Contain yourselves: VMware says Tanzu AP smashes the wall of YAMLs, and it’s out now

VMware has announced general availability of its Tanzu Application Platform.

The Tanzu AP provides an app-aware method, with pre-configured templates and a Kubernetes abstraction layer, for developing containerised applications in a multi-cloud environment. Tanzu is VMware’s project to provide DevOps Kubernetes development facilities, so that containerised applications can run alongside virtual machines (VMs) in VMware’s vSphere hypervisor environment.

The aim is to enable Kubernetes app development to become mainstream without killing the VM app environment. A VMware blog, shown to us before going live, reads “many enterprises are experiencing the challenges of navigating the sprawling and complex cloud-native ecosystem and the steep learning curve that comes with it.” It mentions “seemingly incoherent tools that are tough to set up and maintain, work inconsistently across teams and connecting them to other apps and infrastructure is extremely complex,” with developers having to deal with a “wall of YAMLs”* to configure applications.

Tanzu is intended to bring order to this chaos and so increase developer productivity. On the operations side, “Operation teams … need to manage too many bespoke software supply chains and face trouble integrating existing DevOps and security practices, while managing multiple cloud environments running multiple apps.”

The blog argues that “VMware Tanzu Application Platform is a modular, application-aware platform that provides a rich set of developer tooling and a pre-paved path to production to build and deploy software quickly and securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster.”

It claims that “With Tanzu Application Platform you can deliver revenue-generating applications to market faster because your developers can spend more time building great software instead of toiling and stitching components together.”

The YAML wall is replaced with “an end-to-end supply chain, with its components pre-instrumented to work together seamlessly out of the box”. This is called a Secure Software Supply Chain workflow. A Tanzu build service uses Cloud Native Buildpacks to automatically create containers from validated building blocks and update them with no manual intervention. VMware claims that “As developers commit code, the software supply chain is triggered automatically, providing a continuous path to production.”

It all sounds wonderful.

*Bootnote: YAML is an acronym originally standing for for “Yet Another Markup Language” but then altered to mean “YAML Ain’t Markup Language”.