Bringing Rancher Value to IBM Z and LinuxONE

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One of the top modernization initiatives for IBM Z across industries (especially in banking and financial services) is making the IBM Z part of a hybrid cloud deployment using open source. Opening up the mainframe allows businesses to leverage and monetize the wealth of data it harbors in unique, new ways with modern, containerized applications.  Bringing Rancher and Kubernetes value to IBM Z and LinuxONE is a major leap to a transformative platform.

December 1, 2020 was a great day for SUSE and Rancher.  Completing the acquisition meant bringing together a best-in-class Linux operating system and a market-leading Kubernetes management platform which would enable organizations to innovate across their business from the edge to the core to the cloud.  As a solution architect, this message is an amazing opportunity for our customers.

However, as the solution architect focused on our IBM partnership, I feel that one very important aspect was missing from the December announcement.  The missing piece for me is the ability to run Rancher on multiple platforms — not just Intel systems.  After all, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has always been supported on multiple architectures — including Arm, IBM Power, IBM Z and LinuxONE.  And IBM Systems are mission-critical server infrastructure at the core of many organizations.

Many SLES customers and IBM Partners that work with IBM Systems have reached out asking for a Kubernetes management solution from SUSE.  We have heard repeatedly that bringing Rancher products to IBM Systems will provide customer choice.  We also heard organizations are looking at containers as the technology that will make IBM z/OS as well as Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE an important part of their hybrid cloud deployment strategy.

We listened and I am very excited that SUSE is working to build and support Rancher products on IBM Z and LinuxONE in 2021.  The Rancher products will include:

  • RKE2, the Rancher Kubernetes Engine, which provides financial, government and other verticals the ability to co-locate Kubernetes orchestrated microservices business logic closer to critical data.
  • Rancher / Multi-cluster management enables organizations to manage many Kubernetes clusters on IBM Z and LinuxONE as well as on other architectures in the core, edge and cloud.
  • Longhorn delivers a powerful cloud-native distributed storage platform for Kubernetes that can run anywhere.

Look for additional blogs and announcements with more details about the upcoming SUSE implementation and support for Rancher products on IBM Z and LinuxONE.

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Michael Friesenegger
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Michael Friesenegger

Mike is a solutions architect in the SUSE Global Customer Organization. He works with the global IBM Alliance and closely with many groups in IBM to identify, test and document joint solutions that help SUSE and IBM create unique value in the marketplace. His specialties include IBM Z, LinuxONE and Power Systems, Real Time Linux, High Availability and as a SUSE SAP Champion focused on SAP solutions using SUSE technologies.