VMware has announced a new platform that combines two products for end-to-end application connectivity. Known as the Modern Apps Connectivity platform, it unifies VMware's Tanzu Service Mesh with the NSX Advanced Load Balancer.

The integrated product offers a single frame of management for unified policies, monitoring, visualizations, and observability. Specifically, users can take advantage of application delivery services like enterprise-grade L4 load balancing, an ingress controller, global load balancing (GSLB), web application security, integrated IPAM and DNS, end-to-end service visibility and encryption, as well as an extensible policy framework for intelligent traffic management and security, reports ZDNet.

So what does this mean for customers? For starters, the new platform will help organizations with the challenges they encounter as they try to move new, modernized applications into production. More specifically, it can provide a platform for managing connectivity and security across hybrid environments and hybrid app architectures.

Today, most microservices rely on an API gateway to communicate with one another but as the number of microservices start to scale, there becomes a need to implement a service mesh to manage communications between APIs at scale. The launch of VMware Modern Apps Connectivity suite comes at a time when organizations are realizing microservices in application environments multiply, they need a way to present a consistent set of networking services for them to employ.

Learning Opportunities

Unsurprisingly, there’s a debate over the right type of service mesh to implement. While VMware has leveraged its weight behind Istio, originally created by Google, IBM and Lyft, often IT teams may wind up deploying different service meshes depending on the degree to which the decision is driven by developers or an IT operations team.

"People think that moving to Kubernetes and to a modern app transformation is a greenfield proposition," VMware CTO Pere Monclus said to ZDNet. However, he said, "When enterprises put the environment into production, they realize it's not just making networking and security work on Kubernetes. How do you connect to VMs, existing applications, to cloud services you may be using. That has been the big gap we've seen with customers."

The good news is that the Modern Apps Connectivity suite is a platform-agnostic solution that works across cloud and on-premise environments. It currently works with VMware Tanzu, Amazon EKS, and upstream Kubernetes, and presently, it’s in preview with Red Hat OpenShift, Microsoft Azure AKS, and Google GKE.

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