Rancher Labs completes its Kubernetes-as-a-service solution stack for ITOps and DevOps teams

Rancher Labs, creators of the most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform, announced the general availability of K3s, their lightweight, certified Kubernetes distribution purpose built for small footprint workloads, along with the beta release of Rio, their new application deployment engine for Kubernetes that delivers a fully integrated deployment experience from operations to pipeline.

Rancher Labs K3s Rio

“Kubernetes has established itself as the de facto standard for container orchestration,” stated Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO, of Rancher Labs. With our investments in K3s and Rio, and our recently announced Rancher v2.3, we are completing our Kubernetes-as-a-service solution stack for ITOps and DevOps teams.”

Taking Kubernetes to the edge and beyond

Although many enterprises now include Kubernetes in their strategic edge initiatives, Kubernetes in its upstream form is too heavy and operationally challenging for edge use-cases.

Rancher Labs originally created K3s as a lightweight Kubernetes distribution designed for use in edge production environments and has been working with Arm to optimize for these workloads. Together, they recently published a joint whitepaper entitled ‘Accelerating Edge Computing with Arm and Rancher K3s Lightweight Kubernetes’ which you can find here.

“The combination of Arm Neoverse-based edge optimized hardware and Rancher’s certified, lightweight Kubernetes distribution enables edge devices with advanced tooling originally developed for the cloud,” said Kevin Ryan, senior director of software ecosystem, Infrastructure Line of Business, Arm.

“General availability of K3s is a significant milestone in delivering more robust and less costly experiences for enterprises looking to expand their strategic initiatives out to the edge.”

Because of its lightweight design and simple operation, K3s is also being adopted for use cases beyond the edge.

Civo, an innovative cloud solutions provider, has created the world’s first K3s-powered, managed Kubernetes service. Andy Jeffries, CTO at Civo said: “Our #KUBE100 K3s platform is a learning playground where those new to containers can test the water, risk and cost-free.

“K3s is so lightweight we can install it in under two minutes – a fraction of the time it takes to launch a regular Kubernetes cluster. With K3s, developers can spin up new clusters, deploy apps and test easily – at speed.”

Simplifying deployment of containerized applications

Rio is targeted squarely at addressing the inherent complexity of building, deploying, and managing containerized applications. Designed for use by developers and DevOps teams, Rio makes it fast and easy to build, test, deploy, scale, and version stateless apps in any Kubernetes cluster. Key capabilities of Rio include:

  • Lightweight, cloud-native platform that delivers a fully integrated deployment experience from operations to pipeline without taking over the cluster.
  • Easily installed using Rancher’s App Catalog and also runs on any Kubernetes cluster anywhere, even on a laptop, handling all wiring for common services like Istio, Knative, and Prometheus.
  • Rancher’s built-in security capabilities around cluster performance, multitenancy and encryption allow applications to launch with the most secure network configuration possible.

Since being introduced earlier this year as a preview, Rio is already being used by thousands of DevOps teams every day to accelerate their pipeline development.

Putting it all together

K3s, Rio, and Rancher are all key pillars of Rancher’s integrated Run Kubernetes Everywhere solution stack which is built upon on three simple tenets:

  • Certified Kubernetes distributions – organizations need to deploy certified Kubernetes distributions everywhere they need to compute – in the datacenter, in the cloud, and across desktop, branch, and edge locations. With the GA of K3s, Rancher supports the industry’s broadest range of Kubernetes distributions including RKE, EKS, AKS, and GKE.
  • Central control & visibility – IT operations teams need simple, consistent cluster operations for all clusters running anywhere, as well as centralized security and policy management across multi-cluster and multi-cloud environments. Rancher Labs recently introduced v2.3 of their flagship product, Rancher, which is already the industry’s most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform.
  • Streamlined DevOps – any Kubernetes strategy must make it easy for developers and DevOps teams to build, deploy, and manage containerized applications at scale. With Rio, DevOps teams can leverage an opinionated application deployment engine that accelerates workload delivery to any Kubernetes cluster.
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