Rancher Labs this week launched a partner program for OEMs and other providers of embedded systems that need to deploy and manage a distribution of Kubernetes.
The first member of the Rancher Labs OEM and Embedded Alliances Program is NetApp, which is planning to make the distribution of Kubernetes from Rancher Labs available on its platforms.
Partners participating in the program will be able to white label a distribution of Kubernetes alongside the management tools provided by Rancher Labs.
In addition to support from Rancher Labs, partners will also gain access to discount volumes along with access to royalty reports and purchase order billing options.
This effort extends an existing channel program aimed primarily at resellers, consultants and managed service providers (MSPs) says Jim Sarales, vice president of global channel and alliances at Rancher Labs.
The goal is to make it simpler for partners participating in, for example, the NetApp ecosystem to get help from Rancher Labs if they need it, says Sarales.
“We’re tied at the hip,” says Sarales.
Rancher Labs, which is in the process of being acquired by SUSE, is launching this OEM program at a time when demand for Kubernetes expertise is rising sharply. Organizations that are looking to deploy cloud-native applications that are core to their digital business transformation efforts require platforms that are optimized to run Kubernetes clusters.
A survey published this week by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) that oversees the development of Kubernetes finds 92% of respondents are now running containers in production environments, with 83% reporting they are also employing Kubernetes in those environments.
The challenge those organizations face, however, is most IT teams don’t have a lot of expertise when it comes to deploying and managing Kubernetes. That issue is especially acute among systems builders that are now looking to embed Kubernetes in a wide range of platforms.
It’s too early to say just how pervasively Kubernetes will be deployed by systems builders on those platforms but it’s fair to say they will soon most likely need to be measured in the millions.