Virtualization Technology News and Information
Rancher Labs Launches First Comprehensive Infrastructure Platform for Containers

Rancher Labs, a startup dedicated to developing Docker infrastructure software, today announced the beta-availability of Rancher, an open source software platform that provides a complete set of infrastructure services for managing containers in production.

“Undoubtedly, software containers have the potential to dramatically improve the productivity and efficiency of enterprise DevOps teams,” said Paul Burns, president of Neovise. “Nevertheless, in its current state, running any containerization solution at scale and in production requires a significant amount of effort from those adopting the solution. Key functions such as networking, service discovery, storage and load balancing can cause integration issues, keeping enterprises from truly reaping the benefits desired. By providing a unique solution that eases and simplifies the management of container software, Rancher is allowing companies to better utilize and benefit from the technology.”

Rancher is a complete infrastructure platform for running Docker in production. It includes a fully-integrated set of infrastructure services purpose built for containers, including networking, storage management, load balancing, service discovery, monitoring, and resource management. Rancher connects these infrastructure services with standard Docker plugins and application management tools, such as Docker Compose, to make it simple for organizations to deploy and manage containerized workloads on any infrastructure.

Key product features of Rancher include:

  • Cross-host networking: Rancher creates a private software defined network for each user, allowing secure communication between containers across hosts and even clouds.
  • Container load balancing: Rancher provides an integrated, elastic load balancing service to distribute traffic between containers or services.
  • Storage Management: Rancher supports live snapshot and backup of Docker volumes, enabling users to backup stateful containers and stateful services.
  • Service discovery: Rancher implements a distributed DNS-based service discovery function with integrated health checking that allows containers to automatically register themselves as services, as well as services to dynamically discover each other over the network.
  • Service upgrades: Rancher makes it easy for users to upgrade existing container services, by allowing service cloning and redirection of service requests. This makes it possible to ensure services can be validated against their dependencies before live traffic is directed to the newly upgraded services.
  • Resource management: Rancher supports Docker Machine, a powerful tool for provisioning hosts directly from cloud providers. Rancher then monitors host resources and manages container deployment.
  • Native Docker Support: Rancher supports native Docker management of containers. Users can directly provision containers using the Docker API or CLI, as well as using Docker Compose for more complex application management functions. Third-party tools that are built on Docker API, such as Kubernetes, work seamlessly on Rancher.
  • Multi-tenancy and user management: Rancher is designed for multiple users and allows organizations to collaborate throughout the application lifecycle. By connecting with existing directory services, Rancher allows users to create separate development, testing, and production environments and invite their peers to collaboratively manage resources and applications.

“Much of the excitement around Docker is its use as a universal packaging and distribution format,” said Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs. “However, as users deploy containers across different infrastructures, they quickly realize that different clouds, virtualization platforms and bare metal servers have dramatically different infrastructure capabilities. By building a common infrastructure backplane across any resource, Rancher implements an entirely new approach to hybrid cloud computing.”

Product Information and Availability

For additional information on Rancher and to learn more about Rancher Labs, its recent funding and the company’s suite of open source products, please visit To sign up for the public beta of Rancher, please visit

Published Monday, June 15, 2015 12:47 PM by David Marshall
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