Press release

Rancher 2.5 Extends Rancher Labs’ Leadership in Managing Kubernetes Clusters from Data Center, to Cloud, to the Edge

Sponsored by Businesswire

Rancher Labs, the creators of Rancher, the world’s most widely used Kubernetes management platform, today announced key new capabilities including a new installation experience, GitOps at scale for edge clusters, full lifecycle management of EKS clusters and a new security-hardened, certified Kubernetes distribution for government customers. Coming on the heels of recently being named a Leader in the Forrester Wave™: Multicloud Container Development Platforms, Q3 2020 report, these new capabilities further strengthen Rancher’s leadership in multi-cluster, multi-cloud, heterogeneous container management.

Kubernetes continues to proliferate rapidly due to its ability to simplify infrastructure management, reduce operational overhead and accelerate organizations’ ability to innovate. A recent report from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) shows that by the end of 2019, 84 percent of organizations were running containers in production, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year.

“Exploding on-premise, public cloud and edge Kubernetes use cases are creating massive container sprawl,” said Sheng Liang, CEO of Rancher Labs. “With Rancher 2.5, we continue to deliver on our computing everywhere strategy by providing customers a simple and consistent way to deploy and manage containerized applications using any certified Kubernetes distribution, across any infrastructure, regardless of whether they are managing one cluster or one million.”

What’s New in Rancher 2.5?

Rancher 2.5 delivers major new capabilities that simplify and enhance the Kubernetes user experience, whether the user is starting with a single, local cluster or managing many clusters across a hybrid cloud infrastructure. New capabilities include:

Installation on Any Cluster

Rancher 2.5 can now be installed on any CNCF-certified Kubernetes cluster, eliminating the need to set up a separate Kubernetes cluster before installing Rancher. The new lightweight, streamlined installation experience is especially valuable for users who already have access to a cloud-managed Kubernetes service like EKS. Other key enhancements include:

  • Cluster Management – As Kubernetes distributions become increasingly commoditized, the ability to install Rancher on any certified Kubernetes cluster​ creates immediate access to Rancher’s rich cluster management capabilities including monitoring, alerting, logging, security scanning, service mesh and persistent storage.
  • New Cluster Dashboard – Both developers and operations teams can inspect the performance of individual clusters in order to gain operational value from them.
  • Enhanced Monitoring and Logging – Rancher 2.5 introduces major updates to application monitoring and logging capabilities, enabling developers and operators to quickly identify bottlenecks and resolve issues.

Roland Paxián, Manufacturing Infrastructure Team Lead at Continental, said: “Transforming large manufacturing organizations like Continental is a huge technical and philosophical challenge. The emphasis is on finding the most intuitive and efficient way to modernize while maintaining a competitive advantage. Kubernetes and Rancher are helping us to achieve this.”

GitOps at Scale for Edge Clusters

Following the success of K3s, the popular lightweight Kubernetes distribution built for resource-constrained environments, organizations are deploying applications across potentially tens of thousands of clusters in a variety of edge locations including remote branch offices, factory equipment, train control units, commercial and military aircraft guidance systems, satellite navigation systems, wind farms and retail stores.

To address growing demand for application deployment and management at scale, Rancher Labs’ Fleet open source project, announced earlier this year, is now integrated and generally available in Rancher 2.5. Key capabilities of Fleet include:

  • GitOps capabilities delivered at scale, enabling users to leverage a Git repository to store and manage application and Kubernetes resource configurations.
  • Application packages that can be associated with an individual or a group of clusters, up to 1 million.
  • Accelerated agile transformation resulting from streamlining application delivery across any infrastructure in any location.

Full Lifecycle Management for Amazon EKS Clusters

Rancher was the first Kubernetes management platform that supported Amazon EKS. Rancher 2.5 cements Rancher’s industry leadership by being the only product that offers full lifecycle management of EKS clusters. With full lifecycle management, users have full access to built-in EKS capabilities such as node groups and rolling upgrades. As EKS continues to develop, Rancher is committed to exposing the full built-in capabilities of EKS to the user.

In addition to preserving the ever-expanding built-in capabilities of EKS, Rancher 2.5 enhances the EKS user experience with capabilities including advanced observability, CIS (Center for Internet Security) benchmarking, push-button Istio service mesh, integrated OPA Gatekeeper and simplified autoscaling.

Bob Wise, General Manager, Kubernetes, Amazon Web Services, Inc., said: “Amazon EKS is designed to simplify enterprise Kubernetes adoption securely and at scale. We are delighted to see Rancher 2.5 provide full lifecycle management for Kubernetes clusters running on Amazon EKS.”

Security Hardening for Public Sector Applications

To better support the growing popularity of Kubernetes for public sector applications, Rancher 2.5 introduces RKE Government, a FIPS-enabled, security-hardened derivative of RKE, Rancher’s popular certified Kubernetes distribution. RKE Government is a CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution ideal for government agencies around the globe that require FIPS-specific security for their cloud-native applications.

Jason Daniels, CTO Law and Order, Fujitsu UK said of the development: “Governments around the globe run complex and disparate compute environments, all with varying degrees of security requirements. RKE Government will enable centralized cluster management whilst tailoring the security posture of each cluster, based on the environmental demands and data sensitivity. With the new cluster dashboard, we have a truly holistic view of performance and are democratizing access to information that was once reserved for only the most technical.”

Supporting Resources

  • Learn more about 2.5 from Rancher experts in our blog here.
  • Register for Rancher’s Computing on the Edge with Kubernetes innovation event here.
  • Register for Rancher’s technical Online Meetup here.
  • Read Rancher’s ‘How to Build a Kubernetes Strategy’ whitepaper here.

About Rancher Labs

Rancher Labs delivers open source software that enables organizations to deploy and manage Kubernetes at scale, on any infrastructure across the data center, cloud, branch offices and the network edge. With 35,000 active users and greater than 100 million downloads, its flagship product, Rancher, is the industry’s most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform. For more information, visit and follow @Rancher_Labs on Twitter. All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their registered owners.