Restarting “CNA Weekly” as “Cloud Native Short Takes” & shutting down the newsletter

First of all, I’d like to thank all of you very much for your interest in my “CNA weekly”.
As you might have noticed, I haven’t shared any updates recently. That’s not because there aren’t any news, it’s more related to the format.

After reconsidering various options, I decided to delete my tinyletter account and continue (actually restart) my efforts on my blog at You can subscribe via RSS ( e.g. via feedly (if you don’t know it, check it out!) or follow me on Twitter ( Other options to continue receiving the content via email include RSS-to-email services like Blogtrottr or IFTTT

Thanks again to all of you! 

Take care,

Operationalizing VMware PKS with BOSH – how to get started

I have installed VMware PKS in a variety of environments and I typically show something that helps Platform Operators running PKS to dive even deeper into the status of PKS components beyond the pks cli. One of the key lifecycle components in PKS is called BOSH. BOSH deploys Kubernetes masters and workers and performs a number of other tasks. So how do you get access to BOSH in the easiest way?

Step 1)

  • Login to the Ops Manager VM via ssh: ssh  

Step 2)

  • Open Ops Manager and click on the BOSH Director tile: 
  • Click on the “Credentials” Tab and search for “BOSH Commandline Credentials”:
  • You will see an output similar like this one:
  • Copy and paste that line and reformat it the following way:


  • Easiest way to get started every time is to make it part of your .bashrc configuration by doing the following:
    • edit your .bashrc and append the outputs from above like this:
    • export BOSH_CLIENT=ops_manager 
      export BOSH_CA_CERT=/var/tempest/workspaces/default/root_ca_certificate 
      export BOSH_ENVIRONMENT=
    • logout and login again (or just run the export commands on the CLI manually once)


  • Some example commands on how to interact with BOSH (and a nice cheat sheet at
  • bosh deployments
    PKS=$(bosh deployments | grep ^pivotal | awk '{print $1;}')
    bosh -d $PKS vms
    bosh -d $PKS instances
    bosh -d $PKS tasks
    bosh -d $PKS tasks -ar
    bosh -d $PKS task 724
    bosh -d $PKS task 724 --debug
    CLUSTER=$(bosh deployments | grep ^service-instance | awk '{print $1;}')
    bosh -d $CLUSTER vms
    bosh -d $CLUSTER vms --vitals
    bosh -d $CLUSTER tasks --recent=9
    bosh -d $CLUSTER task 2009 --debug
    bosh -d $CLUSTER ssh master/0
    bosh -d $CLUSTER ssh worker/0
    bosh -d $CLUSTER logs
    bosh -d $CLUSTER cloud-check


  • Advanced users: you can also install the BOSH CLI on and admin VM and run from there:
    • Download from
    • Copy the certificate from the Ops Manager VM (/var/tempest/workspaces/default/root_ca_certificate) to your admin VM and edit the .bashrc environment variables accordingly

See you at VMworld in Barcelona

I look forward to another exciting VMworld in Barcelona. If you want to meet during the event, ping me on Twitter or find me here in person:
  • Monday: Run Kubernetes on VMware Workshop prior to VMworld, presenting on Open Source Kubernetes fundamentals from 10:15-11:15, TAM Day Expert Roundtables and afterwards from 11:15 onwards
  • Tuesday: VMware PKS booth at the VMworld Solutions Exchange from 10:30-14:30
  • Wednesday: VMware PKS booth at the VMworld Solutions Exchange from 10:30-15:00
  • Thursday: VMware PKS booth at the VMworld Solutions Exchange from 10:30-12:30

Have a safe trip and lots of fun! 

#vK8s – friends don’t let friends run Kubernetes on bare-metal

Over the past months, I had multiple conversations on why you would want to virtualize containers or Kubernetes. The “containers are somewhat providing virtualization – why should I do it at the server level as well?” myth has been around for some time now. Before I start addressing this, let me take a quick step back here. When I started my career roughly 10 years ago in datacenter operations, virtualization wasn’t mainstream in many environments. I learned a lot about operating physical machines before I got to work on virtual infrastructures at scale. I also worked with multiple vendors and used several “Lights Out Management” solutions and their basic automation capabilities to get my hardware up and running. But it was always a “yes, it’s getting easier from now on” moment when vSphere was ready for configuration. While I enjoyed working in operations, I was always happy to set something up without plugging cables in or working on a server in the datacenters. 

I have worked with customers that fully embraced virtualization and have been 100% virtualized for years. They have benefited so much from this move and were able to simplify so many of their operational tasks while doing this. Even if they chose a 1:1 mapping for few extremly demanding VMs to a given host, this was still the better option. Having a consistent infrastructure and operational framework outpaces the potential drawbacks or “virtualization overhead” (another myth) if you look at the bigger picture. Even though I haven’t been working in operations for some time now, I still remember what it means to be called during the night or deal with spontaneous changes in plans/projects all the time. And businesses and therefore IT are only moving faster – automation, “software-defined” and constant improvements should be part of everyone’s daily business in operations.

For me, this applies to all workloads – from your traditional legacy applications to modern application runtime frameworks such as Kubernetes or event-driven architectures that are leveraging Functions-as-a-Service capabilities. Most of them co-exist all the time and it’s not a one-or-the-other conversation but an AND conversation. Even highly demanding workloads such as core telco applications are put on virtual infrastructure these days, enabled by automation and Open Source API definitions. All of these can be operated on a consistent infrastructure layer with a consistent operational model. Infrastructure silos have been broken down over the past decade and VMware has invested a lot to make vSphere a platform for all workloads. So when someone mentions bare-metal these days all I can ask myself is “why would I ever want to go back”? I sometimes wonder if all the challenges that virtualization took away have simply been forgotten – it just ran too well.

So what are my personal reasons to run containers on a virtual infrastructure & vSphere in specific?

  1. Agility, Independence & Abstraction: scale, repair, lifecycle & migrate underlying components independently from your workloads; if you ever worked in operations, this is daily business (datacenter move, new server vendor selected, major storage upgrades, … there are tons of reasons why this is still a thing)
  2. Density: run multiple k8s clusters/tenants on same hardware cluster, avoid idle servers e.g. due to N+1 availability concepts
  3. Availability and QoS: you can plan for failures without compromising density, you can even ensure SLOs/SLAs by enforcing policies (networking, storage, compute, memory) that will also be enforced during outages (NIOC, SIOC, Resource Pools, Reservations, Limits, …)
  4. Performance: better-than-physical performance & resource management (core ESXi scheduling, DRS & vMotion, vGPUs, …)
  5. Infrastructure as Code: automate all the things on an API-driven Software Defined Datacenter stack
  6. Security & Isolation: yep, still a thing
  7. Fun fact: even Google demoes K8s on vSphere as part of their “GKE on-prem” offering 😉 

There has been a ton of material published around this topic recently (and some awesome foundational work by Michael Gasch incl. his KubeCon talk), I want to list a few of the public resources here:

Introducing: #vK8s

So, no matter what your favorite Kubernetes framework is these days – I am convinced it runs best on a virtual infrastructure and of course even better on vSphere. Friends don’t let friends run Kubernetes on bare-metal. And what hashtag could summarize this better than something short and crips like #vK8s ? I liked this idea so much that I created some “RUN vK8s” images (inspired by my colleagues Frank Denneman and Duncan Epping – guys, it’s been six years since RUN DRS!) that I want to share with all of you. You can find the repository on GitHub – feel free to use them whereever you like. 

CNA weekly #009

The good thing about flight delays and spending time in hotel rooms is that it finally gives me the opportunity to do some long overdue work on the CNA weekly. There are so many things that I want to share in this edition and I hope you’ll find it useful again.

Let me start with a loud shout-out to the global Harbor community. I am so extremely happy to see this great open source project receiving some well-deserved recognition: Harbor joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and is now the newest adopted sandbox project!

As many of you know, besides its highly successful existance in the Open Source community, Harbor is also an important piece in VMware’s Cloud-Native Applications efforts, specifically in vSphere Integrated Containers as well as Pivotal Container Service. Both of them saw several updates since the last edition of the weekly: PKS 1.1 is now available (incl. K8s 1.10, Multi Availabilty Zone Support, Multi-Master in beta, …) and VIC 1.4 has also been released. Check out the sections below for more details and links to the downloads.

But wait, there is more: VMware also announced a new cloud service called VMware Kubernetes Engine (VKE). VKE will be a multi-cloud managed Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering with some pretty unique features like the “Smart Cluster” implementation that picks the optimal instance types for your k8s cluster and much more. Right now it is built natively on AWS but it’ll head to Azure as well – but you can manage it with the same set of policies! Learn more about VKE in the links below – and you can also sign up for the beta there.

Another topic that is very close to my heart: how do you want to run your containers and platforms? When I started my career in IT in a large organization, I quickly learned the value and benefits that virtualization brings not only to the consumers but also to the operators of the infrastructure. And running containers is no exception here. Make sure to look into a great new whitepaper (“Containers on Bare-Metal or Virtual Machines?“) and look out for a must-watch VMworld 2018 session presented by Michael Gasch and Frank Denneman.

But let’s move on to some content:

Open Source & Community updates


Pivotal Container Service (PKS)

VMware Kubernetes Engine

vSphere Integrated Containers

Function-as-a-Service & Serverless

Platform Reliability Engineering & Operations

Other news from VMware

Keeping it fun