What Rancher adds to Kubernetes

Kubernetes is a powerful engine for orchestrating containers. Rancher includes a full Kubernetes distribution, but adds value around Kubernetes in three key areas: Cluster Operations and Management, Intuitive Workload Management, and Enterprise Support.

Read the Guide to Kubernetes with Rancher

Cluster Operations
& Management

Application
Workload Management

Enterprise
Support

Multi-Cluster
Operations
and Workload
Management

Rancher provides a centralized control plane that unifies management of every Kubernetes cluster running across your organization. Rancher solves operations challenges, such as cluster provisioning, upgrades, user management, and policy management.

Install and manage Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure

Rancher automates deploying and upgrading Kubernetes on any infrastructure, including bare metal servers, VMware, or any IaaS cloud. Rancher automatically deploys and configures Kubernetes components, such as etcd, and monitors the cluster health.

Provision and manage GKE, AKS, and EKS clusters

Rancher works with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure to make it simple to provision managed Kubernetes services. Admins can centrally configure policy on these clusters. For users, every Kubernetes cluster behaves the same and has access to all of Rancher’s integrated workload management capabilities.

Centralized security policy management

Rancher allows admins to define Kubernetes access control, network and pod security policies centrally and apply them across any cluster. With centralized policy administration, organizations can ensure compliance and reduce the overhead on individual teams as they adopt Kubernetes.

Authentication with Active Directory, LDAP and SAML integration

Rancher integrates with Active Directory, LDAP or any SAML-based authentication service to enforce access control policies for individual users or groups. Admins can enable self-service by delegating administration of Kubernetes clusters or projects and namespaces directly to individual users or groups.

Smart DNS provisioning for every application

By provisioning and maintaining DNS records for applications running in both single and multi-cluster environments, Rancher’s Global DNS capability ensures that users can reach your application from the moment it launches, with no extra effort required.

Strong options for surviving cluster failures

Rancher Cluster BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) runs scheduled and ad-hoc snapshots of etcd, writing them to local or S3 storage, with management via both Rancher and the Kubernetes API. Rancher gives you the tools and the confidence to not only protect against disasters but recover from them quickly.

Advanced monitoring across multiple Kubernetes clusters with alerts

Rancher’s Prometheus support delivers advanced monitoring across all Kubernetes clusters, projects, users and isolated tenants. Metrics are available for alerts within Rancher, with actions as simple as notifying a user on Slack or PagerDuty, or as complex as initiating horizontal scaling of a workload to handle an increase in load.

Complete
Workload
Management
for DevOps

Kubernetes contains powerful functionality for orchestrating applications and guaranteeing service availability. Rancher adds a complete UI and workload management layer to Kubernetes, that simplifies adoption and integrates CI/CD as well as key open-source projects such as Prometheus, Grafana and FluentD.

Complete UI for workload management

Rancher includes an intuitive UI that makes it easy for users to deploy services on Kubernetes and get visibility into everything running on a cluster. Users are presented with common configuration options directly from the UI for defining scheduling rules, health checks, ingress controllers, secrets, storage and other key configuration choices.

User projects spanning multiple namespaces

Rancher projects make it easy to allocate multiple Kubernetes namespaces within the same cluster to an individual user or team. Users can then quickly define access control policies, secrets and other configuration items that span multiple namespaces.

Public and private application catalog

Rancher includes global and private application catalogs that work across multiple Kubernetes clusters and supports both Helm and Docker Compose templates. By reducing the load on operations teams, Rancher increases productivity and reliability for businesses running in a hybrid-cloud, multi-cloud, or multi-cluster Kubernetes environment.

Enhanced observability

Rancher comes preloaded with Grafana dashboards that provide enhanced observability into all Kubernetes clusters while ensuring isolation across different projects and users. Secure and safe for multi-tenant clusters, it enables capacity planning and empowers project owners to make decisions about the workloads they manage.

Integrated CI/CD pipelines

Rancher includes integrated CI/CD, making it easy for teams using Kubernetes, to quickly integrate it with their development, testing and release management process. Users can easily point Rancher at any git repo and Rancher will automatically run builds on Kubernetes, deploy test environments, and move product.

Enterprise Support

Quickly adopt open source Kubernetes while complying with corporate security and availability standards. Enterprise-grade support provides the confidence you need to deploy Kubernetes and containers in production at any scale. Rancher’s tightly defined SLAs ensure you get the help you need from Rancher Labs experts when you need it.

100% Open Source

All of our products are 100% open source and free to use. We deploy upstream, open source Kubernetes, so the features in each Kubernetes release will always be available for our users. Rancher shapes Kubernetes into an enterprise offering by putting security first and making it easy for businesses to control and interact with all of their clusters from a single interface.

No Vendor Lock-In

Rancher remains agnostic about which provider to use. We give you the freedom to quickly deploy Kubernetes anywhere, with the configuration that you want. We abstract vendor differences so that you can interact with each cluster in the same way. We make it possible for you to run multiple clusters, and if you ever decide to stop using Rancher, we provide a clean uninstall process that leaves you able to manage each cluster independently, as if we were never there.

24/7 Support

Open source is not just a great way to engage developers and solicit code contributions, but it's also a great way to build a user community. For those who wish to go beyond community support, we offer 24/7 worldwide support for the Docker Engine, all of Kubernetes, and all of Rancher's components. Engaging with Rancher Labs for support of your environment makes us part of your team, committed to your success.

A Library of Resources

Learn How
Rancher Works

Expert Training in Kubernetes and Rancher


Join our free online training sessions to learn how to manage Kubernetes workloads with Rancher.

Read a Guide to Kubernetes with Rancher


This guide shows the challenges in running Kubernetes in production and how Rancher helps.

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