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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Cloud Services / Kubernetes

Rancher 2.6 Designed to Ease Kubernetes Cloud Deployments

Rancher is now expanding beyond its Kubernetes pioneer roots as a container orchestrator geared particularly for edge applications.
Sep 10th, 2021 3:00am by
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The intention behind the creation of SUSE Rancher 2.6 was largely to help make it easier for DevOps teams to deploy and manage Kubernetes environments across different cloud environments.

While offering “full lifecycle management support for clusters hosted across three major cloud providers” smacks of marketing speak, what SUSE otherwise means is that Rancher is now expanding beyond its Kubernetes pioneer roots as a container orchestrator geared particularly for edge applications. Rancher 2.6 is thus intended to replace many of the various tools required to get Kubernetes clusters up and running across Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Amazon Web ServicesAmazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

“SUSE Rancher generally solves the complexity of leveraging Kubernetes, anywhere and in any form, for cloud native application development and management,” Dr. Thomas Di Giacomo, chief technology and product officer, SUSE, told The New Stack. “This announcement for the latest version further simplifies the user experience without compromising on the power of Rancher, as well as expands the integration with hyperscalers and security aspects.”

The release of Rancher 2.6 follows SUSE’s purchase of Rancher last year, as both companies have said they seek to combine the best of SUSE Linux and Rancher Kubernetes orchestration tools and platforms.

While this writer has not yet tested the platform, SUSE says its ambitions are to support organizations’ digital transformation as they pivot towards a multicloud, hybrid IT approach to infrastructure, Di Giacomo said. “Increasingly leveraging open source, cloud native solutions like Kubernetes to help them scale faster and deliver better customer experiences,” he said. “SUSE Rancher helps these users bridge that transformation gap by providing a completely open source solution to help them manage, optimize and build out their Kubernetes environment.”

SUSE has also sought to accommodate both developers’ and operations team members’ needs with the new release, as many DevOps teams continue to struggle with deploying applications on Kubernetes from on-premises to different cloud environments.

“Modern enterprise environments are becoming increasingly complex as more organizations move towards a Hybrid IT or multicloud infrastructure model,” Di Giacomo said. “Operations teams benefit from simplified yet sophisticated ways to manage any Kubernetes clusters, developers can concentrate on software development and push their apps. Before SUSE Rancher, and this latest version, operators had to deal with complicated heterogeneous cluster management, and developers needed to understand where to deploy.”

Other SUSE Rancher 2.6 updates Di Giacomo communicated include:

  • Image scans and log traceability “to help our users and customers strengthen their security posture.”
  • The integration of SLE BCI for SUSE container images “to provide a secure and stable container base image to build from and introduced a technical preview of GitOps provisioning.”
  • A “Cluster API” capability that allows users to experiment with deploying custom cluster templates within their environments. “These features allow our customers and users to take a pre-emptive approach towards compliance and security whilst encouraging them to be innovative and creative in their environments.”

Among the new features, the new UX helps IT operators work with greater efficiency when operating critical functions across their environments,  Di Giacomo said. “We’ve taken feedback from our previous releases and our community to update the SUSE Rancher platform experience so our users can deploy and manage clusters, access to tools and dashboards quickly and confidently helping them save time and resources.”

Full Lifecycle Management support for Microsoft AKS and Google GKE clusters alongside Amazon EKS, offers DevOps teams “full interoperability across all three major cloud providers,” Di Giacomo said.

“This means our users now get a consistent management experience and have a real-time state of their cluster environments regardless of where their clusters are hosted,” he said. “Plus they can now import and manage existing clusters across the providers into SUSE Rancher or deploy new ones from SUSE Rancher. This means any of our customers or users pursuing a multicloud or hybrid-IT strategy now have access to a solution that helps them centralize the operations across their environments.”

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TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: The New Stack.
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