tanzu-application-catalog

Get Started with VMware Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced

Introduction

VMware Tanzu Application Catalog is a customizable selection of open source software from the Bitnami collection that is continuously maintained and verifiably tested for use in production environments. Tanzu Application Catalog gives developers the productivity and agility of pre-packaged apps and components, while enabling operators to meet the stringent security and transparency requirements of enterprise IT.

Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced enables organizations to simplify delivery and deployment of custom applications on Kubernetes. Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced provides a catalog based on one hardened base image (Ubuntu 18.04) to all customers. All containers and Helm charts are stored in a common registry, which can be accessed by customers using their account credentials.

This guide demonstrates how to use Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced. It shows you how to sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog, obtain your registry credentials and begin using containers and Helm charts on your local machine via Docker or Helm.

Assumptions and prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that:

Step 1: Sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account

To sign in to the Tanzu Application Catalog with your VMware account, your organization must include this service within its VMware Cloud Services. You can check if your organization has access to this service by signing into the Tanzu Application Catalog. Follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the Tanzu Application Catalog.
  • Click the “Sign in with VMware” button. If you have access to the Tanzu Application Catalog, you should be redirected to the “Catalogs” dashboard.

    VMware Tanzu Application Catalog

If your organization does not have access to this service, you will see a message like the one shown below, which allows you to change your current organization or navigate to the VMware Cloud Services Portal to get access to the service.

No access

Step 2: Browse the Tanzu Application Catalog

With the Tanzu Application Catalog, you have 247 access to your applications, their status, and deployment details.

In your account, you see two different assets available by default:

  • Container images
  • Helm charts

TAC overview catalog

These are real artifacts that are continuously updated and can be consumed for development and deployment.

Browse the container image catalog

The default list shows, at first glance, the following information for container images:

  • The base image
  • The container image version
  • The release status of the container image
  • The date of the most recent release
  • A “Details” link to view more information about that container image

Container information

If a container image has more than one version, you also see the different versions available for that image:

Container versions

The catalog can be filtered by type, status and/or operating system, as shown below:

Container catalog filters

The “Details” link for a container image displays a page containing the following additional information:

  • The name of the container image and the Helm charts that depend on it
  • The status of the release
  • Example Docker commands to consume the container image
  • A list of available releases, with the digest and tags
  • A list of reports that includes:
    • An asset specification report describing the contents of the image
    • A test results report
    • An antivirus scan report
    • A CVE scan report

An example of a container image detail page is shown below:

Container detail

Browse the Helm charts catalog

The default list shows, at first glance, the following information for Helm charts:

  • The base image
  • The chart version
  • The release status of the chart
  • The date of the most recent release
  • A list of associated container images and their status, base image and release version
  • A “Details” link to view more information about that chart

Helm chart information

As with container images, this catalog can be filtered by type, status and/or operating system.

The “Details” link for a Helm chart displays a page containing the following additional information:

  • The name of the Helm chart and its dependencies
  • Example Helm commands to consume the chart
  • The status of the release
  • The chart digest, version and reposiory URL
  • A list of reports that includes:
    • An asset specification report describing the contents of the image
    • A test results report

An example of a Helm chart detail page is shown below:

Chart detail

A Helm chart’s dependencies can be inspected by clicking the container images shown in the “Dependencies” section. This redirects to the container details page (described in the previous section).

Helm chart dependencies

Step 3: Obtain registry credentials

Before using the Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to obtain credentials for the Tanzu Application Catalog registry. These credentials allow you to access the registry and pull container images and Helm charts from it.

Follow these steps:

  • Click the “Credentials” link in the top navigation bar.
  • On the “Registry Credentials” page, click the “Generate new credentials” button.

Registry credentials

  • In the resulting dialog box, enter a description for the new credentials. Click the “Generate the new credentials” button.

Registry credentials

The credentials are generated and displayed. Note the username and token, or click the “Download as JSON file” button to download them as a JSON file.

Registry credentials

NOTE: These credentials will not be displayed again, so ensure that you download or copy them to a secure location, as you will need them in subsequent steps.

Step 4: Consume Tanzu Application Catalog artifacts

The Tanzu Application Catalog builds trusted and continuously maintained content that can be consumed in many different ways. The easiest way to get started is to use Tanzu Application Catalog container images and Helm charts in your local development environment using the Docker or Helm CLI.

Consume container images

To use a container image from the Tanzu Application Catalog:

  • Find the container image in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  • Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  • Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Container” section, as shown below:

Container commands

Here is an example of how to run a Tanzu Application Catalog container image for MySQL. Enter the registry credentials obtained in Step 3 when prompted.

    $ docker login registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/containers
    $ docker run --rm registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/containers/mysql@sha256:0090965aef191c9bd49f3d7ac93657f1e0257b1c4fc5ade87b82bfcf87408bd3

Consume Helm charts

Before deploying a Helm chart from Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, it is necessary to create a Kubernetes ImagePullSecret for registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced with the registry credentials obtained in Step 3.

Here is an example of how to create an ImagePullSecret. Replace the USERNAME andTOKEN placeholders with the registry credentials obtained in Step 3.

    $ kubectl create secret docker-registry tac4adv \
      --docker-server https://registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced \
      --docker-username "USERNAME" \
      --docker-password "TOKEN"

Charts can then be deployed either by adding the global.imagePullSecrets[0]=SECRET-NAME parameter to each Helm deployment command, or by configuring the ImagePullSecret globally.

To use a Helm chart from the Tanzu Application Catalog:

  • Find the Helm chart in the catalog listing and click its “Details” link.
  • Select the release version you wish to use (if more than one release is available).
  • Copy and execute the commands found for that release, in the “Consume your Helm chart” section, as shown below:

Helm commands

Here is an example of how to deploy a Tanzu Application Catalog Helm chart for Apache Kafka using the ImagePullSecret created earlier:

$ export HELM_EXPERIMENTAL_OCI=1
$ helm registry login registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts
$ helm chart pull registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts/kafka:12.2.1
$ helm chart export registry.pivotal.io/tac-for-tanzu-advanced/charts/kafka:12.2.1
$ helm install kafka/ --generate-name --set "global.imagePullSecrets[0]=tac4adv"

You should now have a good understanding of how to begin using the Tanzu Application Catalog for Tanzu Advanced, including browsing the catalog, obtained detailed information on container images and Helm charts and using these artifacts for development.

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, reach out to your VMware sales representative or use the links below:

Last modification December 10, 2020