If you haven’t heard of SUSE Rancher’s incredible capabilities around multi-Kubernetes cluster application management, you’re in for a treat. We recently had a chance to sit down with Bastian Hofmann, Field Engineer for Kubernetes at SUSE to get a walk-through on some of the challenges around multi-cluster deployment, app management, and how “Fleet” from Rancher can maintain application deployment and lifecycle across hundreds or even thousands of clusters.
Kubernetes has quickly risen from a small open-source project from Google to become the de facto standard for containerized application management. One of the key contributing factors of the massive adoption is the ability to run Kubernetes across major cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and GCP, or on your favorite brand of enterprise-class servers in self-managed datacenters. You can do this at branch offices or edge locations on low-powered lightweight devices, or even on developer laptops anywhere in the world. Wherever you need to run and manage your containerized applications, there’s a Kubernetes distribution out there waiting for you.
Because we can install Kubernetes everywhere now, cluster “sprawl” is a real problem to tackle. There are customers out there running hundreds to even thousands of Kubernetes clusters across differing hardware platforms, environments, and distros. Imagine you’re working in an enterprise organization that has developers running early dev/test on their home workstations, QA is in your company datacenter running on K3s on top of VMware, and production is split between Amazon EKS and Azure AKS. How do you centralize management, security, app deployment, and day 2 operations such as backup/recovery, application mobility, and disaster recovery across clusters?
With Rancher you get a centralized “single pane of glass” Kubernetes management platform that can be used to manage one to thousands of clusters, regardless of which distribution or cloud they run in. Rancher centralizes cluster provisioning and lifecycle management, authorization and authentication, global policy distribution and management, cluster monitoring, and global application delivery through “Fleet,” a GitOps continuous delivery capability.
For those of you new to Fleet, it’s a capability built into Rancher that’s designed to provide management for GitOps for a single Kubernetes cluster, or for large-scale deployments of Kubernetes clusters (up to one million)
Fleet is a distributed initialization system that makes it easy to deploy and manage applications from a single point. It can manage deployments from Git repositories containing raw Kubernetes YAML, Helm charts, Kustomize, or any combination of the three. Regardless of the source, all resources are dynamically turned into Helm charts, and Helm is used as the engine to deploy all resources in the cluster. As a result, users have a high degree of control, consistency, and auditability
What does this mean for your day 2 operations such as backup, DR, and app mobility? In a nutshell, Fleet enables large, distributed organizations to deploy the best-of-breed tool, Kasten K10, seamlessly and consistently across your entire fleet of Kubernetes clusters from a simple Git repository set of configuration files and integrate with the SUSE Rancher Apps & Marketplace.
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Adam Bergh focuses on Cloud Native Technical Partnerships and Architectures for Kasten by Veeam. Having been on the forefront on every major shift in data center storage and communications, from analog interconnectivity to cloud computing, he is known as a subject matter expert in enterprise storage technologies, hybrid cloud solutions, and data availability. Adam is a frequent speaker at global industry events delivering the value and vision of truly integrated solutions that solve real world problems.
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