APPUiO Managed Rancher Kubernetes Engine

This service is deprecated. Existing services will continue to run and will over time migrate to either APPUiO Managed OpenShift or APPUiO Managed Cloud Kubernetes.

APPUiO Managed Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) from SUSE is our product to run Kubernetes in virtual machines on almost any infrastructure which provides virtual machines.

You can also use the Rancher Management Server to manage Cloud Service Provider managed Kubernetes services, see Cloud Kubernetes.

Infrastructure Provider Availability (Details)


Exoscale (Details)



On Request Virtual Datacenter

On Request

Amazon AWS (Recommended: AWS EKS)

On Request

Microsoft Azure (Recommended: Azure AKS)

On Request

Google Cloud (Recommended: Google GKE)

On Request

VMware (On Premise) (Details)

On Request

Hyper-V (On Premise)

On Request

Your desired infrastructure is not listed? Please contact

Use Cases

Kubernetes in virtual machines

Useful on all infrastructures which don’t offer Kubernetes directly on the platform. This usually applies to on-premise data centers.

Full-fledged highly-available Kubernetes cluster

With RKE a highly-available Kubernetes cluster can be built on most infrastructures.

Customized deployment

If the features and possibilities of a cloud offering doesn’t meet the requirements, usually the requirements can be met by this product.

Shared Rancher Management Server

VSHN operates a shared Rancher Management Server and provides access to it for users of the APPUiO Managed Rancher product.

The VSHN provided Rancher Management Server includes:

  • Access to the Kubernetes cluster with a VSHN Account

  • Graphical overview of the Kubernetes cluster

  • Access control to the clusters

  • GUI to deploy applications

Instead of using the shared Rancher Management Server a dedicated instance can be provided at additional cost. Please contact us for more information.

VSHN Supported Features and Configuration

Supported by default

These features and configurations are available out-of-the box and installed and configured by default.

Feature / Configuration Description

Kubernetes with RKE

Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) is used as the Kubernetes distribution.

Ubuntu LTS as Operating System

The underlying Operating System is Ubuntu LTS.

Persistent Storage

Persistent storage is available when the platform supports Kubernetes CSI.

Control-Plane High-Availability

The Kubernetes control-plane is built with high-availability on three dedicated virtual machines.

Access via shared Rancher

Access to the Kubernetes cluster is available via the VSHN provided shared Rancher Management Server.

Commercial support by Rancher (SUSE)

All clusters are included in the support contract VSHN has with Rancher (SUSE).

Cluster Maintenance

Kubernetes control-plane and node updates are applied continuously when they’re available. See also Version and Upgrade Policy.

Cluster Backup

A full backup of the etcd database is made every 4 hours. This includes a dump of all objects in JSON format, this way single objects can be restored on request. The backup data is encrypted before it is stored in an object storage backend, usually on the same cloud as the cluster is running. K8up is used as the backup operator, using Restic as backup backend.

Persistent storage volumes are not automatically backed up. The user of persistent volumes is obliged to take care of this. For that purpose, K8up is available on the cluster to help with that task. We’re also happy to help, just let us know.

Cluster limits

We’re following the recommendations of upstream Kubernetes.

Supported on request

These features or configuration adjustments must be specifically requested and some restrictions apply. Activation and configuration of these features imply additional engineering costs and can cause additional recurring engineering costs for operating them.

Feature / Configuration Description

Dedicated Rancher Management Server

A dedicated Rancher Management Server can be provided and managed on request. This option incurs additional subscription fees.


Crossplane is an open source Kubernetes add-on that enables platform teams to assemble infrastructure from multiple vendors, and expose higher level self-service APIs for application teams to consume, without having to write any code. We can help with the deployment and configuration of Crossplane on the cluster to make it ready to work with the cloud the cluster is provisioned in.


Rancher logging can be used out of the box, the storage destination and configuration has to be engineered on a case-by-case base.


These features or configuration adjustments are not supported by VSHN, but can still be activated, changed or used, although are neither monitored, backed up nor maintained. No guarantees are given, use them at your own risk.

Still interested in one (or more) of these unsupported options? Get in contact with and we figure out together what we can offer.
Feature / Configuration Description

Cluster Autoscaling

Cluster autoscaling is usually not supported by the underlying platform and therefore not supported by VSHN.

Cluster Provisioning with Rancher

Provisioning of Kubernetes clusters via the Rancher Management Server is only supported with a dedicated Rancher Management Server.

OPA Gatekeeper

The Open Policy Agent Gatekeeper is not supported by VSHN yet.


Istio is not supported by VSHN yet.

CIS Kubernetes Benchmark

CIS scans aren’t support by VSHN yet.

Longhorn Storage

Longhorn storage isn’t support by VSHN yet.


Pipelines aren’t supported by VSHN. We recommend using GitLab for that.

Version and Upgrade Policy

Supported is only the latest available version of RKE and Ubuntu LTS release. Installations must be upgraded to the next minor release within three months after a new release is available, or the latest when the next minor release is available.

The official Rancher Support Matrix applies.


The price model is described here: Price Model.

Minimum Requirements

Item Description

Control Plane

3 virtual machines

  • Memory: 16 GB or more

  • Disk: 50 GB SSD or more

Compute Nodes

3 virtual machines

  • Memory: 16 GB or more

  • Disk: 128 GB SSD or more

The official RKE requirements applies.

Infrastructure specifics

The following infrastructures are known to VSHN and lists their specifics:
  • Only Plus flavors of virtual machines are supported

  • Storage support is provided via CSI

  • Storage support via VMware CSI