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VMware Tanzu Community Edition Deepens Appeal to Developers with Container Build Automation

Roger Klorese

Jan 25, 2022

VMware Tanzu Community Edition is today expanding its support for cloud native application development and deployment with the addition of kpack, a Kubernetes-native automated container build platform that saves time for developers, while also enabling operations teams to deliver containers more securely, reliably, and consistently at scale. Kpack joins Harbor, Knative, and other open source components of Tanzu Community Edition to further accelerate delivery of containerized workloads.

Today’s addition marks an important step toward simplifying application development and deployment for users of Tanzu Community Edition, the freely available open source distribution of VMware Tanzu that can be installed and configured in minutes on your local workstation or favorite cloud. Already delivering capabilities of the VMware Tanzu portfolio that target platform operators as an open source platform, Tanzu Community Edition is now adding technologies that underpin VMware Tanzu Application Platform to support application development teams. In time, Tanzu Community Edition will provide an automated and streamlined path to production, offering much of the commercial platform’s technology base and serving as the upstream source for core capabilities of Tanzu Application Platform.

Kpack build automation serves developers and operators

Kpack is a build automation platform that implements the powerful Cloud Native Buildpacks specification. Driving the automation process, kpack leverages language-specific buildpacks, such as those available from the open source Paketo project, to transform source code into container images.

By using kpack to manage the container build process, developers can save time, eliminate worry, and focus on writing application code. Kpack builds OCI-compliant containers directly from source code, eliminating the need for developers to build and maintain dockerfiles. It analyzes the code to identify dependencies, and builds containers using approved versions of language libraries and operating systems (OSs), ensuring that internal compliance standards are satisfied. Further enhancing productivity, kpack also detects changes to source code, dependency, or OS components and automatically updates containers, using software that is approved by the developer’s organization.

“Four Phases of Build Automation: 1. Detect, 2. Restore and Analyze, 3. Build, 4. Export and Cache”

Application operators and DevOps teams benefit too. Automated container re-builds update images rapidly and efficiently as container components are updated, saving time while also enabling operations teams to reduce the risks posed by Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs). Centralized management of container metadata – including information about approved software versions for example – makes policy enforcement easier so that ops teams can make informed image promotion and deployment decisions at scale. In addition, as part of the kpack build process, bill of materials (BOM) metadata is surfaced for every container built, enabling full-stack auditing, tracking, and container patching.

Learn more about using kpack, the Buildpacks model for build automation, and open source Paketo buildpacks here.

Growing developer support in Tanzu Community Edition

With the addition of kpack, Tanzu Community Edition now provides a set of open source tooling that supports the core steps of service delivery: kpack turns source code into container images; the Harbor container registry signs images, scans them for vulnerabilities (using the embedded Trivy scanner), and provides secure registry services; Knative Serving simplifies deployment and running of services.

“Building a Path to Production in Tanzu Community Edition now including Open Source software components from Tanzu Application Platform”

Because all of these capabilities are packaged as part of the Tanzu Community Edition platform, it is easy for platform operators to provide them to their users. In Tanzu Community Edition, kpack, Harbor, and Knative, as well as many other platform components, are all provided as part of a curated, open source platform distribution that is easy to install, can be flexibly configured, and consistently managed.

Reaching this stage of functional support for application development and deployment marks an exciting milestone for Tanzu Community Edition. And there is more to come. Looking ahead, the Tanzu Community Edition project is expected to add supply chain choreography via the Cartographer open source project, as well as additional developer-focused capabilities that will enable developers to further simplify, accelerate, and secure the creation and delivery of cloud native workloads.

Try it out now

Tanzu Community Edition is freely available, community supported, open source software that you can download and use today. Find it, and a welcoming community, at tanzucommunityedition.io

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At our DevOps Loop event today, VMware announced the latest member of the Tanzu family of editions, VMware Tanzu Community Edition... we want you to remember the “new kid’s” middle name: Community. Because Community is the major idea differentiating this edition from its other family members.

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