VMware debuts Essential PKS modular to software container deployments

VMware has announced its Essential PKS for modular software deployments. (Pixabay)

VMware made haste on its $550 million deal late last year to buy Heptio by announcing a new upstream Kubernetes product on Tuesday.

VMware Essential Pivotal Container Service (PKS) was designed to give companies a more modular approach to deploying software containers. The stripped-down version of VMware's PKS, which launched last year, includes upstream Kubernetes, reference architectures to inform design decisions, and expert support to proactively guide customers through upgrades or maintenance and troubleshoot issues when needed, according to a blog post by Paul Fazzone, general manager of VMware's cloud native apps.

"VMware Essential PKS captures the highly open approach that Heptio exemplified and it rounds out our portfolio so we can best address different customer approaches to cloud native operation," according to Fazzone.

RELATED: VMware strikes a deal for Kubernetes startup Heptio

Heptio was founded three years ago by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, who—along with Microsoft's Brendan Burns—co-created Kubernetes in 2014 while they were at Google. Google has since put Kubernetes into open source.

VMware announced it was buying Heptio at VMworld in November. Heptio products and professional services teams help enterprises deploy and scale Kubernetes. 

Prior to buying Heptio, VMware had two Kubernetes offerings: an enterprise version (VMware Enterprise PKS) that included preintegrated and validated components picked by VMware, and a fully managed cloud version (VMware Cloud PKS) that allows customers to only pay for what they use.

As a third option, PKS Essentials took the Heptio approach of building a more modular, customized architecture for deploying software containers on upstream Kubernetes but with VMware support. Since VMware is part of the Dell family, there are several layers of professional services support for business customers.

"The introduction of VMware Essential PKS should be viewed as the Heptio acquisition shining through," Fazzone said. "With the Heptio team now more fully integrated with our engineering crew, our road map for the year is taking shape and there are many more product innovations and community contributions ahead."