For production environments, we recommend installing Rancher in a high-availability configuration so that your user base can always access Rancher Server. When installed in a Kubernetes cluster, Rancher will integrate with the cluster’s etcd database and take advantage of Kubernetes scheduling for high-availability.

This procedure walks you through setting up a 3-node cluster with RKE and installing the Rancher chart with the Helm package manager.

Important: It is not supported, nor generally a good idea, to run Rancher on top of hosted Kubernetes solutions such as Amazon’s EKS, or Google’s GKE. These hosted Kubernetes solutions do not expose etcd to a degree that is manageable for Rancher, and their customizations can interfere with Rancher operations. It is strongly recommended to use hosted infrastructure such as EC2 or GCE instead.

Important: For the best performance, we recommend this Kubernetes cluster to be dedicated only to run Rancher. After the Kubernetes cluster to run Rancher is setup, you can create or import clusters for running your workloads.

  • DNS for Rancher should resolve to a Layer 4 load balancer (TCP)
  • The Load Balancer should forward port TCP/80 and TCP/443 to all 3 nodes in the Kubernetes cluster.
  • The Ingress controller will redirect HTTP to HTTPS and terminate SSL/TLS on port TCP/443.
  • The Ingress controller will forward traffic to port TCP/80 on the pod in the Rancher deployment.

HA Rancher install with layer 4 load balancer, depicting SSL termination at ingress controllers
Rancher HA HA Rancher install with Layer 4 load balancer (TCP), depicting SSL termination at ingress controllers

Required Tools

The following CLI tools are required for this install. Please make sure these tools are installed and available in your $PATH

  • kubectl - Kubernetes command-line tool.
  • rke - Rancher Kubernetes Engine, cli for building Kubernetes clusters.
  • helm - Package management for Kubernetes.

Important: Due to an issue with Helm v2.12.0 and cert-manager, please use Helm v2.12.1 or higher.

Installation Outline

Additional Install Options

Previous Methods

RKE add-on install

Important: RKE add-on install is only supported up to Rancher v2.0.8

Please use the Rancher helm chart to install HA Rancher. For details, see the HA Install - Installation Outline.

If you are currently using the RKE add-on install method, see Migrating from an HA RKE Add-on Install for details on how to move to using the helm chart.