On April 1, 2022, Beijing time, the SUSE Rancher engineering team released the latest Rancher v2.6.4 version. In addition to new features, it also handled hundreds of issues, as well as compatibility verification of various ecological updates such as Docker and Kubernetes. Work.
At the same time, Rancher v2.4.18 was also released as the final version of the v2.4 series. This version has no feature updates, mainly some key bug fixes and security updates. For more detailed Release Note, please refer to the link at the end of the article, Rancher v2.6.4 see the link at the end of the article, Rancher v2.4.18 see the link at the end of the article。
Reading the Release Note of the version can help users master the key performance improvements and bug fixes of the version. Here, for Rancher v2.6.4, we will briefly interpret some key features that domestic community users are more concerned about.
# Kubernetes upstream tracking
After a series of adaptations and synchronous progress in the upstream community, Rancher has set Kubernetes v1.22 as the default version, which can support up to Kubernetes v1.23. It should be noted that the support for v1.23 is experimental, and there is no problem in basic use, but the compatibility of some ecological components has not been fully verified. Before installing Rancher, users are still recommended to read the version support matrix and choose the appropriate Rancher and Kubernetes versions according to their own environment. Please refer to the link at the end of the article。
# Management plane performance observation
With the gradual development of Rancher in the commercial field, more and more customers use Rancher to host larger-scale clusters and workloads, and some observations about Rancher's performance are becoming more and more important for optimization work. According to the optimization implementation experience of some specific cases, we summarize some necessary indicators and display them in Grafana. Please refer to issue#35737.
# Single point to HA migration path
Many users choose single docker single-point mode when initially installing Rancher, which can be quickly experienced and easy to install. With the expansion of the management scale, it is hoped that the metadata will not be lost while becoming an HA architecture. Rancher provides a migration mode based on Rancher Backup that makes this migration path possible. Please refer to issue#36057.
# CRI-dockerd support
Upstream Kubernetes will release v1.24 in April, Docker's runtime support will be removed, and the community will continue to ensure the smooth operation of the Kubernetes + Docker combination through the CRI-dockerd solution. Rancher has regression-tested the overall solution and fixed some pre-existing parameter passing issues. Please refer to issue#35555.
# Product interface localization improvement
Chinese community users have always been a very large part of the SUSE Rancher user group, and a friendly Chinese interface has always been the direction of our efforts. Community users are welcome to actively feedback Chinese translation problems. Users can report on the Rancher Chinese Forumlocalization sectionPost, official technical staff will regularly collect summaries, and submit updates to the open source code for continuous optimization.
#Dashboard continues to evolve
Rancher 2.6 Community Edition has started to enable the new Dashboard (Cluster Explorer) interface. From the perspective of the Rancher engineering team, we hope to continue to innovate and break through, not to do things out of the way. Part of the success of Cluster Manager comes from a simplified experience that properly simplifies and shields Kubernetes' new API features and focuses on the main functions commonly used by users. However, with the continuous development of the industry, the proportion of skilled technical personnel in Kubernetes is increasing, and the simplification and packaging of Cluster Manager make it difficult for many technical personnel to maintain and use flexibly. Driven by the voices of commercial customers and the global community: we switched the UI framework from Ember to Vue; switched the API model from Norman to Steve, the latter can be more dynamically connected to the Kubernetes API, while the cost of secondary development and expansion of the former is very high ; At the same time, it also reshapes the UI experience to make it more Kubernetes Native.
SUSE Rancher has set up a dedicated Dashboard Team to continuously optimize the experience and revise the problems reported by the community. Related Dashboard Issues are also moved to a separate repo for maintenance. For the UI improvement of v2.6.4 version, you can refer to the link at the end of the article。
# RKE2 continues to evolve
Currently RKE2 is still in Tech Preview, users who use RKE2 can focus on related changes. We plan to reach the GA goal of RKE2 in the next Rancher release and expect to have RKE2 as the default engine by the end of the year. For most users, the RKE1 engine is still the first choice for stability and reliability at the current time node. In this version update, in addition to related UI improvements and bug fixes, we also began to pay attention to the capabilities of RKE2 in windows.
# IBM Z Technology Preview
In order to expand Rancher's ability to land in the field of enterprise-level customers, the Rancher engineering team has started to support the support requirements of IBM Z architecture in some special industries, and has reached the technical preview goal. This project is not simple. In addition to Rancher's own component support, it is also necessary to pay attention to the development and evolution of some upstream ecological components. To make this work sustainable, we've incorporated this part of the use case into Rancher's own CI process to ensure that the results of this part of the work can be continuously verified.
The life cycle
For nearly half a year, SUSE Rancher has maintained three versions at the same time, including v2.6, v2.5 and v2.4. The v2.4 series has entered EOL to stop maintenance, and users can continue to use it, but the corresponding technical support has a relatively low priority. For the life cycle of each version of the entire product, you can visit the official website to check, see the link at the end of the article。
Community Support and Business Services
As an open source product, Rancher provides a community communication channel. Users can access Github and Slack as well as domesticRancher Chinese Forum Have discussions. We advocate a friendly atmosphere of community communication, which is more conducive to the use of open source products by the majority of users.
SUSE Rancher also provides commercial product subscription services. Enterprise users can have exclusive product usage guidance services after purchasing a subscription. The Rancher Enterprise Edition for domestic commercial users will provide longer-term technical support. Users can upgrade from the community edition to the enterprise edition losslessly, enjoying better than the community edition1 year extension of technical support service, and has more features than the community version, as well as local R&D and after-sales technical support. Interested users are welcome to consultRancher Cow Cow（WeChat rancher-3) for details.
The development of Rancher v2.6.5 has also been started, the integration of NeuVector and Rancher is on the agenda, and the progress of the upstream version of Kubernetes is continuously tracked, IBM Z full support, and RKE2 GA goals, etc. At the same time, relying on the new Dashboard framework, more open source projects incubated by SUSE Rancher will also be easily modularized and integrated, such as: Kubewarden, a WebAssembly-based Kubernetes Policy Engine; Epinio, a Code to URL tool for developers.
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