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Managing Kubernetes Clusters with Rancher

Rancher provides a centralized hub for managing Kubernetes clusters across cloud service providers, data centers, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This allows organizations to standardize their Kubernetes version, access control, deployment, and lifecycles to simplify operations work. In this lab, we will go through the process of setting up a Rancher instance on an EC2 instance. We will go through the process of configuring Rancher to create an EKS cluster for us in our lab environment. Finally, we will install K3s, a lightweight, single-node Kubernetes distribution, on another EC2 instance and go through the process of importing that cluster into Rancher for central management. This will help you become familiar with how to use Rancher to create new Kubernetes clusters, as well as importing existing clusters hands-on.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 1h 0m
Clock icon Feb 11, 2022

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Install and Configure Rancher

    1. Configure the rancher/rancher container to run on the rancher-server EC2 instance. This EC2 instance has Docker installed and running at the start of the lab.
    2. In the Rancher console, go through the initial configuration.

    Note: A real-world setup of Rancher should not be on only one node. Production instances of Rancher should be designed for high availability and fault tolerance.

  2. Challenge

    Create an Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) Cluster in Rancher

    1. Create an AWS access key and secret key in the IAM console for the rancher_service_user (the user will have some additional characters appended).
    2. Add the AWS access key and secret to the Rancher console.
    3. Go to Clusters in the Rancher console and create an EKS cluster.
    4. Compare the cluster in the Rancher console to the options and information available in the EKS console.

    Note: Creating the EKS cluster can take 7-10 min. You may want to move on to the next objective and check back in on the EKS cluster's status.

  3. Challenge

    Create a K3s Cluster and Import It into Rancher

    1. Configure K3s to run on the k3s-server EC2 instance.
    2. Set up the Rancher console to import the K3s cluster.
    3. Take the kubectl command generated by Rancher and run in the K3s cluster to complete the import.

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