On September 7, Beijing time, with the approval of the Euler Open Source Community Technical Committee, the RFO SIG created by SUSE was officially established. RFO is Rancher for openEuler, which aims to deeply integrate the Rancher product ecosystem with openEuler, build a container engineering infrastructure for the Euler open source community, and create Rancher derivatives for openEuler.

Rancher was originally an open source project of Silicon Valley startup RancherLabs, aiming to help users solve the management problems of container infrastructure. It has been deeply involved in the container field for many years, and has accumulated a large number of community users around the world. The installation volume in China is the largest in the global market. At the end of 2020, RancherLabs was acquired by SUSE, adhering to SUSE’s product concept of “making open source truly open”, and still maintaining continuous compatibility with mainstream Linux distributions, which allowed the integration of Rancher and openEuler to proceed smoothly.

At present, Rancher is no longer a single software. It includes the multi-cluster management platform Rancher Manager, the container security product NeuVector, RKE, RKE2, K3s and many other Kubernetes distributions, the hyper-converged product Harvester, and the cloud native storage product Longhorn, etc. The extension is compatible with more public cloud Kubernetes services, forming a complete set of enterprise-level container platforms.

Work not limited to compatibility

Container products are deployed on the Linux operating system, and the compatibility of the two is the most direct manifestation of their combination. However, if you really want to integrate into the community and promote its technology and industry development, these jobs are far from enough. Only by contributing some open source projects around the community and building the infrastructure it relies on can bring real value to the community. With this philosophy in mind, the goal of the RFO SIG is not just compatibility testing, but to build some open source projects and provide continuous engineering.

Building an openEuler-based Kubernetes distribution

The first goal of the RFO SIG is to build its own Kubernetes distribution (RFO distribution) for the Euler open source community. With a stable Kubernetes distribution, other cloud-native projects in the community can be implemented, thereby gradually promoting the prosperity of the community’s cloud-native ecosystem. Since the development of cloud native, Kubernetes distributions have blossomed, so what is the difference between RFO distributions based on openEuler?

  • Fully traceable engineering. First, ensure that the core components are built from source code, openEuler realizes building the operating system from upstream source code, and RFO also builds Kubernetes distribution from source code; second, open CI Build history and e2e test results. In this mode, any individual or manufacturer can rely on this engineering mechanism for secondary distribution.

  • Productized, out of the box.Establish the life cycle of the distribution and the support matrix for openEuler; rely on the OCI Image concept to minimize the dependence on various rpms of openEuler to minimize the damage to the rpm dependency system; in addition to the basic Kubernetes components and runtime, also Some basic CNI and Ingress ecological components are packaged together to ensure the ease of use and integrity of the product.

  • Fully integrate the openEuler ecosystem.Whether it is a build environment image or an image that is ultimately used for deployment, try to use openEuler Container Image as much as possible. The container runtime project iSulad incubated in the community will also be packaged and integrated into products, so that users can choose between Containerd and iSulad according to their own conditions.

  • Supply chain security.At present, the global open source community is paying more and more attention to supply chain security, and Kubernetes upstream has also added this detection mechanism in the recent version. Especially for various cloud-native software that is generally distributed by OCI Image, it is very important to ensure that it is not tampered with by intermediate links. At the same time, with the development of the RFO distribution, a trusted community mirror repository will be gradually built.

The linkage between community and commercialization

The incubation and sustainable development of community projects are inseparable from the thinking of commercialization, and it is the long-term development of open source projects that can form a good interaction between community products and commercial products. While incubating the RFO series projects in the community, SUSE will also strengthen its management support in its own commercial products. For example, after the engineering of the RFO distribution is mature, the commercial Rancher Enterprise Edition can add support for RFO cluster management capabilities. Combined with the commercial version of openEuler, SUSE Euler, a set of upstream open source incubation and downstream commercial enhancement can be built. Container Product Solutions.

In this regard, Zhang Zhibo, R&D Director of SUSE Rancher Greater China, the founder of RFO SIG, said: “After the SUSE Euler project, SUSE’s active participation in the Euler open source community again is another way to practice the concept of ‘Based on China and Serve China’ Milestone. The kernel and container engine are important supports for cloud-native software, and investing in the research and development of underlying technologies in the open source community is also an important manifestation of SUSE’s open source capabilities. SUSE has a complete container product research and development team in China, and has long started to independently conduct local research and development. It is also a good experience for us to operate products in an open source manner in the Euler open source community.”

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