SUSE integrates Harvester into SUSE Rancher. Rancher entails a platform for setting up, deploying and managing Kubernetes clusters. The integration of Harvester enables organizations to manage virtual machines in the same environment as Kubernetes clusters.

Harvester belongs to a new generation of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions. Traditionally, virtualization is at HCI’s core. Today, Kubernetes clusters play a growing role. Applications are developed as microservices, packaged in containers and directed with Kubernetes.

Kubernetes is open-source. Like any other open-source technology with worldly potential, several organizations develop variants of its base. AWS EKS, Microsoft AKS and Google’s GKE are three of the most popular examples.

The goal of each variant is the same: a platform for deploying, scaling and managing containerized applications in an infrastructure of choosing. Some variants, including the aforementioned EKS, AKS and GKE, take care of hosting Kubernetes as well. Their customers don’t have to launch the platform on-premises or in the cloud. The cloud provider takes the reins, resulting in uptime.

Once Kubernetes is up and running, the final and biggest step presents itself: actually using the platform. A discipline in its own right. The original distribution of Kubernetes is accessible with an API and command-line tool. its controls are complex, which often trickles down to third-party distributions. As such, a market for software to simplify the use of Kubernetes is born.

SUSE Rancher

SUSE is one of the organizations successfully serving this new market. In 2020, the organization acquired Rancher Labs. Rancher Labs develops Rancher, an interface for any major distribution of Kubernetes. Rancher simply makes developing, deploying and managing clusters easier. AWS, Google and Azure recognize its value, as expressed through integrations.

Now, SUSE is announcing the integration of Harvester into SUSE Rancher. Harvester is another project by Rancher Labs. Whereas SUSE Rancher focuses entirely on managing Kubernetes, Harvester serves as an interface to manage both virtual machines and Kubernetes clusters in a centralized environment.

The proposition is not unique. Nutanix and VMware (vSphere) have been doing it for years. Harvester, on the other hand, is open-source. By integrating the solution into Rancher, SUSE increases Rancher’s attractiveness for organizations that lean on both containers and virtual machines.

The move has significance. While Kubernetes is the future, the world isn’t changing overnight. Virtual machines remain the beating heart of various organizations. A system to support old and new is invaluable.

Tip: SUSE buys NeuVector for container security