Introducing Rancher 2.3: The Best Gets Better

Introducing Rancher 2.3: The Best Gets Better

Peter Smails
Peter Smails
Gray Calendar Icon Published: October 8, 2019
Gray Calendar Icon Updated: May 5, 2021

Today we are excited to announce the general availability of Rancher 2.3, the latest version of our flagship product. Rancher, already the industry’s most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform, adds major new features with v2.3, including:

  • Industry’s first generally available support for Windows containers, bringing the benefits of Kubernetes to Windows Server applications.
  • Introduction of cluster templates for secure, consistent deployment of clusters in large scale deployments
  • Simplified installation and configuration of Istio service mesh

These new capabilities strengthen our Run Kubernetes Everywhere strategy by enabling an even broader range of enterprises to leverage the transformative power of Kubernetes.

Bringing the Benefits of Kubernetes to Windows Server Applications

Today, 70% of on-premises workloads are running on the Windows Server operating system, and in March of this year, Windows Server Container support was built into the release of Kubernetes v1.14

Not surprisingly, Windows containers have been one of the most desired technologies within the Kubernetes ecosystem in recent years. We are proud to be partnering with Microsoft on this launch and are excited to be the first Kubernetes management platform to deliver GA support for Windows Containers and Kubernetes with Windows worker nodes! To get Microsoft’s perspective on Rancher 2.3, check out this blog from Mike Kostersitz, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft.

By bringing all the benefits of Kubernetes to Windows, Rancher 2.3 eases complexity and provides a fast and straightforward path for modernizing legacy Windows-based applications, regardless of whether they will run on-premises or in a multi-cloud environment. Alternatively, Rancher 2.3 can eliminate the need to go through the process of rewriting applications by containerizing and transforming them into efficient, secure and portable multi-cloud applications.

Windows Workloads

Secure, Consistent Deployment of Kubernetes Clusters with Cluster Templates

With most businesses managing multiple clusters at any one time, security is a key priority for all organizations. Cluster templates help organizations reduce risk by enabling them to enforce consistent cluster configurations across their entire infrastructure. Specifically, with cluster templates:

  • Operators can create, save, and confidently reuse well-tested Kubernetes configurations across all their cluster deployments.
  • Administrators can enable configuration enforcement, thereby eliminating configuration drift or improper misconfigurations which, left unchecked, can introduce security risks as more clusters are created.

Cluster Templates

Additionally, admins can scan existing Kubernetes clusters using industry tools like CIS and NIST to identify and report on unsecure cluster settings in order to facilitate a plan for remediation.

Tighter Integration with the Leading Service Mesh Solution

A big part of Rancher’s value is its rich ecosystem catalogue of Kubernetes services, including service mesh. Istio, the leading service mesh, eliminates the need for developers to write specific code to enable key Kubernetes capabilities like fault tolerance, canary rollouts, A/B testing, monitoring and metrics, tracing and observability, and authentication and authorization.

Rancher 2.3 delivers simplified installation and configuration of Istio including:

  • Kiali dashboards for traffic and telemetry visualization
  • Jaeger for tracing
  • Prometheus and Grafana for observability


Rancher 2.3 also introduces support for Kubernetes v1.15.x and Docker 19.03. Getting started with Rancher v2.3 is easy. See our documentation for instructions on how to be up and running in a flash.

Our Momentum Continues

Rancher 2.3 is just the latest proof point of our momentum in 2019. Other highlights include:

  • 161 percent year-on-year revenue growth, community growth to more than 30,000 active users, oftware downloads have surpassed 100M.
  • Rancher was named a leader in Forrester New WaveTM , Enterprise Container Platform Software Suites
  • Rancher is included in Five Gartner Hype Cycles in 2019
  • Rancher was recognized by 451 Research as a Firestarter in Q3’19

And, maybe the best part of the story is that we have more exciting news coming very soon! Stay tuned to our blog to learn more.

We also look forward to seeing everyone at KubeCon 2019 in San Diego, California. Come to booth P19 to talk with us or get a personalized demo.

Peter Smails
Peter Smails
Vice President of Marketing
A respected marketing strategist and hands-on team builder, Smails has a successful track record of evolving emerging technology vendors into mainstream enterprise technology leaders. He was most recently CMO at Imanis Data, a machine learning data management company, acquired by Cohesity. Prior to Imanis Data, Smails led marketing and business development at Datos IO, a cloud data protection company acquired by Rubrik in 2018. He has also held marketing leadership roles at technology giants including Dell EMC and Hitachi Data Systems.
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