Continental Innovates with Rancher and Kubernetes
Rancher's multi-cluster applications are the easiest way to add reliability to applications running in multiple Kubernetes clusters.
If you use Rancher 1.6, you probably already know about Rancher Catalog, which lets your Rancher system users create and share application templates without the need for any technical knowledge about the applications. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:
Create productive and reproducible private catalog templates Provide templates in a self-service portal Share services between distinct development teams Manage versions and updates of your services Offer your private templates to all Rancher users and customers Catalog Repositories You can configure Rancher Catalog with different catalog repositories (repos) to get distinct templates.
Modern microservices applications span multiple containers, and sometimes a single app may use thousands of containers. When operating at this scale, you need a container orchestration tool to manage all of those containers. Managing them by hand is simply not feasible. This is where Kubernetes comes in. Kubernetes manages Docker containers that are used to package applications at scale. Since its launch in 2014, Kubernetes has enjoyed widespread adoption within the container ecosystem.
DevOps can now efficiently and securely deploy containers for enterprise applications As more enterprises move to a container-based application deployment model, DevOps teams are discovering the need for management and orchestration tools to automate container deployments. At the same time, production deployments of containers for business critical applications require specialized container-intelligent security tools. To address this, Rancher Labs and NeuVector today announced that they have partnered to make container security as easy to deploy as application containers.
Rancher 1.4 is out today! As always, we encourage you to review the release notes. However, we’d like to run through a few notable changes, and the rationale behind them here. First, we’ve continued our move towards a friendlier Kubernetes experience by transitioning to Dashboard and Helm, which replace the Rancher Kubernetes UI and Catalog Kubernetes templates, respectively. We started this move in 1.3 as both Dashboard and Helm have matured tremendously in the past year, and we feel they’ve reached production stability and feature parity with what they’re replacing.
Rancher ships with two types of catalog items to deploy applications; Rancher certified catalog and community catalog, which enable the community to contribute to the reusable pre-built application stack templates. One of the recent interesting community catalog templates is the external load balancer for AWS Classic Elastic Load Balancer, which keeps an existing Load balancer updated with the EC2 instances on which Rancher services that have one or more exposed ports and specific label.
Rancher ships with a number of reusable, pre-built application stack templates. Extending these templates or creating and sharing completely new ones are great ways to participate in the Rancher user community and to help your organization effectively leverage container-based technologies. Although the Rancher documentation is fairly exhaustive, so far documentation on how to get started as a new Catalog template author has consisted of only a single high-level blog post.
Rancher Labs has been developing open source projects for about two years now. We have a ton of GitHub repositories under our hood, and our number keeps growing. The number of external contributions to our projects keeps growing, too; Rancher has become more well-known over the past year, and structural changes to our code base have made it easier to contribute. So what are these structural changes? I would highlight 3 major ones:
Elasticsearch is a Lucene-based search engine developed by the open-source vendor, elastic. With principal features like scalability, resiliency, and top-notch performance, it has overtaken Apache Solr, one of its closest competitors. Nowadays, Elasticsearch is almost everywhere where a search engine is involved: it’s the E of the well-known ELK stack, which makes it straightforward for your project to process analytics (the L stands for Logstash which is used to process data like logs, streams, metrics; K stands for Kibana, a data visualization platform – projects also managed by elastic).
*Note: Since publishing this post, we’ve created a guide comparing Kubernetes with Docker Swarm. You can read the details in the blog post here..* Over the last six months, Rancher has grown very quickly, and now includes support for multiple orchestration frameworks in addition to Cattle, Rancher’s native orchestrator. The first framework to arrive was Kubernetes, and not long after, Docker Swarm was added. This week, the team at Rancher added support for Mesos.
Recently, Rancher released a community catalog that will contain entries of Compose templates generated by the community. By default, the catalog in Rancher UI is populated from the Rancher catalog repository under the name “library catalog”. Now, you can also see the community catalog as well. This post will introduce how to build a secure Consul cluster as a Rancher Compose template that will be an addition to the newly released Rancher community catalog.
Docker Compose is a great framework for deploying application stacks, and at Rancher we’ve been working hard to make it possible to leverage that framework to create a catalog of application blueprints that can be repeatably configured and deployed. In this recording of our January online meetup, we demonstrated the new Catalog feature in Rancher and how to create catalog items. In the meetup we demonstrated: - Using the Rancher catalog to configure, deploy and upgrade an application - Creating a private app catalog linked to a git repo - Best practices for building catalog templates - Inserting application configuration into templates We demonstrated all of this live, and answered dozens of questions about Docker, Rancher, and building application templates.