Rancher 2.3

The enterprise command center for every Kubernetes cluster

Now with full support for Windows containers, Istio service mesh and enhanced security for cloud-native workloads, Rancher 2.3 helps enterprises build and ship applications faster and with greater confidence.

What’s New in Rancher 2.3

Windows Container Support

Whether you want to create and tear down dev/test environments or ‘lift and shift’ legacy applications to the cloud, Rancher 2.3’s support for Windows containers brings all the benefits of Kubernetes to enterprises running Windows applications. Easily create Kubernetes clusters for your Windows workloads with Flannel available in both VXLAN and host-gateway modes.

Istio Service Mesh

By adding fault tolerance, canary rollouts, A/B testing, monitoring and metrics, tracing and observability, and authentication and authorization, Istio eliminates the need for developers to write specific code to enable these capabilities and allows them to focus on building the business logic. Rancher 2.3’s simplified installation and configuration of this leading service mesh technology comes with a built-in Kiali dashboard for traffic and telemetry visualization, Jaeger for tracing, and Prometheus and Grafana for observability.

Enterprise Security at Scale

As enterprises deploy Kubernetes more widely into production, security is always a primary objective. Rancher 2.3 now includes ‘Cluster Templates’ that allow operators to create, save, and confidently reuse well-tested Kubernetes configurations across all of their cluster deployments. These templates leverage controls and best practices from the most recent Kubernetes Benchmarks from the Center for Internet Security (CIS). The Cluster Templates feature also includes an option for policy enforcement, which prevents configuration drift and assures that as you scale, the clusters you deploy do not accidentally introduce security vulnerabilities.

"We are working closely with several partners, including Rancher, who is a pioneer in the Kubernetes management space. Rancher 2.3 is the one of the first solutions in the market to manage Windows Server Container based applications, allowing Windows developers to further benefit from the power of Kubernetes and its strong and diverse ecosystem."

Taylor Brown, PM Manager, Container Platform

How does Rancher 2.3 address the challenges of enterprises deploying and managing Kubernetes at scale?

Kubernetes enables a common compute platform across any infrastructure and a consistent set of infrastructure capabilities including improved reliability, enhanced security and increased operational efficiencies. But as organizations adopt Kubernetes, clusters are often deployed with limited access to shared tooling and services, inconsistent security policies and no centralized cluster operations.

This latest release enhances Rancher’s ability to address these challenges with the following new features:

Shared Tooling and Services

Istio Support

  • v1.2+ support (install per cluster, enable per project/namespace)
  • Built-in support for Kiali (traffic and telemetry visualization)
  • Built-in support for Jaeger (tracing)
  • Built-in support for Prometheus/Grafana (monitoring)
  • Horizontal Pod Autoscaling (HPA) from the UI
Security and Authentication

Cluster Templates

  • Debuts with support for RKE.
  • Users can manage and deploy consistent configurations across all RKE clusters
  • Admins can enforce cluster configurations across all clusters
  • Default RKE cluster configuration is hardened as per CIS Benchmark guidelines

Google Auth Support

  • Authenticate cluster users against Google Cloud OAuth
  • Includes support for Google Groups
Cluster Operations and Management

Windows Support

  • Support for Windows Server v1903 on K8s v1.14+
  • Support for Flannel CNI (vxlan and host-gateway)
  • Control and etcd plane must be launched on Linux OS. Workers nodes is 100% Windows OS

Kubernetes and Docker Update

  • Support for k8s v1.15.x
  • Support for Docker 19.03

Self-Healing Node Pools

  • Cluster node pools will properly cordon, drain, and refresh a node when detected to be down

Decoupled Kubernetes and System Services

  • Kubernetes and any system services can now be updated out of band without requiring a Rancher update, when possible
  • Admins can update at their own convenience

Hands-on with Rancher 2.3:

The Enterprise Cluster Command Center
Wednesday October 16, 2019 | Online Meetup

A Detailed Overview of Rancher's Architecture

This newly-updated, in-depth guidebook provides a detailed overview of the features and functionality of the new Rancher: an open-source enterprise Kubernetes platform.

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