Rancher Labs’ K3s Joins Cloud Native Computing Foundation as Sandbox Project

Donation demonstrates Rancher’s ongoing commitment to accelerating enterprise adoption of cloud-native technologies. Acceptance as a Sandbox project will accelerate the proliferation of Edge and IoT uses for Kubernetes

CUPERTINO, Calif. — August 26, 2020 — Rancher Labs, creators of the industry’s most widely adopted Kubernetes management platform, announced today that the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) has accepted the company’s innovative and hugely popular lightweight Kubernetes distribution – K3s – as its latest Sandbox project. K3s was built to allow organizations to run Kubernetes in resource-constrained environments, in IoT devices or at the Edge. K3s joins 33 other early-stage Sandbox projects including Longhorn, a persistent Kubernetes storage solution, which Rancher Labs donated to the CNCF in October 2019.

Since its launch in February 2019, K3s has been downloaded over a million times and is installed, on average, more than 20,000 times every week. The variety of Edge and IoT use cases where K3s has been deployed has soared. It is now embedded in production-line robots within Smart Factory deployments, used in remote military installations, and is deployed on some of the world’s largest wind farms.

Having earned a loyal following and winning several prestigious awards, K3s has also spawned other innovative products in the open source community, such as k3sup and k3d. With K3s as a CNCF Sandbox project, the open source community can further experiment and innovate with it – accelerating adoption.

The CNCF Sandbox provides an avenue for technically exciting projects that are beneficial to the cloud-native community and that the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) believes warrant experimentation. The Sandbox provides a neutral home to foster collaborative development and is the preferred path for early-stage projects to enter CNCF.

Computing in Edge and IoT environments has become a major priority in a host of sectors. Gartner predicts that by 2025, three-quarters of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed at the Edge – up from just 10 percent in 2018. Recent statistics from Forrester also support the trend – a recent report reveals two-thirds of mobility decision-makers say they have Edge computing in their roadmap.

K3s: Bring Kubernetes to the Edge and beyond

Before K3s, most Kubernetes distributions were memory intensive and too complex for IoT and Edge computing environments. Launched in February 2019, K3s is a lightweight, production-grade Kubernetes distribution designed for developers and operators looking to run Kubernetes in resource-constrained environments. Rancher Labs founded the project to address the increasing demand for small, easy-to-manage multi-node Kubernetes cluster deployments running on x86, Arm®v7-A and 64-bit Armv8-A processors embedded in IoT devices or at the Edge.

Key features include:

  • Production-grade Kubernetes: K3s is a standards-compliant Kubernetes distribution engineered for mission-critical, production use cases.
  • One binary with zero host dependencies: everything necessary to install Kubernetes on any device is included in a single, 40 MB binary. There is no requirement for an external installer like Kubespray, Kubeadm or RKE. With a single command, a single-node K3s cluster can be provisioned or upgraded.
  • Simple to add nodes to a cluster: to add nodes to a cluster, admins run a single command on the new node, pointing it to the original server and passing through a secure token.
  • Automatic certificate generation: all the certificates needed to establish TLS between the Kubernetes masters and nodes are automatically created when a cluster is launched. Encryption keys for service accounts are also automatically created.

Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO, Rancher Labs said: “K3s is already benefiting a range of industries – from manufacturing to telecoms – and we are indebted to all those that have contributed to its evolution. By donating K3s to the CNCF, K3s’ value will grow, and its adoption will accelerate. I am excited to see what new use cases emerge in the coming months and years.”

For more information about K3s, visit k3s.io or the project page on GitHub.

With the rapid emergence of Edge use cases for K3s, Rancher Labs is hosting the Computing on the Edge with Kubernetes Conference on October 21. The conference brings together thought leaders, technologists and customers to share their knowledge and insights. Learn more here.

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