Rancher 2.4 Takes Kubernetes to the Edge with Path to 1 Million Clusters

Gray Calendar Icon Published: March 31, 2020

Edge scalability, zero downtime maintenance, enhanced security, and new hosting options headline company’s latest release

Cupertino, Calif. – March 31, 2020 – Rancher Labs, creators of the most widely used Kubernetes management platform, announced today the general availability of Rancher 2.4. Kubernetes is the engine enabling common computing from data center and cloud to the edge. To help companies capitalize, Rancher’s latest release delivers the scalability, performance, and security required to enable enterprises to run Kubernetes everywhere.

Sheng Liang, CEO at Rancher Labs said: “Many enterprises are turning to Rancher as the only heterogeneous, multi-cluster, multi-cloud Kubernetes management platform. Rancher 2.4 is the latest proof point in our ‘Run Kubernetes Everywhere’ strategy, and further distances us from the considerable gaps in scalability, complexity, and openness that currently affect alternative solutions.”

Taking Kubernetes from Cloud Scale to Edge Scale

According to Gartner, 75 percent of enterprise data will be created and processed outside of data centers and cloud deployments by 2022. Whether companies are looking to deliver terabytes of content to millions of mobile users via 5G; running a network of low-powered, remote wind farm installations; delivering software updates to retail kiosks across thousands of branch locations; or managing a fleet of high security cameras with facial or object recognition, the edge is driving a massive proliferation of Kubernetes deployments.

With Rancher 2.4, Rancher Labs is delivering the scalability, management, and security capabilities required to support Kubernetes at edge scale. Key enhancements include:

  • Path to 1 Million Clusters – For general availability, the product now supports 2,000 clusters and 100,000 nodes. Additionally, the Rancher 2.4 architecture has been enhanced to provide a path to supporting 1 million clusters in an upcoming release.

  • Limited Connectivity Maintenance with K3s – ideal for cluster management, upgrades and patches where clusters may not have fixed or stable network connection, Rancher 2.4 can kick off an upgrade remotely, but the process is managed on local K3s clusters, allowing users to manage upgrades and patches locally and then sync with the management server once connectivity is restored.

  • Zero Downtime Maintenance for RKE – As organizations increasingly run production and business-critical applications, they need a non-disruptive way to maintain their Kubernetes infrastructure. Rancher 2.4 enables zero downtime maintenance, allowing organizations to upgrade Kubernetes clusters and nodes without application interruption. Additionally, users can select and configure their upgrade strategy for add-ons so that DNS and Ingress do not experience service disruption.

  • Enhanced Security with CIS Benchmark Scanning – Cluster security is paramount to a successful Kubernetes strategy. But, according to recent research conducted by AimPoint, 44 percent of companies had delayed application production due to security concerns around Kubernetes containers. To help address this issue, Rancher 2.4 introduces CIS Scan, which allows users to run ad-hoc security scans of their RKE clusters against 100+ CIS benchmarks published by the Centre for Internet Security and considered the de facto definition of a secure Kubernetes cluster. Users can create custom test configurations and generate reports illustrating pass/fail information from which they can take corrective action to ensure their clusters meet all security requirements.

Hosted Rancher

Many organizations may not have, or prefer not to deal with, the infrastructure, compute, and human resources required to deploy and manage a Rancher Server on-premises. In response to this demand, Rancher 2.4 is now available in a Hosted Rancher deployment, whereby each customer gets a dedicated AWS instance of a Rancher Server management control plan. The offering is a full-featured Rancher server, delivers 99.9 percent SLA, and provides stress-free upgrades, security patches and backups. Downstream clusters (e.g. GKE, AKS) are not included in the SLA and continue to be operated by the respective distribution provider.

Unique Strategy Driving Company Momentum

Unlike alternative solutions that purport to provide multi-cloud support by requiring customers to run the same proprietary stack across clouds, Rancher delivers a straightforward, consistent Kubernetes management experience for all certified distributions, including RKE, K3s, AKS, EKS, and GKE, no matter where they are running – on-premise, cloud, or edge.

“There is a fundamental difference between forcing customers to run a proprietary Kubernetes stack across all their environments and supporting heterogeneous, best-of-breed distributions,” said Peter Smails, CMO of Rancher Labs. “Whether it’s today or in the future, customers want the flexibility, freedom, and cost benefits that only Rancher brings.”

Rancher’s approach is resonating with customers and investors. 2019 revenue grew 169 percent YoY and the company recently announced a $40M series ‘D’ round. The additional funding will be used to accelerate innovation, increase marketing spend, and continue geographic expansion.

Customer Quotes

“Right now, we don’t have a standardized branch office setup – we need different components for different locations,” said Zak Anderson, head of container platform management at ABSA Group Limited. ABSA is Africa’s third largest retail bank. “We use physical servers now, and it requires an engineer to install hardware, configure the OS and install the apps, which can take up to five days at a cost of about $2,000 U.S. With Rancher 2.4, K3s can be preloaded onto the server, booted remotely through PXE, and auto-joined to the Rancher Kubernetes environment for remote management.”

“Rancher is our single management plane of glass for all our Kubernetes clusters and so having this level of visibility into the security of the configuration of our systems is crucial,” said Zach Dunn, Senior Director of Platform Operations and CISO at Optoro. “Putting these tools front and center in Rancher will significantly boost visibility and platform security across our large, complex and distributed architecture. Security tools often require a comprehensive understanding of where we came from, and where we want to go. Rancher completely removes this complexity and automates much of the process.”

“We are looking forward to upgrading our clusters with zero downtime,” said Philipp-Michael Radl, Systems Engineer at DIMOCO, a mobile payments provider enabling over 1.5 billion subscribers to purchase goods and services from merchants and aggregators with their mobile devices. “Right now, Rancher simply shuts down all nodes during an upgrade. A milestone ending in 2.4 allows the sequential reboot and upgrade of each node, which is a feature that we are sorely missing right now.”

Supporting Resources

  • Learn more about 2.4 from Rancher experts in our blog, here.
  • Register for Rancher’s ‘How to Harness Kubernetes from Cloud to Edge’ innovation event on April 2, here.
  • Register for Rancher’s technical Online Meetup ‘Take Kubernetes from Cloud to Edge’ event on April 15, here.
  • Read Rancher’s ‘How to Build a Kubernetes Strategy’ whitepaper, here.
  • Access the Forrester New Wave Enterprise Container Platform report, here.

About Rancher Labs

Rancher Labs delivers open-source software that enables organizations to deploy and manage Kubernetes at scale, on any infrastructure across the data center, cloud, branch offices, and the network edge. With 30,000 active users and greater than 100 million downloads, their flagship product, Rancher, is the industry’s most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform. For additional information, visit www.rancher.com and follow @Rancher_Labs on Twitter. All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.


For Rancher Labs

Jenna Dobkin
Waters Communications
jenna@waterscomms.com
415-652-2185

Caroline Tarbett
Rancher Labs
caroline@rancher.com
+44 (0) 7914 014145

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