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Rancher everywhere - in the Edge, in the Core and in the Cloud


Idea, Motivation and Background


Our engineers have been working intensively with Docker and Rancher since 2014 - at that time still in version 1 with "Cattle" - one of the first container orchestrators on the market. Even before Docker Swarm or Kubernetes.


Meanwhile, Kubernetes has become much more than "just" a de-facto standard for container orchestration: Kubernetes allows us to "compute everywhere".


Innovation and business need compute as a foundation, and so Kubernetes provides the foundation for innovation - everywhere: at the edge, in the core (datacenter), and in the cloud.


However, the Kubernetes ecosystem is an extremely large puzzle consisting of many pieces:




However, Kubernetes and the innovation that comes with it doesn't have to be a "do it yourself excersize"! That's one reason why FullStackS relies on the best Kubernetes management platform on the market: The Rancher Ecosystem.


Consisting of:

  • Rancher (centralized multi Kubernetes cluster management system)

  • RKE (Rancher Kubernetes Distribution)

  • RKE2 (Next Generation Rancher Kubernetes Distribution)

  • K3S (Minimalist Edge Kubernetes Distribution)

And more recently, a "purpose build" operating system for running containers - especially in the Edge - SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro.


By the way, we are not alone in this view - leading analysts share it:


Forrester New Wave™ 2020

Rancher helps organizations build this foundation necessary for innovation by providing a coordinated stack of solutions ("puzzle pieces") and complete coverage of Day 1 to Day 2 Actions for the smooth operation of this platform.


Rancher lets you run your Kubernetes clusters anywhere - but to start, you need a foundation: the Rancher Management Cluster.


At FullStackS, our Infrastructure as Code approach has been to deploy Rancher - as a management platform for your innovation - everywhere and in an automated way. In the Infrastructure as Code space, Hashicorp's Terraform is the de facto standard.


Through this approach, we can roll out Rancher and Kubernetes in any environment. Automated, customizable, repeatable and even from pipelines for different environments such as development test or production environments, including best practice and our experience since 2014.


In this way, we create your individual foundation for innovation. Fast, guaranteed and efficient.


At this time, FullStackS supports the following environments for deploying a Rancher Management Cluster installation:

  • VMware vSphere

  • VMware vCloud

  • OpenNebula Hybrid/Private Cloud (inkl. Edge Computing Provider)

  • Amazon Web Services

The actual Kubernetes clusters managed by Rancher (so-called "downstream clusters") can be run on any type of infrastructure (VM, bare-metal, cloud).


What does a typical rancher rollout look like?


Day Zero: Initial Workshop with the FullStackS RAID Log Approach


  • Definition of the objectives and non-objectives

  • Definition of technical details, discussion of alternatives

  • Writing and RAID Log (Risks, Assumptions, Issues and Dependencies)

  • Architecture sketches and preparation of the rollout




Day One:


  • Rollout and installation of highly available Rancher Management Clusters with Terraform

  • Basic configuration (e.g. backup, load balancing, disaster recovery, authentication & security)

  • Integration with operations (monitoring, metrics, logging, etc.)

  • Handover to customer's Ops team





Rancher Installation via Terraform "Infrastructure as Code"

Day Two:


  • Mapping of the use case for Kubernetes

  • Integration of Rancher / Kubernetes into business logic and value creation processes.

  • Build know-how and jointly operate the "platform for innovation" - focusing on value creation rather than the underlying technology


Infrastructure as Code - how must I imagine this?


nfrastructure as Code (IaC) is the management and provisioning of infrastructure via code instead of a manual process. With IaC, the desired infrastructure is described in a declaration. This declaration - with all associated specifications - enables repeatable provisioning of the infrastructure. Through abstraction, a declaration can be used virtually anywhere, e.g. on-premises (VMware vSphere) or in the cloud (hyperscaler). Through the code approach, the infrastructure can be managed in source code management systems (e.g. GIT), versioned and edited by teams (scaling).


All infrastructure projects of FullStackS GmbH are carried out according to the IaC approach "Everything as Code" - the customer receives this at the end of the project.



Terraform Code um einen hochverfügbaren 3 Node Rancher RKE Cluster zu erstellen.

TL; DR


  • Rancher is the central management platform for Kubernetes - everywhere.

  • Kubernetes is the foundation for innovation (e.g., refactoring apps)

  • Infrastructure as code is "the way to go" in the cloud-native era

  • Infrastructure is "disposable" and defined via a declaration

  • FullStackS enables Rancher & Kubernetes "everywhere" with best practices and success guarantee


Have we piqued your curiosity?

Take your company to the next level of innovation and make an appointment with us.












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