After you provision a cluster in Rancher, you can begin using powerful Kubernetes features to deploy and scale your containerized applications in development, testing, or production environments.

This page covers the following topics:

This section assumes a basic familiarity with Docker and Kubernetes. For a brief explanation of how Kubernetes components work together, refer to the concepts page.

Switching between Clusters

To switch between clusters, use the drop-down available in the navigation bar.

Alternatively, you can switch between projects and clusters directly in the navigation bar. Open the Global view and select Clusters from the main menu. Then select the name of the cluster you want to open.

Managing Clusters in Rancher

After clusters have been provisioned into Rancher, cluster owners will need to manage these clusters. There are many different options of how to manage your cluster.

Action Rancher Launched Kubernetes Clusters EKS and GKE Clusters1 Other Hosted Kubernetes Clusters Non-EKS or GKE Registered Clusters
Using kubectl and a kubeconfig file to Access a Cluster
Managing Cluster Members
Editing and Upgrading Clusters 2
Managing Nodes 3
Managing Persistent Volumes and Storage Classes
Managing Projects, Namespaces and Workloads
Using App Catalogs
Configuring Tools (Alerts, Notifiers, Logging, Monitoring, Istio)
Running Security Scans
Use existing configuration to create additional clusters
Ability to rotate certificates
Ability to backup and restore Rancher-launched clusters 4
Cleaning Kubernetes components when clusters are no longer reachable from Rancher
Configuring Pod Security Policies
Authorized Cluster Endpoint
  1. Registered GKE and EKS clusters have the same options available as GKE and EKS clusters created from the Rancher UI. The difference is that when a registered cluster is deleted from the Rancher UI, it is not destroyed.

  2. Cluster configuration options can’t be edited for registered clusters, except for K3s and RKE2 clusters.

  3. For registered cluster nodes, the Rancher UI exposes the ability to cordon, drain, and edit the node.

  4. For registered clusters using etcd as a control plane, snapshots must be taken manually outside of the Rancher UI to use for backup and recovery.

Action Rancher Launched Kubernetes Clusters Hosted Kubernetes Clusters Registered EKS Clusters All Other Registered Clusters
Using kubectl and a kubeconfig file to Access a Cluster
Managing Cluster Members
Editing and Upgrading Clusters 1
Managing Nodes 2
Managing Persistent Volumes and Storage Classes
Managing Projects, Namespaces and Workloads
Using App Catalogs
Configuring Tools (Alerts, Notifiers, Logging, Monitoring, Istio)
Running Security Scans
Use existing configuration to create additional clusters
Ability to rotate certificates
Ability to backup and restore Rancher-launched clusters 3
Cleaning Kubernetes components when clusters are no longer reachable from Rancher
Configuring Pod Security Policies
Authorized Cluster Endpoint
  1. Cluster configuration options can’t be edited for registered clusters, except for K3s and RKE2 clusters.

  2. For registered cluster nodes, the Rancher UI exposes the ability to cordon, drain, and edit the node.

  3. For registered clusters using etcd as a control plane, snapshots must be taken manually outside of the Rancher UI to use for backup and recovery.

Configuring Tools

Rancher contains a variety of tools that aren’t included in Kubernetes to assist in your DevOps operations. Rancher can integrate with external services to help your clusters run more efficiently. Tools are divided into following categories:

  • Alerts
  • Notifiers
  • Logging
  • Monitoring
  • Istio Service Mesh
  • OPA Gatekeeper