SUSE Extends Reach of Rancher Platform for Managing Kubernetes Clusters

Next month, SUSE will add a range of capabilities to its Rancher platform for managing Kubernetes clusters to streamline the overall software development life cycle, including application deployments at the network edge.

At the same time, SUSE has added an enterprise edition of Rancher that provides a single platform for managing clusters, operating systems, virtual machines and storage.

Version 3.0 of the company’s core Rancher Prime platform adds support for the cluster application programming interface (API) defined by the Technical Oversight Committee for Kubernetes as well as new Cluster Classes capabilities that collectively make it simpler for a centralized DevOps team to create and maintain a self-service platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment.

At the same time, the distributions of Kubernetes provided by SUSE can now automatically detect/configure container runtimes from NVIDIA that are being used to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) models on Kubernetes clusters configured with graphical processor units (GPUs).

Support for Arm processors that many IT teams are starting to adopt as an alternative to x86 processors is now generally available.

SUSE is also now making it easier to deploy applications to instances of Kubernetes running at the network edge. Version 3.0 of Kubernetes Edge includes a set of templates for building and securely deploying container images on edge computing platforms.

Keith Basil, general manager for the edge business unit at SUSE, said that capability can be applied to both internet-of-things (IoT) environments and disconnected environments. The overall goal is to make it simpler to manage increasingly distributed computing environments, he added.

SUSE has also made generally available Rancher Prime Application Collection, a set of hardened container images along with adding support for creating a software bill of materials (SBOM) in addition to having certified compliance with the Supply-chains Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA) framework.

Finally, SUSE updated its portfolio of tools for Kubernetes environments, including a 1.3 release of Harvester that now provides support for virtual GPUs, a preview of an update to its Longhorn storage platform that streamlines backup and restoration between two instances of the platform and an update to the Neuvector security platform that provides visibility into egress network connections, support for GitOps automation workflows and 64-bit Arm processors.

Since it acquired Rancher Labs at the end of 2020, SUSE has been steadily expanding the core capabilities of one of the most widely used platforms for managing Kubernetes clusters. Now, more of those clusters are being deployed in production environments running everywhere from the network edge to the cloud. In fact, as more data is processed and analyzed at the point where it is being created and consumed, the number of lighter-weight instances of Kubernetes running at the network edge continues to steadily increase.

In the near future, many of those platforms will also be running the inference engines needed to add AI capabilities to cloud-native applications.

In the meantime, IT teams should assume the management of highly distributed Kubernetes environments will only become more challenging as the overall size and scope of the cloud-native applications continue to increase.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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