Platform9 Managed Kubernetes and Tanzu Community Edition – Features Chart

In this post we are going to take a look at the differences between Tanzu Community Edition and Platform9 Managed Kubernetes Free Tier. As a complement to Platform9 Managed Kubernetes and Tanzu Community Edition, this is a list of notable features between the two products.

Feature / ActivityVMware Tanzu CEPMKFT
Scaling restrictionsNoUp to 20 nodes w/o actual validation on the number of nodes being attached
Hosted SandboxLimited to 15-minute workshop for trying CE, which provides pre-created k8s cluster and tutors about basic kubectl commands.Read-only sandbox for a quick tour of PMK UI.
Suggested minimum to run a local clusterx86 architecture

6 GB RAM

15 GB disk

4 CPUs

Docker

Kubectl

X86 architecture

16 GB RAM

30 GB Disk

4 CPUs

CLITanzu CLI has more functionality than what is in the UI wizard.

Had to install Tanzu CLI dependencies manually.

PF9 doesn’t have a CLI to control the product but does have a CLI to onboard/manage cluster nodes (pf9ctl). Which has a self-contained install (for dependencies).
Onboarding nodes / creating cluster with DockerSupports Docker-based work for bare-metal machines. Supports Mac, Windows, and Linux.

No resource pre-requisites checker is implemented, which introduces the possibility of failures after going ahead with the installation.

Installation takes a huge amount of time. The errors were not clear.

Does not support Docker based deployment. Supports deployment on VMs / BMs.

In case of error, an appropriate log location is provided.

UIMinimal UI, mainly to show installation progress. Mimics CLI output.

UI is started and accessible only after executing a Tanzu CLI command. Not readily accessible.

Full-fledged UI with interactive capabilities.
Infrastructure providersHypervisors: vSphere

Desktop: Docker

Cloud providers: AWS and Azure

Hypervisors: anything supporting OVA format

Desktop: Linux VMs, baremetal

Cloud providers*: AWS, Azure

*also importing clusters from AKS, EKS & GKE.

Creating a cluster with AWSNo IAM checker for checking policies for AWS account implemented.

Does not work out of the box. AWS CLI has to be installed.

IAM checker is part of pf9ctl, and can also be run from Mac & Windows machines. It provides clear requirements of role permissions/policies and compares existing policies with required ones.

pf9ctl does not support creating clusters using cloud providers. Need to do it via UI.

Available appsThese packages are available for ready deployment:

Prometheus, Grafana, Cert-Manager, Ingress Controller (Contour), external DNS, Fluentbit, Gatekeeper, Harbour, Knative, CSI, Multus CNI, Velero (disaster recovery)

App Catalog currently has these apps:

NGINX Ingress Controller, Cert-Manager, FluentD, Fluentbit, hostpath.

Also has add-ons (infrastructure apps) like Prometheus, Grafana, MetalLB etc.

CNIDefault: AntreaDefault: Calico
Community SupportSlack channel in Kubernetes workspace. Also supports Google Groups.Dedicated slack workspace. 
k8s versions supported

(as of this publication)

1.21.2

1.20.8

1.19.12

1.17.9

1.18.10

1.19.6

1.20.5

1.21.3

Binary sizeTanzu CLI: 34 MBpf9ctl: 41 MB
Code open sourced?Yes for both Tanzu CLI and Tanzu backendNo
Development languageGolangGolang

Conclusion

Hopefully this post has cleared up some of the differences and will provide useful comparisons to help with your decision. If you would like to discuss some of the information in this post further, feel free to reach out to us on Slack.

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