Deploying Kubernetes at the Edge with VMware Tanzu Using Single Node Clusters

March 14, 2023

As more customers are looking at Tanzu for their edge applications, there comes a need to optimize Kubernetes for the edge. This means that Kubernetes needs to be light weight and nimble enough to work on resource constrained hardware. Tanzu Kubernetes Grid 2.1 introduced a new feature of single node clusters and also using a minimal operating system to reduce the footprint even further. 

Kubernetes architecture typically relies on separate control plane and data plane nodes. This creates a barrier of separation between API calls and where your apps actually run. Many edge environments always have constrained resources so you want to reduce any unnecessary compute usage. By removing the Kubernetes control plane taint, both control plane components and your app workloads can all run on the same single node, or single virtual machine. This is a common practice when using something like kind because there are less total virtual machines using resources.

Another brand new addition is a minimal operating system for both Photon and Ubuntu provided by VMware. These images only contain the necessary packages and will deploy core components needed for Kubernetes. Furthermore, reducing the overall CPU load and footprint for resource constrained environments. 

This Technical Preview will not work out of the box and there are a few steps to complete prior. Refer to the Single Node Cluster documentation for adding annotations to make sure the deployment will work. 

Check out the video below to see this in action!


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