Rancher 2.0 enables you to run production-ready Kubernetes in a variety of different ways. You have the freedom to choose the implementation that best suits your needs.
Every large cloud provider offers Kubernetes as a managed service. These services are the easiest way to set-up Kubernetes, and require little ongoing maintenance because the cloud providers are responsible for operating and upgrading Kubernetes.
Many cloud-hosted Kubernetes services have the additional benefit of providing the resources required to run the Kubernetes management plane free of charge. This can lead to significant savings when you run small Kubernetes clusters.
Rancher integrates with popular cloud Kubernetes services such as Google GKE, Amazon EKS and Azure AKS, so that you can provision and upgrade cloud Kubernetes clusters directly from Rancher.
Rancher makes it easy to manage security and access control policies across all of these cloud clusters. For users, the development and operations experience is identical wherever the Kubernetes cluster is deployed.
Create and easily scale Kubernetes clusters in the cloud directly from the Rancher UI or with a single command or API call.
Cloud providers manage, monitor and maintain your Kubernetes cluster. Rancher allows you to centralize access control and security policies across all of your managed clusters.
Cloud-hosted Kubernetes clusters typically don’t charge for the resources required to run the Kubernetes management plane making them less expensive than deploying a standard distro in the cloud.
The Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) is Rancher’s Kubernetes distribution. It is tightly coupled with the upstream Kubernetes project, and the most flexible way to deploy Kubernetes on any infrastructure.
Once you’ve deployed Kubernetes with Rancher, we take care of all ongoing upgrades and management of the cluster. Adding nodes to your cluster can be done directly from within Rancher, or from any other automation tool, such as Terraform, Chef, Ansible or Amazon auto-scaling groups.
If you already have a Kubernetes deployment, you can import those clusters into Rancher as well. These clusters will benefit from all of Rancher’s workload management and centralized policy management functionality.
Imported clusters will still require some direct maintenance. For example, you will perform operations such as adding nodes and upgrading Kubernetes outside of Rancher. All other capabilities of Rancher, however, will still be available, ensuring users can access central application catalogs, logging, monitoring, RBAC and security policies.