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SUSE Primes the Pump for Commercial Enterprise Rancher

SUSE Primes the Pump for Commercial Enterprise Rancher

The News: SUSE announced the availability of Rancher 2.8 and the Rancher Prime 2.0 commercial enterprise addition at KubeCon North America, enhancing management of heterogenous multicloud Kubernetes deployments. You can read about the updates on the SUSE website.

SUSE Primes the Pump for Commercial Enterprise Rancher

Analyst Take: At KubeCon in Chicago, the evolving discourse unmistakably indicates a strategic industrywide shift toward platform engineering, reflecting a maturation phase where Kubernetes transcends its container orchestration roots to become the cornerstone of complex system interactions. This pivot underscores a recognition that efficiency and scalability in software development are increasingly being driven by robust platform-centric approaches, with Kubernetes facilitating this transition through its mature, resilient, and extensible architecture. As Kubernetes continues to mature, it is fostering an ecosystem where interoperability and standardized infrastructure management are paramount, thereby catalyzing a more streamlined platform engineering paradigm. The conference’s spotlight on Kubernetes’ latest advancements serves as a testament to its pivotal role in the ongoing refinement of deployment strategies, security enhancements, and operational governance within the realm of platform engineering.

Against this backdrop, SUSE continues to invest in container management to give customers a Kubernetes orchestration stack that can enable multicloud, hybrid cloud, and edge computing. The latest enhancements follow SUSE’s release of Rancher 2.7.2 at KubeCon Europe in April, which included UI improvements, a unified cluster management dashboard, and a security dashboard.

SUSE Rancher 2.8 Improves Workflows

Open source Rancher 2.8 adds support for Kubernetes 1.27, which improved scaling of containerized workloads, tighter security, and container runtime interface (CRI) enhancements, and extended support for Kubernetes networking. SUSE Rancher 2.8 includes a new self-service public application programming interface (API) that helps customers directly create customer resource definitions (CRDs) to tailor workloads, scale better, and streamline automation processes. Rancher’s native GitOps functionality powered by the Fleet container management engine now includes drift detection and reconciliation as part of the continuous deployment process.

Prime Time for Rancher Prime?

Rancher Prime is SUSE’s commercial enterprise subscription offering that first launched with Rancher 2.7 at KubeCon Europe in April. Prime is built on the same source code as other Rancher software, keeping Rancher products 100% open source with value added from security assurances, extended lifecycles, access to focused architectures, and Kubernetes advisories.

Rancher Prime 2.0 includes enhanced integrations, extensions, and an assistant that uses generative AI. New UI extensions (UIEs) integrate functionality of SUSE and third-party tools directly into the Rancher Prime UI. New UIEs include SUSE NeuVector container security and support for the Cluster API (CAPI) standard for cluster provisioning across multicloud and hybrid providers.

Additions to SUSE Rancher Prime 2.0:

  • Rancher Prime Application Collection: Available as a tech preview, the Rancher Prime Application Collection is a curated library of developer and infrastructure applications built and packaged with SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Base Container Images (BCI).
  • Generative-AI powered Rancher Prime Customer Assistant: Now generally available in the Rancher Prime customer Slack channel, the assistant can provide guidance on topics such as installation and configuration, performance, and troubleshooting.
  • Benchmarking and Long-Term Service Support: Available exclusively for Rancher Prime customers, SUSE now provides documented performance benchmarking based on horizontal (number of clusters) and vertical (pods and nodes) stress testing. Customers can take advantage of long-term service support (LTSS) for Rancher Kubernetes Engine v2 (RKE2) to extend production lifecycles up to 2 years.

Cloud and Edge Expansion

SUSE also said Rancher will now be available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure Marketplaces, and NeuVector will be available on Azure Marketplace after its recent appearance on Azure Marketplace.

SUSE also announced its SLE Micro 5.5 lightweight operating system (OS) for containerized and virtualized workloads allows users to download container and workload images from trusted registries. It also lets them transfer and integrate images to use in air-gapped environments.

In addition, SUSE demonstrated an early integration for SUSE Edge aimed at industrial IoT (IIoT) deployments. SUSE said it plans to expand edge partnerships in early 2024 with Buoyant and Synadia, which will bring mesh expansion and cloud native infrastructure messaging into its cloud-to-edge stack.

Future Outlook

As the industry pivots toward platform engineering, with Kubernetes at the helm, signifying its evolution into a mature, foundational architecture that drives efficiency and scalability in software development, the announcements by SUSE make perfect sense. The SUSE Rancher portfolio provides a software stack for managing Kubernetes clusters while giving DevOps teams integrated tools for running containerized workloads. SUSE Prime can help reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, and deliver new services faster for enterprises taking on digital transformation projects.

SUSE is a leader in the container managed platform market, with a large SUSE Rancher install base and a strong investment in open source development. Like others at KubeCon, SUSE is focused on reducing the complexity of managing Kubernetes. SUSE has a portfolio to do that across hybrid clouds and multiclouds and is increasingly focusing on edge computing. With rival Red Hat also pushing out to the edge with the Red Hat Device Edge launched at KubeCon, we will be watching this area closely.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

SUSE & IBM Infrastructure Empowering Your Hybrid Cloud Journey

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Red Hat Announces General Availability of Device Edge

Author Information

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

Dave’s focus within The Futurum Group is concentrated in the rapidly evolving integrated infrastructure and cloud storage markets. Before joining the Evaluator Group, Dave spent 25 years as a technology journalist and covered enterprise storage for more than 15 years. He most recently worked for 13 years at TechTarget as Editorial Director and Executive News Editor for storage, data protection and converged infrastructure. In 2020, Dave won an American Society of Business Professional Editors (ASBPE) national award for column writing.

His previous jobs covering technology include news editor at Byte and Switch, managing editor of EdTech Magazine, and features and new products editor at Windows Magazine. Before turning to technology, he was an editor and sports reporter for United Press International in New York for 12 years. A New Jersey native, Dave currently lives in northern Virginia.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism from William Patterson University.

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