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Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15-SP2, K3s 1.20.6, SUSE Rancher 2.5.8

4 Component model

This section describes the various components being used to create a SUSE Rancher solution deployment.

4.1 Component overview

By utilizing:

  • Software

    • Multi-cluster Management Server - SUSE Rancher

    • Kubernetes Platform - K3s

    • Linux Operating System - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

  • Compute Platform

one can create the necessary infrastructure and services. Further details for these components are described in the following sections.

4.2 Software - SUSE Rancher

SUSE Rancher is a Kubernetes native multi-cluster container management platform. It addresses these challenges by delivering the following key functions, as shown in the following figure:

Rancher Overview
Figure 4.1: Overview of SUSE Rancher
Certified Kubernetes Distributions

SUSE Rancher supports management of any CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution. That includes:

  • for development, edge, branch workloads, SUSE offerings like K3s, a CNCF certified lightweight distribution of Kubernetes

  • for on-premises workloads, a SUSE offering Rancher Kubernetes Engine ( RKE ), a CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution for both bare-metal and virtualized servers

  • for the public cloud, hosted Kubernetes services like

    • Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service ( EKS [4] ),

    • Azure Kubernetes Service ( AKS [5] ) and

    • Google Kubernetes Engine ( GKE [6] ).

Simplified Cluster Operations and Infrastructure Management

SUSE Rancher provides simple, consistent cluster operations including provisioning and templates, configuration and lifecycle version management, along with visibility and diagnostics.

Security and Authentication

SUSE Rancher integrates and utilizes existing directory services, to automate processes and apply a consistent set of identity and access management ( IAM) plus security policies for all the managed clusters, no matter where they’re running.

Policy Enforcement and Governance

SUSE Rancher includes audit and security guideline enforcement, monitoring and logging functions, along with user, network and workload policies distributed across all managed clusters.

Platform Services

SUSE Rancher also provides a rich catalog of services for building, deploying and scaling containerized applications, including app packaging, logging, monitoring and service mesh.

Given SUSE Rancher relies upon being deployed on a Kubernetes platform, the next sections describe the suggested component layering approach.

4.3 Software - K3s

K3s is packaged as a single binary, which is about 50 megabytes in size. Bundled in that single binary is everything needed to run Kubernetes anywhere, including low-powered IoT and Edge-based devices. The binary includes:

  • the container runtime

  • any important host utilities like

    • iptables, socat and du.

The only OS dependencies are the Linux kernel itself and a proper dev, proc and sysfs mounts (this is done automatically on all modern Linux distributions). K3s bundles the Kubernetes components:

  • kube-apiserver,

  • kube-controller-manager,

  • kube-scheduler,

  • kubelet and

  • kube-proxy

into combined processes that are presented as a simple server and agent model, as represented in the following figure:

K3s Overview
Figure 4.2: Overview of K3s

K3s can run as a complete cluster on a single node or can be expanded into a multi-node cluster. Besides the core Kubernetes components, these are also included:

  • containerd,

  • Flannel,

  • CoreDNS,

  • ingress controller and

  • a simple host port-based service load balancer.

All of these components are optional and can be swapped out for your implementation of choice. With these included components, you get a fully functional and CNCF-conformant cluster so you can start running apps right away. K3s is now a CNCF Sandbox project, being the first Kubernetes distribution ever to be adopted into sandbox.

Learn more information about K3s at https://k3s.io

4.4 Software - SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server ( SLES ) is an adaptable and easy-to-manage platform that allows developers and administrators to deploy business-critical workloads on-premises, in the cloud and at the edge. It is a Linux operating system that is adaptable to any environment – optimized for performance, security and reliability. As a multimodal operating system that paves the way for IT transformation in the software-defined era, this simplifies multimodal IT, makes traditional IT infrastructure efficient and provides an engaging platform for developers. As a result, one can easily deploy and transition business-critical workloads across on-premise and public cloud environments.

Designed for interoperability, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server integrates into classical Unix and Windows environments, supports open standard interfaces for systems management, and has been certified for IPv6 compatibility. This modular, general purpose operating system runs on four processor architectures and is available with optional extensions that provide advanced capabilities for tasks such as real time computing and high availability clustering. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is optimized to run as a high performing guest on leading hypervisors and supports an unlimited number of virtual machines per physical system with a single subscription. This makes it the perfect guest operating system for virtual computing.

4.5 Compute Platform

Leveraging the enterprise grade functionality of the operating system mentioned in the previous section, many compute platforms can be the foundation of the deployment:

  • Virtual machines on supported hypervisors or hosted on cloud service providers

  • Physical, baremetal or single-board computers, either on-premise or hosted by cloud service providers

Tip
Tip

Any SUSE YES certified platform can be used for the nodes of this deployment, as long as the certification refers to the major version of the underlying SUSE operating system required by its release.

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