Today we achieved a major milestone by shipping Rancher 1.0, our first generally available release. After more than one and a half years of development, Rancher has reached the quality and feature completeness for production deployment. We first unveiled a preview of Rancher to the world at the November 2014 Amazon Re:invent conference. We followed that with a Beta release in June 2015. I’d like to congratulate the entire Rancher development team for this achievement.
As an open source project, Rancher was developed in close collaboration with the user and developer community. Some of you have been with us from the very beginning and have seen dramatic enhancements and changes since our initial preview release. Some of you were even bold enough to deploy Rancher in mission-critical production environments prior to our GA release! Rancher simply would not be where it is today without your feedback, suggestions, and contributions. With your help, Rancher has now over a million downloads and over 2500 beta program participants. We can’t thank our community enough and are looking forward to working with each and every one of you as we continue to improve and shape Rancher into the best container management platform.
In this blog post I would like to also reflect upon what we have built by explaining what problems Rancher is designed to solve, how the community is using Rancher in practice, why users find Rancher to be uniquely suited for their applications, and how we plan to continue to develop Rancher post 1.0 GA.
We’ve created a quick demo to introduce the new release.
The problem Rancher solves
Rancher is a complete and turn-key container management platform. As organizations start to deploy Docker containers in production, the immediate challenge becomes the integration of large collections of open-source technologies. As illustrated in the following figure, container management involves solving problems spanning across storage, networking, monitoring, orchestration, and scheduling.
Rancher develops, integrates, and distributes all of the technologies necessary to run containers in production. At Rancher Labs, we integrate and distribute market-leading container orchestration and scheduling frameworks such as Docker Swarm and Kubernetes, while developing the necessary app catalog, enterprise user management, access control, container networking and storage technologies ourselves. The result is a complete platform that offers superb developer and operator experience. With Rancher, organizations no longer need to worry about keeping up with and integrating a myriad of technologies from the fast-moving container ecosystem. Instead, they deploy Rancher once and can then focus on developing the applications that make their business better.
How organizations use Rancher
Most organizations today employ or are moving toward an agile software development pipeline. As users adopt containers, tools like GitHub, Jenkins, and Docker Hub solve the front-half of that pipeline. Users deploy Rancher so that they can test, deploy, upgrade, and operate containerized application on any public cloud or private data center.
Why Rancher is unique
We set out to build Rancher because we saw the need for a complete and turn-key container management platform. The resulting product, Rancher, has a number of unique qualities:
. Rancher is 100% open source. We believe leveraging the power of an open source community is the best way to build platform software, and we are confident that organizations will pay for enterprise support and thus help fund our development effort.
Easy to use
. Time and time again, developers have told us they love Rancher’s simple and intuitive experience which enables them to focus on building applications as opposed to having to build the underlying infrastructure software themselves.
. Rancher implements enterprise management features such as LDAP and AD integration, role based access control, unified infrastructure visibility and audit, and a unified application catalog.
. Rancher runs on computing resources in the form of Linux servers, which are a commodity offered by all clouds and data centers. Rancher does not rely on proprietary features supported by one cloud provider and not others. Rancher builds a rich set of storage, networking, load balancing, DNS, and metadata services that work consistently for containers running on any cloud.
Support for both Swarm and Kubernetes
. Modern DevOps practices do not impose the choice of application frameworks across the organization. As a result different teams tend to choose their own container orchestration and scheduling frameworks. Rancher is the only container management platform today that can support both Swarm and Kubernetes.
What you can expect after 1.0
We are lucky to have passionate users and open source community members. The community wants us to continue to improve networking and storage features, implement richer enterprise-grade visibility and control features, onboard and certify more application catalog entries, and support additional container orchestration and scheduling frameworks. You can get a good idea of what users and community members want by looking at the Rancher Forums
on Rancher’s GitHub page. With 1.0 behind us, you should expect the feature development velocity to increase. While maintaining a stable release branch, we will continue to release new features and capabilities on an aggressive release schedule. Stay tuned!
To see Rancher 1.0 in action, join us this Wednesday at 1:00 pm Eastern time for an Online Meetup on building your own Containers-as-a-Service platform with Rancher 1.0. We’ll be joined by the container team at Sony PlayStation, who will be sharing some of their experiences using Rancher.