Lead Image © Franck Boston, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Franck Boston, 123RF.com

Rancher Kubernetes management platform

Building Plans

Article from ADMIN 71/2022
Rancher has set up shop as an agile alternative to Red Hat OpenShift as an efficient way to manage Kubernetes clusters. In terms of the architecture, a Rancher setup differs significantly from classic Kubernetes.

When the talk turns to Kubernetes, many instantly think of the major league products by Red Hat and Ubuntu. Red Hat OpenShift is a massive, complex Kubernetes distribution with a large number of components and a connected app store for container applications. Although Rancher now belongs to a major Linux distributor, SUSE has largely kept out of the Rancher developers' way, so far, which is why Rancher has kept much of the simplicity its fans have loved for years. Therefore, anyone who wants to get started with Kubernetes today can find a way to do so with Rancher, and the entry bar is set low.

Even so, a Rancher setup is not a no-brainer. Various factors have to be considered with regard to the hardware. More specifically, the number of machines and their dimensioning deserves attention. Once the hardware is ready for use in the rack, the next step is to install a Kubernetes distribution, because Rancher sets up its own infrastructure completely on Kubernetes. What sounds complicated is not a problem in practice, because Rancher comes with its own Kubernetes core distribution in tow in the form of K3s, which provides all the features you need.

In this article, I guide you through the implementation of Rancher in your setup. The project starts on a proverbial greenfield site, the objective being a Rancher cluster that can be used in production. To achieve this setup, you need to be introduced to a few terms from the Rancher world that confront administrators regularly.


If you have already worked with one of the other major Kubernetes distributions, you might be a bit overwhelmed by Rancher's core features at first, because Rancher works differently from most competitor products. A comparison quickly makes this clear: OpenShift comprises a management plane, also known as the control plane, which includes all of the central services in the environment. OpenShift uses

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