Hot on the heels of throwing its container orchestration support behind Kubernetes, Rancher Labs rolled out a new Kubernetes installer. The installer is available under the Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) name.
Rancher Labs CEO Sheng Liang in a blog post explained RKE is a standalone executable platform that analyzes the content of a Kubernetes cluster to manage its lifecycle and upgrades. Liang said RKE is not designed to be a long-running service to monitor and operate the Kubernetes cluster. Rather, it works with a container management system like Rancher 2.0, AWS CloudWatch, Datadog, or Sysdig.
It also operates as an embedded Kubernetes installer for distributed applications on virtualized or bare-metal servers. This feature is targeted at developers that do not have a running Kubernetes cluster or access to a cloud-hosted Kubernetes service like Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) or Microsoft’s recently updated Azure Container Service (AKS).
Liang said RKE is an alternative to current installers like Kops, Kubespray, and Kubeadm. He explained Kops does not support all cloud providers; RKE is better than Kubespray because it is simpler and allowed for faster install because it’s based on a container framework; and Kubeadm does not yet support capabilities like high-availability clusters.
Rancher 2.0 Umbrella
RKE falls under Rancher Labs’ recently updated 2.0 container management platform. That platform was announced in late September and marked a break for Rancher from using Docker as its container orchestrator of choice.
“We were hearing from customers that Kubernetes support was what they wanted,” Liang told SDxCentral. “This request was a lot more than what we were hearing for Mesos or [Docker] Swarm.”
Rancher 2.0 also includes a cluster manager that provides centralized role-based access control (RBAC), cluster capacity management, and cost management; and an application management user interface that runs on top of Kubernetes and offers cloud-native ecosystem technologies like CI/CD, centralized monitoring, and logging.
Rancher 2.0 continues to operate under development and technical preview.
The company has raised more than $30 million in funding since its founding in late 2014. Its leadership team previously ran Cloud.com and was the creator of CloudStack.