Rancher Labs’ Rio: An Application Deployment Engine for Kubernetes
Portworx sponsored The New Stack’s coverage of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in San Diego.
Just in time for KubeCon+CloudNativeCon North America 2019, Rancher Labs has released two new packages for cresting an end-to-end Kubernetes solution for all compute environments — from data centers to the cloud to the edge.
Rancher’s Vice President of Marketing Peter Smails sat down, virtually, with The New Stack to talk about this new release.
Rio is dedicated to making Kubernetes something developers can build on top of but forget it’s there. The key capabilities of the now-in-public-beta Rio include:
- A lightweight, cloud-native platform that delivers a fully integrated deployment experience from operations to pipeline — without taking over the cluster.
- The ability to run on any Kubernetes cluster anywhere, even on a laptop, handling all wiring for common services like Istio, Knative, and Prometheus.
- A security-focused configuration with Rancher’s built-in security capabilities, including cluster performance, multitenancy, and encryption.
A lot of what Rancher has done to date is geared toward IT operations to manage all their clusters, Smails said. For developers, user feedback repeatedly is that it’s too complicated for them, still too hard for writing code and running in production for cloud and edge.
Smails said all devs should have to worry about is “writing code and getting that code built, deployed and managed across any Kubernetes clusters, in any process.”
That’s what Rio does.
He described Rio as an “automated application deployment engine for developers to automate the build, deployment and management of any apps — to simplify that whole process.”
- Bring Automation to Build: Devs build the source code, they submit to Git via a tight integration with Rio, and then Rio will trigger automatic builds. Before someone had to trigger that build. Rio uses a descriptive GUI and then integrates with continuous deployment technology like the Linux Foundation’s TechTon or Jenkins.
- Push to the Right Clusters: One of the most common edge computing use cases today is in retail. A developer will be running software that has to deploy across point of sale tablets in hundreds or even thousands of stores. Smails says there’s a lot of operational value in pushing via a single prescriptive GUI to all the appropriate clusters.
- Continuous Management and Monitoring: All within the same environment, with Rio you can manage the often complicated Kubernetes rollouts and rollbacks like with canary and blue-green deployments.
“Rio is intended to be opinionated. You make certain decisions for the users to make things automated and simplified.”
Smails continued to explain that it follows the 80/20 rule. There may be 20% of organizations that want to do this themselves because they have complicated integrations etc. He says Rio is built for the 80% of organizations that want “to drive a very simple and automated means for CI/CD, service mesh, and monitoring.
Rancher was built with IT and operations in mind, but Rio is targeted at any developers going DevOps with Kubernetes, no matter if you’re using Rancher or not.
Smails said this general availability for K3s is significant because among their beta testers they already saw significant use cases — around 15 percent — for necessarily lightweight, edge computing.
“If ‘compute everywhere’ is the holy grail of what we’re trying to accomplish, and Kubernetes is how you get there,” he said, describing the new products as important additions to the company’s three-tiered software “KubeCake,” which now includes:
- Layer 1: Certified Kubernetes Distributions Everywhere — Rancher supports any certified Kubernetes distribution including the Rancher Kubernetes Engine, K3s, and cloud services like Google Kubernetes Engine, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services, and Azure Kubernetes Services.
- Layer 2: Kubernetes Management — Rancher provides simple management and security for all clusters and exposes users to tools and services, which include networking, service mesh, reporting, and monitoring.
- Layer 3: DevOps Automation — Make it easy for developers to build, deploy, and manage containerized applications.
KubeCon+CloudNativeCon 2019 and The Linux Foundation are sponsors of The New Stack.
Feature Image by congerdesign from Pixabay.