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documentation.suse.com / Layered Stack Deployment of Rancher Kubernetes Engine / Architectural overview
Applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP3, Rancher Kubernetes Engine 1.2.16

3 Architectural overview

This section outlines the core elements of the Rancher Kubernetes Engine solution, along with the suggested target platforms and components.

3.1 Solution architecture

The figure below illustrates the high-level architecture overview of Kubernetes components on instances like Rancher Kubernetes Engine:

RKE1 architecture
Figure 3.1: Architecture Overview - Rancher Kubernetes Engine

A Kubernetes cluster consists of a set of nodes machines, called workers or agents, that host and run containerized applications in Pods. Every cluster has at least one worker node. The control plane manages the worker nodes and the Pods in the cluster. The provider API is a generic element that allows external interaction with the Kubernetes cluster.

Control Plane Components

The control plane’s components make global decisions about the cluster (for example, scheduling), and detecting and responding to cluster events.

  • kube-apiserver

    • The API server is a component of the Kubernetes control plane that exposes the Kubernetes API

  • etcd

    • Consistent and highly-available key value store used as Kubernetes' backing store for all cluster data.

  • kube-scheduler

    • Control plane component that watches for newly created Pods with no assigned node, and selects a node for them to run on.

  • kube-controller-manager

    • Control plane component that runs controller processes.

Node Components

Node components run on every node, maintaining running pods and providing the Kubernetes runtime environment.

  • kubelet

    • An agent that runs on each node in the cluster. It makes sure that containers are running in a Pod.

  • kube-proxy

    • A network proxy that runs on each node in your cluster, implementing part of the Kubernetes Service concept.


Regardless of the deployment instance, Rancher Kubernetes Engine could always be deployed directly by SUSE Rancher or imported as a managed, downstream cluster.