Rancher Labs Releases Longhorn
June 02, 2020

Rancher Labs announced the general availability (GA) of Longhorn, an enterprise-grade, cloud-native container storage solution.

Longhorn directly answers the need for an enterprise-grade, vendor-neutral persistent storage solution that supports the easy development of stateful applications within Kubernetes.

“As enterprises deploy more production applications in containers, the need for persistent container storage continues to grow rapidly,” said Sheng Liang, CEO at Rancher Labs. “Longhorn fills the need for a 100% open source and easy-to-deploy enterprise-grade Kubernetes storage solution.”

Longhorn increases developer and ITOps efficiency by making persistent storage easy to deploy with a single click, and without the cost overhead of proprietary alternatives. It also reduces the resources required to manage data and operate environments, enabling teams to focus on shipping code faster, and delivering better applications.

Longhorn is 100% open source, distributed block storage built using microservices. Since the product was released in Beta in 2019, thousands of users have battle-hardened Longhorn by stress-testing the product as a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Sandbox project.

The GA version of Longhorn delivers a rich set of enterprise storage features, including:

- Thin-provisioning, snapshots, backup, and restore

- Non-disruptive volume expansion

- Cross-cluster disaster recovery volume with defined RTO and RPO

- Live upgrade of Longhorn software without impacting running volumes

- Full-featured Kubernetes CLI integration and standalone UI

Users can leverage Longhorn to create distributed block storage mirrored across local disks. Longhorn also serves as a bridge to integrate enterprise-grade storage with Kubernetes by enabling users to deploy Longhorn on existing NFS, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel storage arrays and on cloud storage systems like AWS EBS, all the while adding useful features such as application-aware snapshots, backups, and remote replication.

Rancher has a long history of collaboration with storage system vendors including NetApp, EMC, and Pure Storage. and with software-defined container-native storage vendors including Portworx, StorageOS, and OpenEBS.

“Our support of Longhorn does not change our partnership with our storage partners who offer numerous additional capabilities beyond Longhorn,” added Liang. “We believe, by being 100% open source and easy-to-deploy, Longhorn will help bring additional persistent workloads into the Kubernetes ecosystem and help drive further demand for advanced storage systems.”

Existing Rancher users can easily install Longhorn from Rancher’s app catalog. Longhorn is also free to download and use, and customers looking for support can purchase a premium support model with the same SLAs provided through Rancher Support Services. There are no licensing fees, and node-based subscription pricing keeps costs to a minimum.

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