Illumina Innovates with Rancher and Kubernetes
I’m excited to announce that today we achieved feature freeze on Rancher 2.0. This is an important milestone in our journey towards a GA release, which we’re targeting for the end of April. We have upstreamed all of the critical features into Rancher 2.0 master branch, and we are ready to enter the final beta phase focused on testing, documentation, and scalability.
We started 2.0 development more than a year ago. Major feature development and code refactoring continued even after we shipped the Tech Preview 1 release. The Rancher community responded very positively to Tech Preview 3, which we shipped in Q1 2018. Today’s release delivers the last major set of features in Rancher 2.0.
Rancher 2.0 is an enterprise Kubernetes platform that allows you to manage all Kubernetes distros, all Kubernetes clusters, on all clouds. It has three major components: Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE), Unified Cluster Management, and Workload Management.
Here is a summary of Rancher 2.0 features. You can find a more detailed list on the Rancher 2.0 GitHub page.
We originally planned to support both Rancher Compose files and Kubernetes YAML templates in Rancher 2.0. That would make migration from Rancher 1.6 to Rancher 2.0 easy: you can take your existing compose files and replay them on Rancher 2.0.
Unfortunately, we encountered a significant number of technical challenges in implementing a fully-compatible Rancher Compose experience on Kubernetes. Kubernetes supports many similar concepts as Cattle. There are often, however, important differences between the two that make an exact translation difficult. An earlier release of Rancher 2.0 TP1 resorted to translating Rancher Compose constructs to pods, bypassing Kubernetes orchestration all-together. Based on user feedback, however, we learned that was not the right solution. Instead we found out that a significant number of the Cattle community are interested in the capabilities of Kubernetes and it does not take that much effort to create Kubernetes YAML files from Rancher Compose because of the similarities between Cattle and Kubernetes.
We therefore decided to focus on supporting Kubernetes YAML templates alone in Rancher 2.0, and develop tools and practices to help Cattle community migrate to Kubernetes in the Rancher 2.1 timeframe. We will continue to support Rancher 1.6 for at least another year. We will take care of the needs of the Cattle user community as the nascent container industry continues to develop.
By embarking on the Rancher 2.0 project, we took on the monumental task of rebasing Rancher from Docker to Kubernetes. We rewrote all of the legacy Rancher 1.6 Java modules in Go, and in the process touched just about every other module in the system. Dozens of our core developers worked on the project at a time. The fact that so many developers can collaborate and move so quickly is a testament to the modularity and maturity of the Kubernetes platform. We are more confident than ever that Kubernetes will become the foundational platform for enterprise applications, and Rancher 2.0 will help make Kubernetes a reality in many organizations.
To see Rancher 2.0 in action, join us for our next Online Meetup: “Managing Workloads on Kubernetes with Rancher 2.0“