On-premise Kubernetes

For the better part of the year I have been playing around with Kubernetes on-premise. While testing random solutions I didn’t realize what can of worms I just opened! ……Don’t get me wrong – the whole Kubernetes ecosystem is extremely fun to “play” in.

But after trying multiple solutions a colleague of mine pointed me to a project called Rancher. This project is pretty cool!

The project makes the installation extremely easy (yes yes, I sound like a sales person) but this was the most straight-forward product I had seen (and yes, I have seen a few) in this space.

Out of the box the project offers multi-cluster management, support for AKS, EKS and support for other managed solutions as well as a on-premise installation using either RancherOS (a custom Linux distro for running Kubernetes) or using roll-your-own VMs/bare metal instances (using for example CentOS). It can integrate with vSphere to spin up instances…..and they have a decent Active Directory integration for authentication/authorization.

Rancher is deployed on a dedicated Kubernetes cluster (if it is set up for HA) that should just be used for Rancher. Then you can go ahead and add your own clusters from AKS/EKS or on-premise. It is a nice single pane of glass for operating your Kubernetes clusters. If you have environments all over the place it can help you gain better control of the environments as well as offer a single place to interact against for things like deployments.

While I won’t go into details (the documentation simply speaks for itself) I recommend you take a look at this project if you plan to start using Kubernetes for your organization, or even just to play with your own stuff.

And the best part? The project is fully open source. Rancher are also working on a persistent storage solution (Longhorn) and they offer professional services/support if you need some help along the way.

They also have a mini Kubernetes distro called K3s – it is a (very) small instance of Kubernetes that you can run on pretty much anything that can boot Linux and be managed in the same way.

Simply put, this is an amazing project! 🙂

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