Caddy Server, Let's Encrypt, & Cattle Migration: Rancher to Adopt Kubernetes Native Orchestration

Caddy Server, Let's Encrypt, & Cattle Migration: Rancher to Adopt Kubernetes Native Orchestration

Easy HTTPS Server Settings for Caddy Boosts Users – RancherOS to Abandon Cattle

The Caddy web server package is one of the strongest trending new entries into the data center landscape this year with user rates skyrocketing due to the low installation footprint & ease of configuring HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates. Caddy can be automated with a three line configuration file that makes container orchestration at enterprise scale more efficient. Caddy can be optimized as stack software for loading cloud SaaS/PaaS applications from containers. RancherOS announced this week that they would be discontinuing their own proprietary Cattle application for container orchestration and replacing it with a Kubernetes-native approach. This requires some existing applications using Cattle to be ported & re-coded for future upgrades. Cattle was not adopted widely in data centers globally and has been overrun by Kubernetes market share in the cloud orchestration engine sector. RancherOS will seek to continue popularity as a Docker container solution by specializing in Kubernetes integration with the core distribution package. Systems administrators & web/mobile app developers will be recommended to follow developments in the Rancher ecosystem for using their low-footprint Linux OS in containers. Deploying Caddy is a great solution where multiple domain names or sub-domains need free encryption support on a web server or for Software Defined Networking (SDN) between multi-cloud hardware elements in support of dependent microformat installs.

Easy HTTPS Server Settings for Caddy Boosts Users - RancherOS to Abandon Cattle

Caddy Server: Every Site on HTTPS Encryption with Free Let’s Encrypt Certificates

Caddy Server makes it easy for system administrators to build-out web server hardware on partitions using VMs, VPS, & containers. Caddy runs a complete web server package with free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates enabled by default for every domain that is fully operational within seconds of being loaded in production. This facilitates the use of Caddy in containers where Software Defined Networking (SDN) functions build complex app code for microservices that must be assembled to support various device & display views. Mobile & desktop app code may run from a single database or a company may have a proliferation of web software services that serve particular institutional or organizational needs ranging across multi-cloud hardware.

Caddy Server makes the installation of a secure web server with a domain name or IP address simple through automation utilities that scale with elastic cluster support. Run isolated app components in containers, VMs, & VPS partitions across available hardware with encrypted SDN, API, & HTTPS connections between them. DevOps teams are using this combination to run Caddy as a reverse-proxy server in tandem with both Apache & NGINX on the same hardware for multi-core CPU process request management, data packet request monitoring, & file caching across  data center hardware resources. Provide needed HTTPS connections where required in a network and build the dynamic addressing functionality from custom code.

Objectively, Caddy is a HTTPS/2 web server framework written natively in Go which can compare to the Apache HTTP Server package that is the foundation of the LAMP stack. Caddy runs on any operating system: Windows, Linux, Mac, BSD, etc. TLS Certificate support is mandatory on Caddy with failover mechanisms in place for revoked certificates. HTTP/2 & IPv6 support are native with reverse-proxy caching features that compete with NGINX. Data centers can take advantage of the latest standards of load balancing for web traffic & data packet requests on a network. Plan on .htaccess file rewrites for popular CMS scripts like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc. Caddy has an automated conversion script for .htaccess.

Reverse-proxy caching supports multiple microservice deployments on the same hardware. The challenge for systems administrators is combining the best elements of Caddy with Apache & NGINX running on the same hardware in VMs, VPS, & containers. The advantage for use with Caddy is for web servers on the network which must have mandatory encryption with TLS certificates enabled by default. The secondary benefit is a recoded web server framework with a lower installation footprint & faster runtime processing for files/requests. Developers prefer the Caddy server speed over Apache with lower total installed file size in containers.

Caddy Server: Every Site on HTTPS Encryption with Free Let's Encrypt Certificates

RancherOS: Cattle App to be Abandoned for ‘Kubernetes-First!’ Approach

RancherOS installs with the Cattle application as the default container orchestration engine, which includes a similar feature set to Docker Swarm or the CoreOS Tectonic framework. This approach is now being abandoned by the company for a ‘Kubernetes-First!’ strategy that will include a complete build for a proprietary Kubernetes orchestration package with the enterprise RancherOS distribution. The ability to run an integrated Docker-Rancher-Kubernetes pipeline is very important for the way public cloud orchestration operates at scale at AWS, Google Cloud, & Azure. RancherOS is struggling to maintain their early position of market leadership in containers and now must compete with a wide range of established Kubernetes engine solutions from all of the major cloud hosting brands, Linux platform developers, & integration companies.

According to Prachi Damle, a leading programmer at RancherOS Labs:

Cattle is used extensively by Rancher users to create and manage applications based on Docker containers. One of the key reasons for its extensive adoption is its compatibility with standard Docker Compose syntax. With the release of Rancher 2.0, we shifted from Cattle as the base orchestration platform to Kubernetes. Kubernetes introduces its own terminologies and yaml specs for deploying services and pods that differs from the Docker Compose syntax. I must say it really is a big learning curve for Cattle developers like me and our users to find ways to migrate apps to the Kubernetes-based 2.0 platform.

As around 80% of container traffic is being migrated to Kubernetes currently, RancherOS is poised to build new business around their solutions with key customers already using the software in production. On the other hand, RancherOS must compete directly with Kubernetes solutions from Google, AWS, Red Hat, Azure, SUSE, IBM, Oracle, & other IT majors. Rancher is a major acquisition target in this sector as the OS + Kubernetes solution is fully mature on the platform and a turn-key addition to a major software portfolio, i.e. RHEL + CoreOS.

RancherOS: Cattle App to be Abandoned for 'Kubernetes-First!' Approach

Free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates: Containers, VMs, & VPS

Let’s Encrypt offers free TLS certificates to any domain name for setting up web encryption and is an easy to use solution for websites on shared hosting. Where new browser rules for HTTPS encryption threatened to break the multi-domain hosting price advantage on shared Linux servers with new requirements for dedicated IP addresses and SSL/TLS certificates, many webhosts now offer Let’s Encrypt certificates for free with every domain, which can be installed automatically. Systems administrators who would like to use Let’s Encrypt certificates in private, public, or multi-cloud constructs can use the Caddy server with container, VM, & VPS partitions as an effective method of setting up ubiquitous web transfer encryption over HTTPS. The ability to automate the deployment of Let’s Encrypt certificates makes their use with Caddy more effective for websites & multi-domain portfolios in active production or for platform upgrades.

Free Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates: Containers, VMs, & VPS

  1. Let’s Encrypt:

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). Anyone who owns a domain name can use Let’s Encrypt to obtain a trusted certificate at zero cost… Much like the underlying Internet protocols themselves, Let’s Encrypt is a joint effort to benefit the community, beyond the control of any one organization.”

Learn More About Let’s Encrypt Certificates.

 Free Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates: Containers, VMs, & VPS

  1. Kubernetes:

“Rancher centrally manages multiple Kubernetes clusters. Rancher can provision and manage cloud Kubernetes services like GKE, EKS, and AKS or import existing clusters. Rancher implements centralized authentication (GitHub, AD/LDAP, SAML, etc.) across RKE or cloud Kubernetes services. Rancher offers an intuitive UI, enabling users to run containers without learning all Kubernetes concepts up-front… With Rancher, you avoid vendor lock-in, but keep the flexibility to use the tools and infrastructure add-ons you want, whenever you need them.

Learn More About Using Kubernetes with Rancher.

Free Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates: Containers, VMs, & VPS

  1. RancherOS: 

A simplified Linux distribution built from containers, for containers. Everything in RancherOS is a container managed by Docker. It includes only the bare minimum amount of software needed to run Docker. Everything else can be pulled dynamically through Docker. RancherOS makes it simple to run containers at scale in development, test and production.

Learn More About RancherOS.

Summary: Use Caddy for Quick & Secure HTTPS Deployments.

Systems administrators are advised to evaluate the Caddy server and see where it fits the needs of their data center or business networking requirements. Use Let’s Encrypt TLS certificates for every domain to upgrade multi-domain installations or for SDN requirements in app support. Caddy offers speed & hardware efficiency advantages over the use of Apache in containers.

Summary: Use Caddy for Quick & Secure HTTPS Deployments.

  1. Cattle:

The main advantage for businesses & data centers is to use Kubernetes, Docker, & RancherOS together in container orchestration. This is what the company was founded to do and excels at fundamentally. Many other companies are now offering micro-OS distributions of Linux for container use that target RancherOS’s installed user base, such as Oracle, Google, VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Ubuntu, & SUSE.”

Learn More About Cattle, Swarm, & Rancher.

For RancherOS, the focus on Kubernetes can be viewed as a key pivot point for the company but one that makes perfect sense for their business plan and software distribution clients going forward. Unless there are major reasons for businesses to choose the RancherOS solution over other similar products offered by major public cloud competitors, there is not a clear way for the company to continue to gain market share in this sector other than volume of installs.

Conclusion: RancherOS will have a difficult time competing with public cloud IT majors in the Kubernetes Engine space & are losing market share in Container Linux web server installs.

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