Rancher Blog

Setting up a RabbitMQ Container Using Rancher

December 22, 2016


RabbitMQ is a messaging broker that transports messages between data producers and data consumers. Data producers can be just about any application, host, or device that emits data that needs to be consumed by other applications for aggregation, processing, or analysis.

RabbitMQ is easy to set up, use, and maintain. It can be scaled to handle large numbers of messages between many different data producers and consumers in a variety of application use cases.

Rancher provides a container platform that eases managing clusters of container-based applications. It works natively with Kubernetes, Mesos, and Docker Swarm, as well as its own container orchestration and scheduling tool, which is called Cattle.

In this article, we are going to discuss setting up a simple RabbitMQ installation in a container using Rancher Server. Connecting to the RabbitMQ management interface, as well as sending and receiving your first message, will be covered. Read more

Hidden Dependencies with Microservices

December 15, 2016

One of the great things about microservices is that they allows engineering to decouple software development from application lifecycle. Every microservice:

  • can be written in its own language, be it Go, Java, or Python
  • can be contained and isolated form others
  • can be scaled horizontally across additional nodes and instances
  • is owned by a single team, rather than being a shared responsibility among many teams
  • communicates with other microservices through an API a message bus
  • must support a common service level agreement to be consumed by other microservices, and conversely, to consume other microservices

These are all very cool features, and most of them help to decouple various software dependencies from each other.

But what is the operations point of view? While the cool aspects of microservices bulleted above are great for development teams, they pose some new challenges for DevOps teams. Namely:

Read more

Using New Relic, Splunk, AppDynamics and Netuitive for Container Monitoring

December 7, 2016

Monitoring IconsIf you use containers as part of your day-to-day operations, you need to monitor them — ideally, by using a monitoring solution that you already have in place, rather than implementing an entirely new tool. Containers are often deployed quickly and at a high volume, and they frequently consume and release system resources at a rapid rate. You need to have some way of measuring container performance, and the impact that container deployment has on your system.

In this article, we’ll take a look at four widely used monitoring platforms—Netuitive, New Relic, Splunk, and AppDynamics—that support containers, and compare how they measure up when it comes to monitoring containers.

First, though, a question: When you monitor containers, what kind of metrics do you expect to see? The answer, as we’ll see below, varies with the monitoring platform. But in general, container metrics fall into two categories—those that measure overall container impact on the system, and those that focus on the performance of individual containers. Read more

Rancher Events in December

December 6, 2016

rancher-logo_stacked-full-colorWe’re winding down for the year, but you’ll still be able to check out Rancher in a few places, live and in real-time. We always look forward to meeting users whenever we can, and hearing from you only helps make us better.


Meetups and Talks

Dec 3, Montreal, CN: Architecting Distributed Applications Across Datacenters and Clouds. Join us as we discuss popular orchestrators, and strategies for operationalizing distributed applications across diverse infrastructure.

Dec 8, Tokyo, JPN: Rancher Meetup #2. Our second meetup in Tokyo showcases real-life use cases from local users, and a quick overview of the latest features from Rancher 1.2.

Dec 8, Online: Rancher Training. A hands-on overview of how to setup a Rancher deployment (you can always check this out at rancher.com/training).

Dec 14, Online Meetup: Deep Dive on Rancher 1.2 This month, we shipped the latest version of Rancher, which brings in a massive set of improvements. See the newest support for container storage and networking, and how we wrap them into templates for container-ready environments.

Dec 20, Lyon, FR: Introduction to Rancher. Rachid Zarouali will be providing an introduction to the Rancher container management platform at the Lyon Docker meetup, along with a short overview of adjacent technologies like Prometheus and Grafana.

Don’t see anything in your area? Let us know where we can meet you.

Are you talking about Rancher in your town? Let us know @Rancher_Labs, and we’ll give you a shout out!


Rancher 1.2 Is Now Available!

December 1, 2016


Note: since this article has posted, we’ve released Rancher 1.2.1, which addresses much of the feedback we have received on the initial release. You can read more about the v1.2.1 release on Github

I am very excited to announce the release of Rancher 1.2! This release goes beyond the requisite support for the latest versions of Kubernetes, Docker, and Docker Compose, and includes major enhancements to the Rancher container management platform itself

Rancher 1.2 fully supports the latest storage and networking plugin frameworks (more on this later), and introduces a new and simplified HA setup, a more flexible configuration of Rancher’s HAProxy load balancer, and a new Rancher CLI. We’ve also added SAML 2.0 support, resource scheduling, and numerous improvements for performance and scale. This is a relatively large release, with many more features outlined in the release notes.

Out of all these enhancements, there’s a few things that we’d like to highlight:

Full support for container networking and storage plugin frameworks

Last year, Docker introduced Docker Volume plugins and libnetwork, while Kubernetes opted for the Container Network Interface (CNI) and FlexVolume frameworks. Since then, we’ve seen the container ecosystem explode with implementations of all these plugin frameworks to allow users to take advantage of the vast storage and network solutions out there today.

One of Rancher’s superpowers is enabling users to leverage their tooling of choice across diverse infrastructure. With the release of v1.2, Rancher supports CNI and is fully capable of leveraging any vendor CNI network plugins, along with our own newly-rewritten IPSec and VXLAN solutions for cross-host networking. Users can also create volumes with any Docker Volume plugins scoped to the container, stack, or environment. Plugins included with Rancher 1.2 are our newly-rewritten support for NFS (which replaces ConvoyNFS), AWS EFS, and AWS EBS, with more to come.

Modular, push-button, container-ready environments

While Rancher 1.2 provides users with the ability to distribute and provide lifecycle management for storage and networking plugins, we are also introducing the concept of custom environment templates. Networking and storage plugins can now be incorporated as options in a customizable template, which also includes options for orchestration engines, external DNS, and health checks. This allows users to better organize and manage services, and provides a straightforward, consistent, and repeatable deployment of your infrastructure services. In the future, we expect to expand the scope of environment templates to include additional infrastructure services such as logging, monitoring, and databases.

Faster, more frequent releases

Finally, when Rancher became generally available with v1.0 earlier this year, our goal was to provide stable releases each quarter, with bi-weekly pre-release snapshots for our open source community eager to play with our latest enhancements. However, key components in Docker and Kubernetes adhere to different release schedules, and our open source community requires stable releases more frequently than each quarter. We have decided that starting with v1.3, we will ship monthly stable releases of Rancher.

This means we will no longer ship pre-release builds as we have in the past, though release candidates will be available for download and test. We hope with this new release schedule, we will be able to increase our agility to ship new features, remain up-to-date with Docker and Kubernetes, and shorten the time between stable releases for Rancher users that want to quickly take advantage of new features and major fixes.

We really could not have released Rancher 1.2 without the support of our customers and open source community so a very BIG thank you for helping us with this release. We also have big plans for 2017 and can’t wait to share that with you as soon as we can. Stay tuned!

To see Rancher 1.2 in action, check out the recording of our December 2016 meetup