Instana Blog

Date: November 18, 2019

Tame the Complexity of Kubernetes with Instana and Rancher

Kubernetes (K8s) is an open source project that was originally created by Google. It was designed to help organizations automate the deployment and orchestration of their containerized applications. Development and Operations teams use the K8s platform to accelerate the deployment, scalability, and management of their applications.

While K8s has been exploding in popularity recently, it does pose some serious issues as organizations run their business critical applications on it in production. As with any new technology, there is a high degree of complexity in deploying and running Kubernetes. This means that K8s has a long, steep learning curve as compared with many other technologies. Also, being that it is both very complex and relatively new, there are not many K8s experts available to help organizations with their transitions in house. Because of this, many Kubernetes management platforms have been created to remove the complexity of K8s from the end user, while still providing the key benefits of Kubernetes. This is where Rancher accels.

Rancher is a product that enables their customers to run K8s across any infrastructure in production. According to the Rancher website, ‘Rancher is a complete software stack for teams adopting containers. It addresses the operational and security challenges of managing multiple Kubernetes clusters, while providing DevOps teams with integrated tools for running containerized workloads.’

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With Rancher, organizations are able to manage multiple Kubernetes clusters without having to worry about the typical operational and security challenges that K8s deployments can entail. Rancher deploys Kubernetes clusters on any provider while maintaining centralized authentication and access control. This enables any organization to deploy Kubernetes in multiple regions, across multiple providers without having to run several independent Kubernetes deployments.

Monitoring Kubernetes Deployments on Rancher with Instana

While Rancher does a great job of removing operational and security challenges, the platform and the applications running on it still need to be monitored. As is the case with all K8s deployments, cutting through the complexity can be a challenge.

Instana is the leader in monitoring cloud-native, K8s based applications, and has long made sense out of the complexities that these environments entail. Instana’s Automatic Kubernetes Monitoring continuously monitors K8s based applications at scale. With a single, lightweight agent, Instana automatically discovers all clusters, pods, containers, and services deployed by K8s and deploys the appropriate, technology specific sensors, required to monitor them. With Instana, K8s services are automatically correlated to application services so you always know the impact of the K8s platform on the performance of your applications.

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Instana has further expanded its best-in-class K8s monitoring reach with its support of Rancher managed clusters. Rancher and Instana together remove the ‘chaos’ of managing K8s based applications and environments. This enables users to focus on what they do best, building great software. Rancher makes it easy to manage K8s deployments on any infrastructure, alleviating many of the operational challenges for their user base, while Instana provides the application level insights that developers need to prioritize application optimization opportunities. Additionally with Instana, developers are able to hone in on the applications and services that they are responsible for with Application Perspectives.

Learn more about monitoring K8s based applications on Rancher with Instana at KubeCon November 18 – 21. Not going to KubeCon? No problem. You can also join us Live on YouTube, 11/20 at 12 PM PT as our co-founder Pete Abrams, COO, joins Rancher to discuss how Instana partners with Rancher to solve problems for our joint customers.

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About Instana

As the leading provider of Automatic Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solutions for microservices, Instana has developed the automatic monitoring and AI-based analysis DevOps needs to manage the performance of modern applications. Instana is the only APM solution that automatically discovers, maps and visualizes microservice applications without continuous additional engineering. Customers using Instana achieve operational excellence and deliver better software faster. Visit https://instana.com to learn more.