Rancher Blog

Playing Catch-up with Docker and Containers

February 17, 2017

This article is essentially a guide to getting started with Docker for people who, like me, have a strong IT background but feel a little behind the curve when it comes to containers. We live in an age where new and wondrous technologies are being introduced into the market regularly. If you’re an IT professional, part of your job is to identify which technologies are going to make it into the toolbox for the average developer, and which will be relegated to the annals of history.

Docker is one of those technologies that sounded interesting when it first debuted in 2013, but was easy to ignore because at the time it was not clear whether Docker would ever graduate beyond something that developers liked to play with in their spare time. Personally, I didn’t pay close attention to Docker containers in Docker’s early days. They got lost amid all the other noise in the IT world.

That’s why, in 2016, as Docker continued to rise in prominence, I realized that I’d missed the container boat. Docker was becoming a must-know technology, and I was behind the curve.

If you’re reading this, you may well be in a similar position. But there’s good news: Read more

Introducing Containers into Your DevOps Processes: Five Considerations

February 15, 2017

Docker has been a source of excitement and experimentation among developers since March 2013, when it was released into the world as an open source project. As the platform has become more stable and achieved increased acceptance from development teams, a conversation about when and how to move from experimentation to the introduction of containers into a continuous integration environment is inevitable.

What form that conversation takes will depend on the players involved and the risk to the organization. What follows are five important considerations which should be included in that discussion.

Define the Container Support Infrastructure

When you only have a developer or two experimenting with containers, the creation and storage of Docker images on local development workstations is to be expected, and the stakes aren’t high. When the decision is made to use containers in a production environment, however, important decisions need to be made surrounding the creation and storage of Docker images.

Before embarking on any kind of production deployment journey, ask and answer the following questions: Read more

Webhooks in Rancher

February 8, 2017

Rancher has added a new feature in 1.4 for webhooks, with an initial driver to handle scaling. A key concept for implementing webhooks is that of a ‘Receiver’, which lets you register a webhook and provides a URL used to trigger an action inside of Rancher.

We have implemented webhooks with our new microservice, called webhook-service. I will explain the feature using our current driver, scaleService. The scaleService driver allows users to create a receiver hook for scaling a service up or down. A classic use case for this is integrating with a monitoring system to watch load balancer traffic, and calls this receiver hook when response times or requests per second reach a certain threshold. I will go through the steps of creating the receiver hooks in Rancher. Read more

Rancher 1.4 is out!

February 6, 2017

Rancher 1.4 is out today! As always, we encourage you to review the release notes. However, we’d like to run through a few notable changes, and the rationale behind them here.

First, we’ve continued our move towards a friendlier Kubernetes experience by transitioning to Dashboard and Helm, which replace the Rancher Kubernetes UI and Catalog Kubernetes templates, respectively. We started this move in 1.3 as both Dashboard and Helm have matured tremendously in the past year, and we feel they’ve reached production stability and feature parity with what they’re replacing. Our goal at Rancher Labs is always to support mainstream container technologies, and integrating Dashboard and Helm is a natural part of that philosophy.

In this release, we’re also including: Read more

Managing Container Clusters with Terraform and Rancher

February 2, 2017

Infrastructure as code is a practice of codifying and automating the deployment and management of infrastructure with tooling. This allows for testing, reviewing, approving, and deploying infrastructure changes with the same processes and tools as application code. In this blog post, we’ll walk through using Rancher and Terraform to implement infrastructure as code, using the recently built-in Rancher Terraform provider.

Terraform from Hashicorp is a tool for abstracting service and provider APIs into declarative configuration files. It then tracks the state of the infrastructure and converges it to match the specified configuration. Terraform ships with built-in support for a variety of cloud providers (AWS, CenturyLink Cloud, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack, VMware vSphere, etc.) and other services such as BitBucket, GitHub, Fastly, Heroku DNSimple, and Rancher. The full list of providers can be found at online in the Terraform docs. Read more