At the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon conference, SUSE today revealed it has updated the Rancher Prime platform it provides with curated tools for managing Kubernetes clusters via a subscription service in addition to updates to the community edition of the Rancher platform.
At the same time, the company has updated its lightweight SLE Micro operating system to make it simpler to download container images from registries.
SUSE also previewed an instance of SUSE Edge optimized for industrial internet-of-things (IIoT) environments and pledged to continue to work with Buoyant, a provider of an instance of the Linkerd service mesh, and Synadia to expand the interoperability of NATS.io into the SUSE Edge stack.
Peter Smails, general manager of enterprise container management at SUSE, said Rancher Prime 2.0 adds integrations via an existing New UI Extensions (UIE) framework to include support for the company’s NeuVector security platform and the cluster application programming interface (CAPI) that enables organizations to streamline the provisioning of multiple clusters.
In addition, SUSE is making generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities available via a Slack channel that provides access to an OpenAI platform that has been exposed to data curated by SUSE.
SUSE is also now providing a technology preview of Rancher Prime Application Collection, a curated library of tools and applications constructed using secure SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Base Container Images.
Finally, SUSE is also providing Rancher Prime customers with documented performance benchmarking based on horizontal and vertical stress testing of Kubernetes clusters, along with a long-term support option for the platform that can extend up to two years.
Separately, SUSE is also making available a 2.8 update to the core Rancher management platform that, in addition to adding support for Kubernetes 1.27, also adds a documented public API to facilitate integration. SUSE is also adding support for Fleet, an open source framework developed by SUSE for managing GitOps workflows.
SUSE, in general, is pursuing a bifurcated approach to Kubernetes management, said Smails. There are a growing number of organizations that prefer a unified platform where curated updates are delivered as part of subscription service. There are, however, a large number of existing adopters of Kubernetes that prefer to build their own management frameworks that incorporate Rancher alongside other third-party components, he added.
Ultimately, the number of organizations that prefer a subscription service will outnumber the organizations building their own platforms in much the way other open source software projects are consumed, noted Smails.
Each organization will naturally need to decide which path makes the most sense for them. Many organizations are now embracing platform engineering as a methodology for centralizing the management of DevOps workflows. As such, they are combining various tools to build their own platform to manage various classes of IT infrastructure.
Regardless of approach, the one thing that is clear is managing Kubernetes clusters at scale in a production environment is becoming more challenging at scale. The issue now is determining how best to manage fleets of Kubernetes clusters at time when the number of IT professionals that have that expertise is still fairly limited.