How is Rancher different from Kubernetes and how do we deploy Kubernetes with Rancher?

By | August 2, 2023

Rancher and Kubernetes are related but different technologies that serve different purposes in the container orchestration landscape.

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It provides a rich set of features for container management, load balancing, service discovery, and automatic scaling.

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On the other hand, Rancher is a container management platform that provides a user-friendly interface and management tools for deploying and managing Kubernetes clusters and other container orchestration systems, such as Docker Swarm and Apache Mesos. Rancher acts as a higher-level abstraction that simplifies the deployment and management of Kubernetes clusters and other container orchestrators.

How do we deploy Kubernetes with Rancher?

To deploy Kubernetes with Rancher, follow these general steps:

  1. Set Up Infrastructure: Ensure you have the required infrastructure, such as servers or virtual machines, with the necessary resources to run Kubernetes nodes. Rancher supports multiple cloud providers and on-premises environments.
  2. Install Rancher Server: Start by installing the Rancher Server, which provides the management interface for deploying Kubernetes clusters. You can either use the Rancher server hosted by Rancher Labs or deploy it on your own infrastructure.
  3. Add Hosts: Add the servers or VMs that will serve as Kubernetes nodes to Rancher. Rancher will manage these nodes for you, enabling you to deploy Kubernetes clusters on them.
  4. Create Kubernetes Cluster: Use Rancher’s user-friendly interface to create a new Kubernetes cluster. Specify the number and types of nodes you want, select the desired Kubernetes version, and configure any additional settings as required.
  5. Install Kubernetes: Rancher will automatically deploy the selected Kubernetes version on the specified nodes. It handles the installation and configuration of the Kubernetes components, such as the API server, controllers, etc, and networking components.
  6. Monitor and Manage: Once the Kubernetes cluster is up and running, you can use Rancher’s dashboard to monitor and manage the cluster. You can deploy applications, scale workloads, manage networking, and access logs and metrics.
  7. Upgrade and Scale: Rancher simplifies the process of upgrading Kubernetes versions and scaling the cluster when needed. It provides a straightforward way to manage cluster updates and node additions.
  8. Manage Multiple Clusters: If needed, you can create and manage multiple Kubernetes clusters with Rancher, whether they are running on the same infrastructure or across different environments.

It’s important to note that the exact steps for deploying Kubernetes with Rancher may vary depending on the Rancher version and the specific environment you are working with. Always refer to the official Rancher documentation for the most up-to-date instructions.

In summary, Kubernetes is the core container orchestration platform, while Rancher is a management platform that provides a unified interface and tooling to deploy and manage Kubernetes and other container orchestrators in a more user-friendly manner.

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