For anyone working in IT, the excitement around containers has been hard to miss. According to RightScale, enterprise deployments of Docker over doubled in 2016 with 29% of organizations using the software versus just 14% in 2015 . Even more impressive, fully 67% of organizations surveyed are either using Docker or plan to adopt it. While many of these efforts are early stage, separate research shows that over two thirds of organizations who try Docker report that it meets or exceeds expectations , and the average Docker deployment quintuples in size in just nine months. Clearly, Docker is here to stay. Read more
If you’re going to successfully deploy containers in production, you need more than just container orchestration
Kubernetes is a valuable tool
Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestrator for deploying and managing containerized applications. Building on 15 years of experience running production workloads at Google, it provides the advantages inherent to containers, while enabling DevOps teams to build container-ready environments which are customized to their needs.
The Kubernetes architecture is comprised of loosely coupled components combined with a rich set of APIs, making Kubernetes well-suited for running highly distributed application architectures, including microservices, monolithic web applications and batch applications. In production, these applications typically span multiple containers across multiple server hosts, which are networked together to form a cluster.
Kubernetes provides the orchestration and management capabilities required to deploy containers for distributed application workloads. It enables users to build multi-container application services and schedule the containers across a cluster, as well as manage the health of the containers. Because these operational tasks are automated, DevOps team can now do many of the same things that other application platforms enable them to do, but using containers.
But configuring and deploying Kubernetes can be hard
It’s commonly believed that Kubernetes is the key to successfully operationalizing containers at scale. This may be true if you are running a single Kubernetes cluster in the cloud or have reasonably homogenous infrastructure. However, many organizations have a diverse application portfolio and user requirements, and therefore have more expansive and diverse needs. Read more
On Friday we released version 1.5 of the Rancher container management platform. The enhancements in this release are designed to help ensure enterprise- as well as production-readiness. Additional webhooks improve Rancher extensibility and enable you to optimize overall infrastructure utilization. New API, networking and container scheduling policies provide fine-grained control of the container environment. Additional enhancements include metadata performance improvements and conditional logic support for catalog templates. Read more
Docker containers make app development easier. But deploying them in production can be hard.
Software developers are typically focused on a single application, application stack or workload that they need to run on a specific infrastructure. In production, however, a diverse set of applications run on a variety of technology (e.g. Java, LAMP, etc.), which need to be deployed on heterogeneous infrastructure running on-premises, in the cloud or both. This gives rise to several challenges Read more
Open source container management company exceeds revenue goals by twenty percent, reports 19 million software downloads.
Cupertino, Calif. – January 25, 2017 – Rancher Labs, a provider of container management software, today announced momentum in 2016, doubling its employees, exceeding revenue targets by twenty percent and surpassing 19 million software downloads. This growth underscores the heavy demand for its popular open source software that simplifies the deployment and running of containers in production, on any infrastructure.
“2016 was a successful and rewarding year for us, with much of it achieved by the support from our deeply engaged community of developers, users, partners and customers, for which we are incredibly appreciative,” said Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs. “The container industry is fast-moving, and we have a number of plans for this year to ensure we are even better positioned for success. We have a complete and easy-to-use solution, and are the only product on the market that supports Swarm, Kubernetes and Mesos, runs containers on all clouds and delivers these capabilities via an incredibly simple user interface.”
General Availability and Product Enhancements
In March, the company announced the general availability of Rancher, its open source container management platform, including several key enhancements since its original beta release in June 2015. Since Rancher was introduced, Rancher Labs pushed 553 releases which includes key new features such as modular infrastructure services and the ability to use the Rancher orchestration features or the integrated Kubernetes, Docker Swarm or Mesos distributions. In its most recent releases, Rancher Labs extended the Rancher infrastructure services capabilities with Read more
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.
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!