Rancher spurs high availability and CI with new release

Rancher Release

Container Management Platform Rancher 2.1 is ready to help DevOps-y types in the enterprise to get the hang of seemingly omnipresent Kubernetes.

Users of the software will be delighted to learn that the new version comes with improvements tackling Continuous Integration, which was one of the issues the K8s community highlighted at this year’s KubeCon Europe. Pipelines for software delivery should be easier to build and use after the update, offering more features, as well as ways to integrate with repository management platform GitLab.

Companies with a need for particularly high redundancy and scalability are now able to construct setups with more than one Rancher server. Since the Rancher team recommends using three nodes if the software is run in high availability mode, the default number of Rancher server replicas in the Helm template has been upped accordingly.

To restrict memory, CPU, and storage usage at project as well as at cluster level, Rancher 2.1 supports resource quotas for projects. If the tool isn’t needed in a Kubernetes cluster anymore, the system-tools utility will now delete all the data Rancher previously left in etcd.

Keycloak has been added to the list of available authentication providers and EKS clusters will be created with v2 of the platform. If you’re waiting for Kubernetes 1.12 support, there is an experimental version available, but be advised that the network fabric Flannel does not work with those clusters yet. Using Flannel with Rancher might be worth reconsidering altogether, since it can also break the communication of pods between hosts at the moment.

The Rancher team deprecated support for Kubernetes 1.8 with this release, so be prepared for a complete drop in the upcoming versions. Should you still be thinking about making the switch from Rancher’s orchestrator Cattle to Kubernetes, a look into the newly available migration path document could help with the decision.

Rancher is an open source container management platform, which is protected under a Apache License 2.0. It mainly aims at companies finding Kubernetes a bit hard to work with, by offering them help with setting up clusters on different kinds of infrastructures via a web UI. To make it enterprise-worthy, centralised user and policy management are one of the priorities of the Rancher team.