Introducing Projects: Docker Environments for Collaboration

Published: March 2, 2015
Updated: January 31, 2019

In last week’s 0.9 release we added support in Rancher for users to create new deployment environments that can be shared with colleagues. These docker environments are called projects, and are an extension of the GitHub OAuth integration we added to Rancher last month. The focus of projects is to allow teams to collaborate on Docker environments, and since our user management is connected with GitHub today, we leverage standard GitHub abstractions, such as users, teams and organizations, to support Rancher Projects.

(If you haven’t read my earlier post on GitHub OAuth on Rancher, I would recommend you to read it as it provides an introduction to Rancher authentication using GitHub.)

Projects demo

This demo will show you how to create projects on Rancher for various levels of access control.

The project use case

One of the most obvious use cases for this new feature is to control access to environments and resources within an organization. For example, a common request from users is to have development teams and production teams own their own environments and resources. With projects, access to production environments can be shared among an approved group, and restricted from unauthorized users. At the same time, developers can have unfettered access to development environments, and can collaborate on testing, confident it will not be accessed by anyone else. Every project is a fully isolated environment for managing resources and deploying containers. Anyone who has access to a project can register new computing resources (virtual machines or physical servers) and deploy containers, configure networking, and consume all of the other capabilities of Rancher. Rancher supports three kinds of projects

  1. User Projects
  2. Team projects
  3. Org projects

User projects

User projects allow resources to be orchestrated by an individual user. They are meant to be used when a single user is the sole manager of the resources. Users can create multiple projects for different environments they are working on. One of the caveats of this type of project is that, users can create “user-level” projects only for themselves.

Team projects

Team projects allow users to allocate resources and provide access to a team of people. Team projects are ideal for collaborating with a predefined GitHub group. In the use case above, an organization could create separate team projects for the dev and operations teams. Giving both teams the ability to access their own resources.

Org projects

Organization level projects allocate resources and provides access to all members of the organization. For example, if you wanted to create a resource called demo, that everyone in your organization could orchestrate, this type of project would be the ideal choice. I hope this project feature will be useful to you and your team. If you’d like to get more information on using Rancher, or see it in action, please don’t hesitate to schedule a demo.


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