Manage any Kubernetes cluster regardless of how they were created: a cloud Kubernetes service like GKE, an RKE cluster created by Rancher, or an imported cluster created by other tools.
Kubernetes introduces a powerful set of primitives for orchestrating containers and guaranteeing the high availability of applications. As Kubernetes gains massive adoption in organizations, there is a great deal of interest in offering a simplified workload management experience.
Rancher provides an intuitive user interface for deploying workloads on Kubernetes clusters. The Rancher UI is intent-based. A user, for example, says “I want to deploy a container on every node” as opposed to “I want to deploy a DaemonSet.” This abstraction layer eases the learning curve of many Kubernetes concepts.
Rancher can ingest both standard Kubernetes YAML files as well as Docker Compose files, making it easier for developers who are familiar with Docker Compose to deploy their applications on Kubernetes.
The application catalog enables users to deploy complex clustered applications with a click of a button. Users can deploy from a public catalog of well-known applications (like Wordpress or ElasticSearch) or create a private catalog for their own applications. Rancher supports Helm Charts, the industry-standard, as well as the developer-friendly Compose files.
CI/CD is one of the most common use cases for Rancher. Many users have integrated Rancher into their existing CI/CD pipelines powered by Jenkins, Drone, Travis CI, GitLab, Concourse, and Spinnaker.
Rancher 2.0 has a built-in managed CI/CI pipeline in Rancher itself. The pipeline support is not meant to replace full-featured CI/CD tools, instead it offers a way for users who don’t yet have a CI/CD setup to get started even quicker.
Containerized applications have a variety of ways to output logs. The standard approach is to print logs to standard out and standard error. Many applications continue to store logs in specific directories inside the container.
Rancher 2.0 provides a centralized logging mechanism, built on CNCF’s fluentd project, that can aggregate logs from any source, regardless of how the application prints logs, and send them to a target of choice. The supported targets include ElasticSearch, Splunk, Kafka, and syslog.