Solution Brief: Running Confluent Kafka on VMware vSphere with Tanzu


Business Case

Real-time applications have become popular for optimal digital experiences. However, many organizations struggle to build these real-time applications because they are unable to access and leverage the massive amount of data sprawled across traditional and next -generation infrastructures. The Confluent Platform and VMware vSphere® with VMware Tanzu™ bridges infrastructure silos and empowers developers to consolidate various data sources for their modern apps. It also allows developers and IT operators to rapidly deploy and scale Apache Kafka and the underlying infrastructure with resiliency and security.

Accelerate Your Business with Modernization

vSphere with Tanzu is the fastest way to get started with Kubernetes workloads on existing infrastructure and modernize the 70 million+ workloads now running on vSphere. vSphere with Tanzu allows customers to deploy a Developer ready infrastructure, align both Dev Ops and IT teams, and simplify cloud operations.

The Confluent Platform is an enterprise-ready platform that complements Kafka with advanced capabilities designed to help accelerate application development and connectivity as a collection of infrastructure services, tools, and guidance for making all of your company’s data readily available as real-time streams.

Dell EMC VxRail™, powered by Dell EMC PowerEdge server platforms and VxRail HCI System Software, features next-generation technology to future proof your infrastructure and enables deep integration across the VMware ecosystem. Advanced VMware hybrid cloud integration and automation simplifies the deployment of a secure VxRail cloud infrastructure.

Benefits of Running Confluent Kafka on vSphere with Tanzu

vSphere with Tanzu is a solution to put together the virtualization and Kubernetes into the same platform. It can simplify the adoption of cloud native constructs through familiar tools. Confluent Platform automates provisioning Kafka on VMware vSphere with Tanzu in minutes and scales as needed. Deploying the Confluent Platform on VMware vSphere with Tanzu gives you the freedom to run applications on any cloud. You can deploy Prometheus for monitoring the metrics for Confluent Kafka cluster and Grafana for visualization.

VMware vSphere with Tanzu provides an enterprise platform for both traditional applications as well as modern applications, so customers can run existing enterprise applications alongside containerized applications in a unified manner while maintaining application portability.

  • Deliver Developer-ready Infrastructure: IT teams can use the existing vSphere environments to deploy an enterprise-grade Kubernetes infrastructure at a rapid pace (within one hour) while enabling enterprise-class governance, reliability, and security. After this one-time setup, vSphere with Tanzu enables a simple, fast, and self-service provisioning of Tanzu Kubernetes clusters within a few minutes. Aligning DevOps teams and IT teams is critical to the success of modern application development; to bring efficiency, scale, and security to Kubernetes deployments and operations. vSphere with Tanzu brings agile cloud operations to the IT admin to enable this transition into the role of Cloud Admin or SRE by delivering agility in day-to-day IT operations related to Kubernetes infrastructure.
  • Scale without Compromise: vSphere can scale your infrastructure to meet the demands of high-performance applications and memory-intensive databases.
  • Simplify Operations: Simplified operations are delivered through key capabilities of vSphere 7, including elastic infrastructure for sharing resources, simplified lifecycle management, and intrinsic security across your hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Architecture Diagram

vSphere with Tanzu makes it easy to deploy and manage workloads. See Virtual Machine Class Types for Tanzu Kubernetes Clusters for the supported virtual machine classes for vSphere with Tanzu.

You can follow the vSphere with Tanzu Quick Start Guide to set up the supervisor cluster and create a Tanzu Kubernetes Grid cluster that is used for the Confluent Kafka cluster deployment.

We used the Confluent Operator to deploy Confluent platform as a cloud-native, stateful container application on the TKG cluster. Confluent Operator makes it easy to bootstrap the ZooKeeper, Kafka cluster, and other components in a minute.

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After deploying Kafka cluster successfully on vSphere with Tanzu, we can validate performance, monitoring, and use cases. For more details about the Running Modern Applications with VMware vSphere with Tanzu reference architecture, visit the following link:




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