Application Modernization with VMware Tanzu

3 mins. read
Vysakh Nair
Cloud Architect

There are two types of applications Monolithic and Microservices. Monolithic applications are legacy ones, developed as a single unit where microservices are collection of smaller independent deployable services with specific functions. Microservices provide greater flexibility and each service can be developed, deployed, managed, and upgraded independently. 

Application Modernization is modernizing your application by building and deploying it with the latest technologies, development methodologies and best practices. VMware Tanzu is a cloud native application platform that enables your on-prem or cloud infrastructure to build modern applications. 

Modern applications are microservices which require tight collaboration across development, security, and operations teams. VMware Tanzu can reduce the complexity of building, delivering and operating cloud native apps in a multi-cloud world and thus enable development, security, and operations teams to deliver business value faster and more securely. 


Containerization is a software development and deployment process that bundles an application’s code with all the files and libraries it needs to run on any infrastructure. Containers built with agility, scalability, portability, reliability, Isolation, and Fault tolerance, There are multiple containers runtime depends on the base operating system architecture like Docker, CRI-O, rktlet, containerd, and Microsoft containers etc. 


Container orchestration allows the automatic management of containers. As you know each modern application might contain many microservices and it is difficult to manage them individually, hence container orchestration helps developers or administrators to manage the lifecycle of containerized application. There are many container orchestration tools available and Kubernetes, OpenShift, Docker swarm, Rancher and Mesos etc. are some of them.


Using VMware Tanzu, we can reduce the efforts in building, delivering and operating cloud native apps in a multi-cloud world. The following use cases gives you more details of how VMware Tanzu can help your organization.

  • Modernize Monolithic Applications – It is very difficult if your application is legacy monolithic one to scale, update and integrate with other solutions which limits your user experience. VMware Tanzu with Tanzu Labs can help you to create and execute your application modernization strategy and Re-platform and rearchitect existing software to be resilient and continuously delivered, all while running in on-prem or cloud environment.
  • Enable DevSecOps Practice – DevSecOps plays a major role in application modernization which enables a set of best practices that focus on integrating security into the software development lifecycle. VMware Tanzu helps you improve your security posture as you build and deploy containers to any cloud continuously and automate security and compliance tasks through preapproved paths to production, code scanning, defect reporting, logging, and tracking the provenance of your code. Hence organizations can reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and ensure that their applications are secure.  
  • Improve Developer and User Experience – Developers should be able to focus on development instead of infrastructure, security, packaging or trying to figure out Kubernetes. VMware Tanzu offers a great developer experience by deploying applications quickly and securely on any Kubernetes cluster, on-prem or cloud. Developers can access preconfigured cloud native app templates and a rich set of rapid tooling to jump-start development and debug code straight from their Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Developers can also maintain visibility of applications at runtime to troubleshoot and improve their apps.
  • Central Management – In current multi-cloud infrastructure posture, it is spread across multiple clouds and managing these environments is very difficult. VMware Tanzu provides a central platform to manage, connect, secure, and observe the multi-cloud Kubernetes platform. From a centralized Software-as-a-service (SaaS) management portal you can manage and impose the configurations and controls and analyze the application metrics.
  • Enhance Multi-Cloud Strategy and Reduce Vendor Lock-In – Most of the organizations are multi-cloud, means they have services hosted in multiple public or private clouds and edge and in many industries hosting services in a single cloud considered as a business risk. In these environments you will have to face inconsistency in development, security controls and operation which makes application delivery, security, and management difficult. VMware Tanzu provides a unique and consistent developer, operation, and user experience by abstracting applications from infrastructure whether it’s in the public cloud or on vSphere.


VMware Tanzu empowers Dev and Ops to build, deliver, and manage cloud native apps that customers crave-on any cloud and at the edge.  VMware Tanzu offers multiple products and services which help to modernize your application and manage its end-to-end lifecycle and I have tried to brief on each solution and services below. 

 VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid – Provides organizations with a consistent, upstream-compatible Kubernetes substrate that is ready for end-user workloads and ecosystem integrations, and it is a multi-cloud Kubernetes footprint that you can run both on-premises in vSphere and in the public cloud like AWS, Azure and GCP. TKG is central to many of the offerings in the VMware Tanzu portfolio and provides the Kubernetes runtime for VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations.

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid architecture

Tanzu Kubernetes Grid deploys clusters using an opinionated configuration of Kubernetes open-source software that is supported by VMware, so that you do not have to build a Kubernetes environment by yourself. 

TKG Sometimes referred as VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid multi-cloud (TKGm). Tanzu Kubernetes Cluster (TKC) is the name used for a Tanzu Kubernetes deployment deployed and managed by the Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Service, with the virtual machine objects deployed inside of a vSphere Namespace.

  • VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGi) – VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (formerly known as VMware Enterprise PKS) is a Kubernetes-based container solution with advanced networking (NSX-T), a private container registry (BOCH), and life cycle management (Ops Manager). Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition (TKGi) simplifies the deployment and operation of Kubernetes clusters so you can run and manage containers at scale on private and public clouds. TKGi supports below platforms.
  • vSphere
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Azure
Tanzu Kubernetes Grid Integrated Edition overview illustration

TKGi supports multiple options to deploy on vSphere and which way you chose to install TKGI depends on whether you use the TKGI Management Console, and which container networking overlay you use, and the licensing requirements change. Below are the licenses required to enable TKGi on vSphere cluster.

  • VMware vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus
  • VMware vCenter Server Standard
  • NSX-T Data Center Advanced or higher (Optional if NSX-T is networking stack)

  • VMware vSphere with Tanzu (TKGs) – You can use vSphere with Tanzu to transform vSphere to a platform for running Kubernetes workloads natively on the hypervisor layer. When enabled on vSphere clusters, vSphere with Tanzu provides the capability to run Kubernetes workloads directly on ESXi hosts and to create upstream Kubernetes clusters within dedicated namespaces called vSphere Namespace.
vSphere with Tanzu stack with workloads is at the top, Virtual Environment stack is at the bottom. Two roles manage them, Developer and vSphere Admin.

Below are the licenses required to enable TKGs on vSphere cluster.

  • VMware vSphere 7 Enterprise Plus with add-on for Kubernetes
  • VMware vCenter Server Standard
  • NSX-T Data Center Advanced or higher (Optional if NSX-T is networking stack)
  • NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Optional if NSX-T is networking stack with L4-L7 ingress)
  • vSphere with Tanzu Basic/Standard/Advanced/Enterprise
VMware Tanzu Mission Control – A platform for modern application management that provides a single control point for teams to more easily manage Kubernetes and operate modern containerized applications across multiple clouds and clusters. From the Tanzu Mission Control console, you can see your clusters and namespaces, and organize them into logical groups for easier management of resources, apps, users, and security. Cluster management capabilities of Tanzu Mission Control include,
  • Cluster Lifecycle Management
  • Cluster Observability and Diagnostics
  • Cluster Inspections
  • Data Protection
  • Access Control
  • Policy Management

Form a licensing perspective Tanzu Mission Control is available Subscription basis on Essential, Standard and Advanced Editions based on feature sets. Tanzu Mission Control is licensed according to how many CPUs, vCPUs, or cores you place under management, it collects Kubernetes CPU information and approximates 2 Kubernetes CPUs = 1 Core or 2 vCPUs. For CPU-based subscriptions in vSphere environments, you can have up to 32 cores or 64 vCPU per CPU. 

VMware Tanzu Application Platform – An application development platform that provides a rich set of developer tools. It offers developers a paved path to production to build and deploy software quickly and securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster using Tanzu and kubectl command line interface (CLI) tools.

Diagram depicting the layered structure of TAP including various TAP components.
VMware Tanzu Application Services – Is an app development and deployment platform as a service for public and private clouds which is designed to manage containers, Kubernetes and microservices using VMware Tanzu Operations Manager and the Cloud Foundry CLI. Tanzu Application Service is the VMware commercial implementation of the open-source Cloud Foundry project.
VMware Tanzu Application Service

VMware Tanzu Application Catalog – A customizable selection of trusted, pre-packaged application components that are continuously maintained and verifiably tested for use in production environments. These images are built on custom base operating system images and deposited into a private repository which gives developers the productivity and agility of pre-packaged apps and components, while enabling operators to meet the stringent security and transparency requirements of enterprise. 

DiagramDescription automatically generated

Form a licensing perspective Tanzu Application Catalog subscriptions are available in Advanced, Org Edition and Team Edition based on Active Artifacts, Platform and custom registries and images.

VMware Tanzu Service Mesh (TSM) – Decomposing a monolithic application and converting to a microservice architecture results a distributed system where application and platform team need to manage different aspects like communication, operation visibility, traffic management, reduce latency, security, troubleshooting and multi cloud challenges etc.

Tanzu Service Mesh solve these problems and provides enterprise-class service mesh solution that provides consistent control, end-to-end connectivity, resiliency, security, and insights for modern applications running in single and multi-cloud environments. Tanzu Service Mesh is available from VMware Cloud services and Integrates with VMware Tanzu Mission Control, VMware Enterprise PKS, and VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid to provide a seamless user experience.

Form a licensing perspective Tanzu Service Mesh is available in Advanced and Enterprise Edition.

VMware Tanzu Build Services (TBS) – VMware Tanzu Build Service automates container creation, management, and governance at enterprise scale. Tanzu Build Service uses the open-source Cloud Native Build packs project to turn application source code into container images. Build Service executes reproducible builds that align with modern container standards and keeps image resources up to date.

VMware Tanzu Build Service

VMware Tanzu Data Services (TDS) – VMware Data Solutions are a portfolio of on-demand caching, messaging, and database software for development teams building modern applications. These cloud-native solutions help developers build reliable modern applications at web scale. Data services give developers the ability to address specific data management requirements to simplify development, accelerate application delivery, and increase the performance of cloud native applications. Below the some of the services offered under TDS currently.

  • Data Services Manager
  • VMware GemFire
  • VMware RabbitMQ
  • VMware SQL
  • VMware Greenplum

VMware Tanzu Labs – VMware Tanzu Labs partners with organizations worldwide to accelerate the delivery of software and modernize legacy apps, while reducing operating costs and risk. You can also engage with VMware Tanzu Labs consulting services to build custom cloud native apps and modernize critical legacy applications.

VMware Tanzu Observability (TO) – Tanzu Observability SaaS platform is a high-performance streaming analytics tool that supports observability for metrics, counters, histograms, and traces/spans. You can either use Tanzu Observability by Wavefront directly by setting up the Tanzu Observability integrations, or benefit from a more curated experience with VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Operations edition. 

VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations (TKO) – VMware Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations is a set of products and services for cloud infrastructure administrators and operators, to allow you to create, manage, and monitor your Kubernetes environment across multiple platforms. Tanzu for Kubernetes Operations contains the following products. 
  • Tanzu Kubernetes Grid (TKG)
  • Tanzu Mission Control (TMC) Advanced
  • Tanzu Observability (TO)
  • Tanzu Service Mesh (TSM) Advanced
  • NSX Advanced Load Balancer 


In this journey Huco is helping customers understand the technology requirements fuelled by business needs and identify the products, solutions and licenses required to fulfill them. Additionally, design, deploy and manage the application modernizations platform and services for the customer. 

Product evaluation and license fulfillment:  Huco helps customers identify the VMware products and licenses that can help fulfill business and technical requirements. 

Design and Deploy: VMware Tanzu environment with standards, frameworks, best practices and automation blueprints 

Knowledge Transfer and Documentation: Document the design and deployment details in High-Level and Low-Level Design and provide knowledge transfer to customer’s technical team.

Support and Managed Services: With Huco's iDOC (Remote Intelligent Digital Operation Center) offering, provide Day 2 operation and adoption support.

Huco is a leading cloud native partner in METNA region and first partner EMEA to achieve all the 8 Master Services Competency (MSC) of VMware. Being a leading MSC partner of VMware, Huco has gained vast experience in implementing VMware products and acquired knowledge/skills/experience. huco works closely with the VMware product team to help customers to achieve the requirements.

For more information on how Huco helped customers in designing microservices, please reach out to and post your inquiry/interest. Our VMware Experts are eager to help you in your journey towards accelerating your application modernization journey.


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