Dell Technologies collaborates with a broad ecosystem of public cloud providers to help our customers support multi-cloud environments that help place the right data and applications where it makes the most sense for them. Deploying Amazon EKS Anywhere on Dell Technologies infrastructure streamlines application development and delivery by allowing organizations to easily create and manage on premises Kubernetes clusters.

Across nearly all industries, IT organizations are moving to a more developer-oriented model that requires automated processes, rapid resource delivery, and reliable infrastructure. To drive operational simplicity through Kubernetes orchestration, Amazon EKS Anywhere helps customers automate cluster management, reduce support costs, and eliminate the redundant effort of using multiple open source or 3rd party tools to manage Kubernetes clusters. The combination of automated Kubernetes cluster management with intelligent, automated infrastructure quickly brings organizations to the next stop in their IT Journey, allowing them to provide infrastructure as code and empower their DevOps teams to be the innovation engine for their businesses.

Dell Technologies and Amazon have partnered to validate Dell EMC PowerStore infrastructure with Amazon EKS Anywhere. EKS Anywhere is a deployment option enabling customers to create and operate Kubernetes clusters on-premises using VMware vSphere while making it possible to have connectivity and portability to AWS public cloud environments. EKS Anywhere provides operational consistency and tooling with AWS EKS.

PowerStore brings the simplicity of public cloud to on-premises infrastructure, streamlining operations with an integrated machine-learning engine and seamless automation. It uses a container-based microservices architecture, advanced storage technologies, and integrated machine learning to unlock the power of your data. PowerStore is designed with deep integration with VMware vSphere including VAAI and VASA support, event notifications, snapshot management, storage containers for VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols), and virtual machine discovery and monitoring in PowerStore Manager. These integrations make PowerStore an ideal platform for EKS Anywhere and containerized applications and services.

Amazon EKS Anywhere is a new deployment option for Amazon EKS that allows customers to create and operate Kubernetes clusters on customer-managed infrastructure, supported by AWS. Customers can now run Amazon EKS Anywhere on their own on-premises infrastructure using VMware vSphere, with support for other deployment targets in the near future, including support for bare metal coming in this year.

Amazon EKS Anywhere helps simplify the creation and operation of on-premises Kubernetes clusters with default component configurations while providing tools for automating cluster management. It builds on the strengths of Amazon EKS Distro: the same Kubernetes distribution that powers Amazon EKS on AWS. AWS supports all Amazon EKS Anywhere components including the integrated 3rd-party software, so that customers can reduce their support costs and avoid maintenance of redundant open-source and third-party tools. In addition, Amazon EKS Anywhere gives customers on-premises Kubernetes operational tooling that’s consistent with Amazon EKS. You can leverage the EKS console to view all of your Kubernetes clusters (including EKS Anywhere clusters) running anywhere, through the EKS Connector.

Amazon EKS Anywhere is a deployment option for Amazon EKS that enables customers to stand up Kubernetes clusters on-premises using VMware vSphere 7and above as the platform. Control plane nodes and worker nodes are deployed to vSphere infrastructure and consume native storage made available by a vSphere administrator. Storage can be block, file, vVol, vSAN, or any combination of these. Just like vSphere with Tanzu, storage consumption, including persistent volumes and persistent volume claims, is made easy by leveraging the Cloud Native Storage (CNS) feature in vCenter Server . No CSI driver installation necessary.

VMware Cloud Native Storage and its corresponding Kubernetes CSI driver are used is leveraged by DevOps and platform teams to deliver dynamic and automated provisioning capabilities of EKS Anywhere Persistent Storage Volumes utilizing native Kubernetes APIs, enabling infrastructure as code operations.

Dell Powerstore vVols integration is a key component of this solution, as it offers a flexible, and granular approach for vVols usage with Kubernetes as with VMware CNS (Cloud Native Storage) each vVol represents a Kubernetes persistent volume.

vVols adoption continues to grow and is accelerating in 2022 and it’s easy to see why. vVols eliminates LUN management, accelerates deployments, simplifies operations, and enables utilization of all the array’s functionality.

With this method of deployment, the persistent volumes are carved with VMware vSphere managed storage as First Class Disk. A First-Class Disk (FCD) refers to Improved Virtual Disk (IVD) is one of the recent features of VMware vSphere. FCD is the independent disk which is not associated with VM. When Persistent Volumes for cloud native application is created, a virtual disk (VMDK) is attached to Kubernetes node.

We can get full visibility of the capacity, compute and storage performance of that specific pod and because each persistent volume is a vVol the Guest OS file system is the native FS on the vVol itself. It is not a VMDK sitting on top of another FS such as VMFS or NFS. Each vVol is a first-class citizen, meaning it is independent of other vVols, LUNs, or volumes. As a result, vVols match very well with First Class Disks (FCD), which are disks not requiring an associated VM.

By leveraging Amazon EKS Anywhere on PowerStore, organizations get on-premises Kubernetes operational tooling that’s consistent with Amazon EKS. Organizations are able to leverage the  Amazon EKS console to view all of their Kubernetes clusters (including Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters) running anywhere, through the Amazon EKS Connector. This brings together both the data center and cloud, simplifying the management of both.

Our work with Amazon, reinforces the importance of on-premises infrastructure and Kubernetes orchestration integration in driving the future of IT. Customers can run their Kubernetes orchestration in the public cloud or on premises through a single console with EKS Anywhere, while at the same time having the reliability, security, ease of operations and global support that only Dell Technologies infrastructure can offer. At Dell Technologies, we are committed to transforming businesses and shaping the future of innovation and look forward to collaborating with AWS now and in the future on additional infrastructure platforms to make this vision a reality.

A guest post by Tomer Eitan

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