Rancher - A Way to Transform Kubernetes based Cloud-Native Stacks
Rancher is one platform for everyone who uses Kubernetes and it is an open source software platform that enables organizations to run containers in production. Rancher supports flexible user authentication plugins and comes with prebuild user authentication integration with Active Directory,
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and GitHub. Rancher supplies the entire software stack needed to manage the containers in production.
Here are a few key points which answer, why one to prefer rancher platform:
1. Container Orchestration:
Container orchestration is all about managing the life cycles of containers, especially in large, dynamic environments. The beauty of container orchestration tools is that you can use them in an environment in which containers are supported.
Rancher is a complete software package for teams who adopted the container platform. It addresses the operational and security challenges arises during the management of multiple Kubernetes clusters and while providing DevOps teams with integrated tools for running containerized workloads. The rancher API is very intuitive for building customized applications and the User Interface (UI) provides the complete infrastructure of a rancher from the container level.
2. Multi-Cluster Management:
The Rancher was build to manage Kubernetes everywhere it runs. It can easily deploy new clusters from scratch, Amazon EKS, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) or even import existing Kubernetes clusters. Rancher deploys Kubernetes clusters anywhere and on any provides. It unites the clusters under centralized authentication and access control because it is agnostic about where the resources run and you can easily bring up clusters in a different provider and deploy applications to all of them. Instead of having several independent Kubernetes deployments, Rancher unifies them as a single, managed Kubernetes Cloud. One can set up a cluster with various cloud service providers like GCP, AWS, Bare Metal, Digital ocean, Custom, Azure. It’s very easy to set up a multi-cluster for different teams in a bigger organization and you will be able to control from a single place.
3. Cluster Isolation:
In rancher, a group of independent servers is interconnected through a dedicated network to work as one centralized data processing resource. Clusters are capable of performing multiple complex operations by distributing workload across all the connected servers. If a server fails, then it is automatically shut down and its users are switched instantly to the other servers. In Rancher, multiple clusters is placed together where each clusters are isolated without interfering each other.
4. Building Continuous Integration Environment using Docker, Jenkins and OpenVPN:
Container networking overcomes the docker network limitations, using a software-defined network that connects all docker containers under the same network as if all of them were physically connected. This feature makes it much easier to interconnect your deployed services because you don’t have to configure anything. Advantage of Rancher network using OpenVPN is that they allow any device that may run on OpenVPN client including PCs, gateways, mobile devices or embedded systems to access Rancher network easily and securely.
5. Deploy Containerized Applications:
Rancher repository contains numerous applications, which are easy to set up, through Rancher’s UI. The applications in this repository are based on existing Helm charts. The applications are grouped in three different sections. Helm based applications are grouped into helm library and rancher based applications are included in the rancher library. This made the user distinguish applications easily and they can select what exactly they want. This made rancher UI as user- friendly.
6. Microservices benefit Rancher as an Orchestration Platform:
Container orchestration platform should be easily extendable, especially when it comes to implementing a specific service provider extension. Building and deploying this extension shouldn’t be tightly coupled to the core platform. Moving out of the code to its Microservice repository, dockerizing the service, and allowing it to deploy it using the catalog, makes everything easier to maintain and support (as pictured below):
Rancher has become well known in the Microservice projects because of mainly 3 reasons:
1. Moving key Rancher features into separate Microservice projects.
2. Dockerizing Microservice orchestration.
3. Cataloging Dockerized application templates, and enabling them for deployment through the Rancher catalog.
In the future, the rancher team has planned to move the rest of Rancher’s key services to their Microservices. This will allow users to integrate the system service plugins of their choice with just a couple of clicks.
7. Microservices with Istio:
Recent days, Istio made people to attracted towards rancher labs easily. Istio is generally built by keeping Kubernetes in mind, and it can be deployed with helm easily. Istio is the micro-service development framework. It’s a great technology, combining some of the latest ideas in distributed services architecture in an easy-to-use abstraction. The main reason why people look into Istio is, sometimes it is referred to as a “service mesh”, it has facilities for API authentication/authorization, service routing, service discovery, request monitoring, request rate-limiting, and more. It’s made up of a few modular components that can be consumed separately or as a whole.
8. Alerts and Notifications:
Notifiers are services that inform on alert events. You can configure notifiers to send alert notifications to staff best suited to take corrective action. Alerts are either cluster level or workload level but rancher integrates alerts with a variety of popular IT services, including Slack, Email, Pagerduty, Webhook, Wechat.
Rancher is a complete solution for deploying and managing Kubernetes. Better than an installer or a platform, it fits perfectly with every part of your container orchestration strategy. They are easy to set up with a simple command or API call. Managed Kubernetes Cluster can be created through any platform with the following scenarios,
Managed Container Providers: Amazon EKS - Elastic Kubernetes Service, GKE - Google Kubernetes Engine, AKS - Azure Kubernetes Service, Amazon ECS - Elastic Container Service.
Custom Prepared Containers with Amazon AWS, GCP, MS Azure, Digital Ocean, IBM Softlayer, etc.,
Bare Metal Containers - Vmware Vsphere, Cisco ACI, etc.,
Rancher Kubernetes Engine.
Unlike solutions from Pivotal or RedHat, Rancher runs 100% upstream Kubernetes on any cloud provider or manages any hosted Kubernetes service. One Rancher cluster manages hundreds of Kubernetes clusters. From the moment you deploy it, Rancher makes your installation more powerful by including software from the CNCF and other recognized leaders in the open source community. Many other advantages are also tied up with rancher, like continuous monitoring and logging using Fluentd, Kibana, Elasticsearch and Grafana.
For more details about cloud-native Microservices & cloud-native stack transformation, please refer to Yobitel Communications.