Why Kubernetes?

Discover the benefits of Kubernetes for DevOps teams to orchestrate containers like Docker. Learn to run apps better, heal systems automatically, improve uptime, keep costs down and users happy.


What exactly Is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes (shortened to K8s) is a common compute platform for the automated deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications across any infrastructure.

Kubernetes builds on 15 years of experience of running production workloads at Google, combined with best-of-breed ideas and practices from its rapidly growing community.

“76% of enterprises will standardize on Kubernetes within 3 years”

Jay Lyman, Principal Analyst, 451 Research

As the company behind Rancher, the world’s most popular Kubernetes management platform, Rancher Labs is a leading contributor to the Kubernetes community and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Our President and CRO, Shannon Williams, is a member of the CNCF’s Governing Board and our CEO, Sheng Liang, holds a seat on its Technical Oversight Committee.

While Rancher can manage any CNCF-certified Kubernetes distribution regardless of its location, we recommend RKE for hybrid cloud environments and K3s for IoT and edge use cases.

How We strengthen Kubernetes​

Run Kubernetes Everywhere

You can run RKE with Rancher on bare metal servers or in a private cloud. You can run it on the public cloud. You can deploy Docker-based applications within a managed Kubernetes service like EKS, AKS or GKE. You can manage K3s clusters on low-resource devices located at the edge. With Rancher your options are almost limitless.

Managed Kubernetes Solutions

Providers like Google, Amazon and Microsoft manage the Kubernetes master and backend components for you, and they integrate cloud service offerings like storage, DNS and load balancing. Rancher supports and adds value to managed Kubernetes services like EKS, AKS and GKE.


It's easy to deploy Kubernetes distributions like RKE and K3s yourself on bare metal, private cloud, public cloud or at the edge using Rancher. You can run it on a single virtual machine or at web scale. Rancher ensures that you’ll never be overwhelmed by your Kubernetes deployment.

Hybrid & Multi-Cloud

Spin up an RKE cluster on-premises or in the cloud using Rancher and within a few minutes you're deploying applications into it. Easily integrate Rancher with popular external authentication providers like Active Directory, Azure AD, Ping, GitHub, LDAP, and others. Use Rancher to manage your RBAC and apply best practice security policies uniformly across all your hybrid cloud environments.

The Edge

K3S is a highly available, certified Kubernetes distribution designed for production workloads in unattended, resource-constrained, remote locations or inside IoT appliances. Supported by Rancher, K3S is packaged as a single <40MB binary that reduces the dependencies and steps needed to install, run and auto-update a production Kubernetes cluster.

Who uses Kubernetes with Rancher?

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