Rancher Labs Supports Multi-Cluster Kubernetes Applications
February 05, 2019

Rancher Labs announced support for multi-cluster applications within Rancher, its open source Kubernetes management platform.

Rancher users can now benefit from enhanced reliability, security, and availability in multi-cluster and edge computing environments.

“Rancher has made deployment and management of Kubernetes a breeze, and over the years we have added several new capabilities like RBAC, Projects and out-of-the-box monitoring to make it even simpler,” said Will Chan, co-founder and VP of Engineering at Rancher Labs. “As the number of users and clusters grow within an organization, for example in edge computing scenarios, the deployment, management and upgrade of applications and services that run across these clusters becomes impossible to manage. With Rancher’s support for multi-cluster apps, we’re thrilled to provide our customers with the exact tools needed to alleviate the complexity and meet enterprise requirements.”

Applications with high availability requirements must be deployed to multiple clusters to ensure reliability. Historically, this has been done by pulling nodes from other availability zones into the same cluster. However, if the cluster failed, the application would still become unavailable. Rancher’s support for multi-cluster applications is a significant step forward, solving this problem by allowing users to select the application and the target clusters, providing cluster specific data. Rancher then initiates deployment to those clusters.

Multi-cluster Kubernetes application support extends the robust feature set of Helm, the Kubernetes package manager. Users simply select the application from the Rancher Application Catalog, add target clusters, provide information about each cluster, and deploy. Multi-cluster applications use Kubernetes controllers running in the Rancher management plane to fetch Helm charts and deploy the application to each target cluster. The use of Helm charts allows Rancher to leverage features like upgrades, rollbacks, and versioning of the applications.

Multi-cluster application features are available in the 2.2.0-alpha4 and later releases, and will be generally available in Rancher 2.2 later this year.

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