Rancher 1.2 Is Now Available!

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*Note: since this article has posted, we’ve released Rancher 1.2.1,
which addresses much of the feedback we have received on the initial
release. You can read more about the v1.2.1 release on
Github
. * I am
very excited to announce the release of Rancher 1.2! This release goes
beyond the requisite support for the latest versions of Kubernetes,
Docker, and Docker Compose, and includes major enhancements to the
Rancher container management platform itself Rancher 1.2 fully supports
the latest storage and networking plugin frameworks (more on this
later), and introduces a new and simplified HA setup, a more flexible
configuration of Rancher’s HAProxy load balancer, and a new Rancher CLI.
We’ve also added SAML 2.0 support, resource scheduling, and numerous
improvements for performance and scale. This is a relatively large
release, with many more features outlined in the release
notes
. Out of
all these enhancements, there’s a few things that we’d like to
highlight:

####

Full support for container networking and storage plugin frameworks

Last year, Docker introduced Docker Volume plugins and libnetwork, while
Kubernetes opted for the Container Network Interface (CNI) and
FlexVolume frameworks. Since then, we’ve seen the container ecosystem
explode with implementations of all these plugin frameworks to allow
users to take advantage of the vast storage and network solutions out
there today. One of Rancher’s superpowers is enabling users to leverage
their tooling of choice across diverse infrastructure. With the release
of v1.2, Rancher supports CNI and is fully capable of leveraging any
vendor CNI network plugins, along with our own newly-rewritten IPSec and
VXLAN solutions for cross-host networking. Users can also create volumes
with any Docker Volume plugins scoped to the container, stack, or
environment. Plugins included with Rancher 1.2 are our newly-rewritten
support for NFS (which replaces ConvoyNFS), AWS EFS, and AWS EBS, with
more to come.

####

Modular, push-button, container-ready environments

While Rancher 1.2 provides users with the ability to distribute and
provide lifecycle management for storage and networking plugins, we are
also introducing the concept of custom environment templates. Networking
and storage plugins can now be incorporated as options in a customizable
template, which also includes options for orchestration engines,
external DNS, and health checks. This allows users to better organize
and manage services, and provides a straightforward, consistent, and
repeatable deployment of your infrastructure services. In the future, we
expect to expand the scope of environment templates to include
additional infrastructure services such as logging, monitoring, and
databases.

####

Faster, more frequent releases

Finally, when Rancher became generally available with v1.0 earlier this
year, our goal was to provide stable releases each quarter, with
bi-weekly pre-release snapshots for our open source community eager to
play with our latest enhancements. However, key components in Docker and
Kubernetes adhere to different release schedules, and our open source
community requires stable releases more frequently than each quarter. We
have decided that starting with v1.3, we will ship monthly stable
releases of Rancher. This means we will no longer ship pre-release
builds as we have in the past, though release candidates will be
available for download and test. We hope with this new release schedule,
we will be able to increase our agility to ship new features, remain
up-to-date with Docker and Kubernetes, and shorten the time between
stable releases for Rancher users that want to quickly take advantage of
new features and major fixes. We really could not have released Rancher
1.2 without the support of our customers and open source community so a
very BIG thank you for helping us with this release. We also have big
plans for 2017 and can’t wait to share that with you as soon as we can.
Stay tuned!

**To see Rancher 1.2 in action, check out the recording of our December 2016 meetup

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