Home Open Source Rancher release offers new features for container management
Sheng Liang: "Rancher continues to be the de facto choice for enterprises looking to run containers and Kubernetes in production." Sheng Liang: "Rancher continues to be the de facto choice for enterprises looking to run containers and Kubernetes in production." Supplied

Container management software provider Rancher Labs has released version 2.1 of its software of the same name, incorporating several new features.

The new version provides a path for migration for users from Rancher's Cattle orchestrator to Rancher Kubernetes.

Containers allow the packaging and isolation of applications with all the files they need to run. They can be easily moved between development, testing and production environments without any loss of functionality.

Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerised applications It was originally designed by Google and later donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

“Rancher continues to be the de facto choice for enterprises looking to run containers and Kubernetes in production,” Rancher Labs chief executive and co-founder Sheng Liang said.

“With Rancher 2.1, we’re providing key upgrades to the product that further enables any enterprise to embrace Kubernetes and accelerate development, reduce infrastructure costs and improve application reliability.”

Containers are very much flavour of the month for open source providers. In March, Peter Lees, chief technologist for the Asia-Pacific region for SUSE Linux, told  iTWire that containers would be the major focus of the Germany-based company for a while as it sought to consolidate its position in the Asia-Pacific region.

New features in Rancher 2.1 include:

  • Expanded integration with authentication providers: Rancher now integrates with PingID, Microsoft Active Directory Federation Server, OpenLDAP, Keycloak, FreeIPA and Azure Active Directory.
  • Drain and cordon support for nodes: Simplified process for admins to quickly cordon and drain nodes from a managed Kubernetes cluster during maintenance windows.
  • Added support for project-level quotas: Administrators can now set resource quotas for users and teams that can then distributed between Kubernetes name spaces.
  • Improved application management functionality: Rancher 2.1 adds improved support for helm charts, improvements to ingress management and improved logging and alerting functionality.
  • Expanded Command Line Interface: Teams can now automate how they interface with Rancher and Kubernetes.
  • Expanded DevOps tooling: Rancher 2.1 includes fully integrated CI/CD functionality that works with Kubernetes to automate build processes and release management.
  • Support for GitLab: Rancher 2.1 adds support for GitLab to Rancher CI/CD. Previously, only GitHub support was present.

The company said version 2.1 was its supported upgrade release for those who were using version 1.6. It said Rancher 2.1 also provided integration tooling that analysed Rancher Compose files and outlined how users could migrate an application directly to Kubernetes.


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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the sitecame into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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