Anthos clusters on VMware overview

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Anthos clusters on VMware (GKE on-prem) is software that brings Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) to on-premises data centers. With Anthos clusters on VMware, you can create, manage, and upgrade Kubernetes clusters in your on-premises environment.

With Connect, you can view and sign in to your on-premises and on-cloud Kubernetes clusters from the same interface in the Google Cloud console.

Anthos clusters on VMware runs in your data center in a vSphere environment. vSphere is VMware's server virtualization software. Anthos clusters on VMware uses VMware's vCenter Server to manage your clusters.

Getting Anthos clusters on VMware

Anthos clusters on VMware is a core component of Anthos.

Installing Anthos clusters on VMware

Before you install Anthos clusters on VMware, you create an admin workstation virtual machine (VM) instance in your vSphere environment. You then use the admin workstation to install Anthos clusters on VMware.


An Anthos clusters on VMware installation includes an admin cluster, one or more user clusters, and an admin workstation. An Anthos clusters on VMware cluster's virtual machines (VMs) are all in the same vSphere cluster. Anthos clusters on VMware clusters can be in the same or different vSphere clusters.

Diagram describing Anthos clusters on VMware's architecture when one user control plane is deployed
Anthos clusters on VMware architecture with one user control plane (click to enlarge)

Admin cluster

The admin cluster is the base layer of Anthos clusters on VMware. It runs the following Anthos clusters on VMware components:

  • Admin cluster control plane. The admin cluster's control plane includes the Kubernetes API server, the scheduler, and several controllers for the admin cluster.

  • User cluster control planes. For each user cluster, the admin cluster has a node that runs the control plane for the user cluster. The control plane includes the Kubernetes API server, the scheduler, and several controllers for the user cluster.

  • Add-ons. The admin cluster runs several Kubernetes add-ons, like Grafana, Prometheus, and Google Cloud's operations suite. Anthos clusters on VMware launches add-ons on different admin cluster nodes than other control plane components.

Note that user control planes are managed by the admin cluster. They run on nodes in the admin cluster, not in the user clusters. In addition, nodes in the admin cluster run Anthos clusters on VMware components. User workloads do not run in the admin cluster.

User cluster

User clusters are where you deploy and run your containerized workloads and services.


To learn about Anthos clusters on VMware versions, see Version history.

Additional Anthos components

With Anthos clusters on VMware, you can also use the following Anthos components:

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