve heard about it there was no chance to play and test it on my own. So taking the opportunity of Tanzu Hub Free Tier (you can read more about that initiative in the bottom part of this post) I’ve decided to get my hands dirty and see what it can do but most of all how it can help me.
But for those of you who’ve never heard about it let’s start with the overview. According to official VMware’s definition – VMware Tanzu Hub is a multi-cloud management solution that unifies cost, performance, configuration, and delivery automation in a single platform with a common control plane and data model for any cloud, platform, tool, and persona.
This definition might sound a little bit vague and doesn’t provide the visibility of the real power this tool brings to the table, which I’m going to describe on a high level below.
In this article I’m going to describe the tool in general with my initial findings and thoughts. As a follow-up I’ll go through most of the features and integrations in more details.
Tanzu Hub is a SaaS offering which makes sense as we are talking about a tool to manage and govern public clouds and Kubernetes environments (the latter one could be on-premises). This means we don’t need to worry about compute resources, deployment and lifecycle management of the tool itself.
As mentioned I’m currently using a Free Tier which is obviously limited but still allows to use majority of features and add up to 2 cloud accounts. That also indicates this is definitely not a product for everyone, mostly for organizations that are using public cloud with the real value which we will get while using multiple public clouds. To be honest that exactly what the official definition says “multi-cloud management”.
However, I can see at least a few use cases for environments that are (at least for now) purely based on-premises. For instance you can attach your self-managed Kubernetes clusters to Tanzu Hub and get superb visibility with service maps, etc. And not sure whether it’s not implemented yet or it’s a Free Tier limitation only but I’ve seen there is/will be ability to connect your vCenter which makes sense as it’s also a type of a cloud – private cloud. So in the accounts summary I can see vCenter as a valid type:
However, the New Account wizard doesn’t give me such option:
Nevertheless that might be an indication for the future which would make sense as for me multi-cloud does cover private cloud part as well.
Many tools, many teams, many objects, and fast-moving changes…
We all know that – workload sprawl is getting even more serious giving even more blurry view of all the dependencies. That’s the case even for a single private datacenter not to mention situation when you have a true multi-cloud environment with K8s on top of it.
As part of Tanzu Hub we’ve got the so called Tanzu Intelligence Services
Since we’ve widely heard about ChatGPT for the first time I’ve got the feeling that every vendor wants to show off with their’s AI. It looks like it was all commenced by ChatGPT but that isn’t true. Lot’s of companies were working of various products that were leveraging AI in some form since a long time. VMware was not different here. We can find AI as part of various products including Tanzu Hub. VMware Tanzu with Intelligent Assist is ment to provide a chatbot kind of experience by generative AI that will leverage federated data across VMware Tanzu Hub inegrated solutions.
Tanzu Hub name is not accidential in my opinion, it acts as a hub or foundation if you wish for multiple services working together to provide complete visibility with all dependencies and cost related information across our multi-cloud environments. Most imporant services you can find in Tanzu Hub are:
- Tanzu Guardrails – provides end-to-end policy and consistency enforcement across clouds, K8s, etc.
- Tanzu Insights – another AI/ML powered feature that’s meant to make operation’s team life easier when it comes to troubleshooting.
- Tanzu Transformer – as you can guess based on the name it have something to do with transformation. It was previously known as Aria Migration which clearly gives away the purpose.
- Tanzu CloudHealth – cost management that’s ment to improve the efficiency of your spendings for cloud services actoss clouds based on the entire FinOps idealogy.
As you might notice there is lot’s of capabilities and that’s just the begining. That’s why I started my tests that I’m going to documents as follow-up articles in the near future.
If you’d like to test it on your own – there is no better chance as the Tanzu Hub Free tier is out there – completely for free!
Main capabilities of the Tanzu Hub Free Tier based on the info from VMware portal:
- Manage two public cloud accounts for free with support for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud
- Capture, filter and search your multi-cloud inventory
- Real-time, event-based inventory for first 90 days
- Discover and curate applications to better understand dependencies and relationships
- Gain visibility into:
- Resource relationships and dependencies via the graph data store
- Cloud policy definition, config drift management, and CIS violation data from VMware Tanzu Guardrails
- Aggregated account costing for AWS and Azure and list prices for some resources from VMware Tanzu CloudHealth
- Pattern-correlated workload insights and deep contextual troubleshooting from VMware Tanzu Insights
- Performance metrics and service map topology for up to one attached Kubernetes Cluster
- Operational metrics directly from native public cloud sources, e.g., AWS CloudWatch, Azure Monitor
The only thing you need is to register and play with it! Registration is available here.
Just keep in mind that just a few weeks back this product and many of it’s services were called Aria XYZ not Tanzu XYZ. That’s important when you are trying to find out something about them on the Internet. Also bear in mind that it’s still quite a new stuff so there are not so much blogs, and other resources on the Internet but I’m sure this will change shortly. And just to help you a little bit I’ve collected some of the useful resources below:
- Announcing Tanzu Hub Free Tier
- Tanzu Transformer – what’s new
- Multi-cloud Governance with Tanzu Guardrails
- Introducting Tanzu Insights
- Tanzu Hub product page with additional resources
- Free GrapQL course – might be usefull if you want to get deeper 🙂
And if you are attending VMware Explore in Barcelona this year, there are a few opprotunities to learn more as well. I’d highly recommend to check this session:
Another opportunity to learn more is to take part in the Meet the Expert Roundtable:
And it you are additionally interested in ML topics there is definitely a must to attend:
My first impression about Tanzu Hub is very positive, I’ve notices a few things might be missing or I’d expect to be done differently. But taking into account it’s covering various types of clouds as well as Kubernetes it’s very impressive, comparing to other management & monitoring tools I’ve seen in the past, both offered by VMware and various 3rd party. Having said that I’m excited what else I can get out of it and how is it going to evolve in the future. That means I’m going to explore it further, sharing some of the observations here – so stay tuned!