In my first blog post HERE I started test driving the Modern Application Platform tool (aka vSphere K8s Console fling) and went through the process of deploying and configuring the MAP appliance and UI and then I created a Tanzu cluster using MAP on top of TKGs as cluster provider.

In part II of this blog series I will be using MAP to deploy some operational services (for example Contour & Grafana) to Tanzu clusters and then will be upgrading one of the attached clusters to a higher TKG version using MAP.

Lab Inventory

For software versions I used the following:

  • VMware ESXi 7.0U3f
  • vCenter server version 7.0U3f
  • TrueNAS 12.0-U7 used to provision NFS data stores to ESXi hosts.
  • VyOS 1.4 used as lab backbone router and DHCP server.
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS as bootstrap machine.
  • Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS as DNS and internet gateway.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter as management host for UI access.

For virtual hosts and appliances sizing I used the following specs:

  • 3 x ESXi hosts each with 8 vCPUs, 2 x NICs and 96 GB RAM.
  • vCenter server appliance with 2 vCPU and 24 GB RAM.


We need to ensure that we meet the below requirements:

  • TKGs supervisor and/or TKGm management cluster(s) installed, this is if you want to use the fling to provision new Tanzu clusters.
  • TKGs: vSphere 7.0.2 (7u2) ~ 7.0.3 – TKGm: TKG 1.5.1 ~ 1.5.4
  • AVI: >= 20.1.6, < 21.0 Avi is only needed if you need to deploy clusters with a load balancer.
  • Linux host as a Jump Box

Deploy Operational Services to Tanzu Clusters in MAP

Operational services add extra functionality to your Tanzu cluster, such as Contour for Ingress, Prometheus and Grafana for metrics collection and monitoring in addition to other functionalities.

I have already deployed Octant to one of my TKG clusters, so I will be deploying Fluent Bit tool in this section.

To deploy operational services, just login to your MAP UI and under Cluster Management choose Operational Services and then click on ADD SERVICE

Choose on which cluster you want to deploy the service

Validate the service deployment and then Click on ADD

Now, give it sometime till MAP deploys the required container images and configure the cluster, if successful you should see the service as Ready

You can check the status of the fluent-bit pods and make sure that they are all in Running state

You can also see under Overview that there is a deployed service

Monitoring TKG Clusters using MAP

One of the important aspects of multi-cluster management is the ability to monitor nodes utilisation and states of the running workloads (pods, jobs, daemonsets and so on.). MAP offers a very simple yet effective means of providing fundamental usage and state info of your TKG clusters.

From MAP UI, navigate to Clusters and click on the Cluster you want to get more information about

You can see under Summary some basic information about the cluster components

Click on Computes and then on View which is next to any of the cluster nodes

You can see details of the node

Upgrading TKG clusters using MAP

Patching and upgrading are very common operational tasks and in a multi-cluster world, a one-click approach for upgrades comes in very handy. MAP keeps track of your TKG cluster deployments and suggests upgrades when your deployment is “too old” such as my Caffeine TKG cluster which running Kubernetes 1.19.11. It is important to mention that MAP will need to pull the upgrade images from image templates in vCenter, which implies that you have to upload your TKG images and create them as templates in vCenter before you can deploy or upgrade TKG clusters using MAP (if you need guidance on how to create image templates in vCenter check one of my previous blog posts HERE).

From Clusters, click on the cluster that you want to upgrade (Caffeine in my case) and then click on Upgrade

Then you need to select a version from the list of supported versions and then click on CONFIRM

I chose version 1.20.12 and once I clicked on confirm I was able to see in vCenter that a process of deploying new OVF template has been started and MAP is busy rolling out a new cluster with the TKG image I selected.

After about 20 minutes, I got my cluster nicely upgraded to v1.20.12

Final word

Although Modern Application Platform is a community driven fling, it is yet very handy tool for multi-cluster management in test/dev and/or air-gapped Tanzu environments.

Hope you have enjoyed and learned something from this blog post. Thanks for reading!