Rancher Labs and Avi Networks: Production-Ready Applications

Ranga Rajagopalan
Posted on May 4, 2016 9:58:46 AM

Organizations are adopting an app-centric approach to computing in their data centers and clouds. Microservices architectures are increasingly used by app-centric enterprises to achieve continuous development and delivery, scaling, and isolation through independent services. While microservices applications offer several advantages compared to monolithic applications, challenges with supporting application services remain.

For example, traditional appliance-based application delivery and services solutions cannot support the vast amount of east-west interactions between the services and offer no visibility to application components and their interactions. These application delivery controllers (ADCs) were not designed for dynamic environments where change is constant, automation is a must, and self-service for developers is expected.

Application developers require two main capabilities: (a) they need flexibility and programmability to develop, test and deploy their apps quickly; (b) they need visibility into application interactions to enforce the required security posture and pinpoint the specific service that caused an application outage.

Avi Networks

Built on software-defined principles, the Avi Vantage Platform delivers the full stack of application services such as load balancing, service discovery, visibility, and micro-segmentation necessary for microservices applications. The platform mirrors next generation architectures to deliver the flexibility and simplicity expected by developers and IT administrators. Avi Vantage separates the data and control planes to deliver application services in both on-premises and cloud environments. . With changing application usage patterns, Avi Vantage enables developers and administrators to automatically and predictively autoscale their resources to match usage requirements.



Built as a complete, open-source platform to simplify container management for enterprises, Rancher is designed to solve the critical challenges necessary to run enterprise applications in containers. It provides a complete set of infrastructure services for containers, including networking, storage services, host management, load balancing, etc. that run across any infrastructure, and reliably deploy and manage applications.


Avi Networks with Rancher

Avi Networks understands the need for a technologically rich ecosystem that accelerates customers’ journey to a modern application architectures.  Avi’s partnership with Rancher Labs provides a complete application services stack for container clusters delivered by Rancher Labs.  The Avi Vantage Platform integrates with Rancher Labs to enable application services for microservices applications that are deployed in container clusters.


Deploy Production-ready Applications

The integration of Avi Vantage with Rancher Labs delivers the following services to the applications deployed in a container cluster:

(Watch our webinar on-demand to see the joint solution of Avi and Rancher in action!)

L4-L7 service creation and insertion: Avi Vantage automates the creation and deployment of application services, thereby driving service creation and insertion times down to minutes from weeks. This enables enterprises to eliminate manual provisioning and remove infrastructure and hardware dependencies for application services.

Service discovery: Once a new service is created, other services must be able to discover and access it.  Avi Networks provides an integrated IPAM and standard DNS server for service discovery. 

Distributed, full-featured L7 load balancing: Avi load balances the large volume of east-west traffic generated in a container cluster, along with the north-south traffic generated from outside the cluster.  The Avi Service Engines are the distributed load balancers that are placed closest to applications for higher performance and faster client response.  The Avi Controller offers a centralized management and control across the distributed load balancers.

Visibility into application traffic: Avi Vantage delivers inline analytics to provide actionable insights into the round trip (user-to-app) timing information as well as visibility into application data. This enables app and network administrators to quickly root cause the problems affecting application SLAs.

Application Maps: Avi Vantage leverages the placement of a load balancer in the path of app traffic flow.  The east-west traffic in a cluster flows through the Avi Service Engines.  Avi Service Engines collect, process and feed the insights to the Avi Controller to provide insights into the intercommunication patterns within the microservices.

Microsegmentation: Microservices applications within a cluster can interact with other microservices on the same host or other hosts through the Avi Service Engines adhering to centrally controlled allowlisted policies.  With Avi Vantage, application owners can define and enforce the interactions across these microservices (allowlists/denylists).

Predictive autoscaling: Avi Vantage automates the service fabric provisioning to provide an elastic application delivery service.  The Avi Controller automatically scales up the data plane capacity in real time by spinning up Avi Service Engines to mirror the application traffic needs. 

Simplified L4-L7 policy creation: Avi Vantage allows IT administrators to create complex application-delivery and update policies directly from the Avi admin console.  This approach simplifies configuration tasks and the delivery of app updates without impacting core performance.

The integration of L4-L7 application services solution from Avi Networks with a container orchestration solution from Rancher Labs accelerates production-ready application deployment, at scale, for enterprises.

Demo: Avi and Rancher Integration

Topics: application delivery, Microservices, Containers, Application Services, Rancher Labs

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