Loft Labs simplifies multi-cluster Kubernetes management for Rancher users

Loft Labs announced vCluster for Rancher, enabling self-service virtual Kubernetes cluster creation and management for teams already using Rancher for Kubernetes management.

Rancher customers can now have more secure Kubernetes multi-tenancy, with the ability to provision virtual clusters in Rancher in the same way they would handle any traditional Kubernetes cluster – drilling down into a virtual cluster within Rancher to inspect, manage, install apps, etc.

“The proliferation of stand-alone Kubernetes clusters, all of them configured differently, has become an operational nightmare for enterprises and makes it difficult to realize the desired efficiency gains. vCluster aims to address both issues by allowing developers to spin up isolated virtual clusters at their heart’s content while platform operators only need to manage the small number of underlying Kubernetes clusters,” said Torsten Volk, managing research director, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA).

“With this new integration, Rancher customers can manage all their virtual clusters right alongside the underlying Kubernetes clusters from a centralized place, and enable the efficient and dynamic allocation of expensive resources such as GPUs, based on developer demand. Patching together solutions to find and manage a fragmented mess of Kubernetes clusters is an uphill battle, while virtualizing centralized clusters for multi-tenancy use could be the ‘clean solution’ operators have been waiting for,” added Volk.

The integration with Rancher includes a UI extension for Rancher and a link from vCluster.Pro to Rancher that facilitates the creation and management of virtual clusters. Utilizing vCluster templates offers an effective method for enabling self-service capabilities while maintaining control measures. When a virtual cluster is established using a template, it can be set to update automatically upon the release of a new version of the template, or administrators of the vCluster have the option to receive notifications and decide on the timing of upgrades.

This integration offers users the following benefits:

  • Simplified multi-cluster management: vCluster allows teams to create and manage isolated virtual Kubernetes clusters within a single host cluster. This simplifies managing multiple Kubernetes environments for Rancher users, who can now provision, configure, and manage these virtual clusters directly through the familiar Rancher interface.
  • Improved resource efficiency: vCluster utilizes the resources of the underlying host cluster for the virtual clusters. This eliminates the need for separate physical infrastructure for each Kubernetes environment, leading to better resource utilization and cost savings.
  • Enhanced isolation and security: vCluster provides isolation between virtual clusters, ensuring workloads in one environment don’t impact another. This aligns with multi-tenant deployments or separating development, testing, and production environments.
  • Expanded platform capabilities: Integrating vCluster broadens the Rancher platform’s capabilities, giving users role-based access control and project management for virtual clusters from within the platform.

Beyond creating virtual clusters in the UI, virtual clusters can also be created using the vCluster CLI, CRDs, Helm, Terraform, or many other deployment options (see the vCluster.Pro docs for details). Exposing this functionality directly in the Rancher UI helps platform teams spread the word about this new capability for end-users.

“This integration furthers our mission to simplify multi-cluster Kubernetes management by giving Rancher users a comprehensive solution for managing the diverse Kubernetes landscape including virtual clusters through a unified platform,” said Loft CEO, Lukas Gentele. “With both vCluster and Rancher aiming to streamline Kubernetes operations, the innovations announced today create a powerful solution for Rancher users seeking efficient multi-cluster management with robust isolation and security.”

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