Deploying Rancher Server via an Azure Resource Manager template


In the previous posts we’ve been using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates for deploying our nodes. Today we’ll be using the same method to deploy a Rancher Server.

Be aware that this is to be used for demo / labo / source-for-inspiration, and not for production usage! Azure has a strict policy that server that are not setup in a redundant manner will not benefit from Service Level Agreements. So you definitely need a “High Availability” setup for that.

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[FIX] Deploying Rancher Hosts via an Azure Resource Manager Template

A quick post in relation to the previous one ; Deploying Rancher Hosts via an Azure Manager Template


The template that was used at that time had a bug, where the “rancher overlay network” wasn’t working. Adding a public IP per host & introducing network security groups to publish the VPN ports (as mentioned before).


So if you’re using it, be sure to update to the latest version!

Deploying Rancher Hosts via an Azure Resource Manager Template


In Azure there are two “generations” (so to speak) ;

  • “Service Management” : the backend of the “old” portal
  • “Resource Manager” : the backend of the “new” portal

The technology underneath differs quite a bit…Though the “Azure Resource Manager” (or “ARM”) has the possibility to work with templates for deployments.


In the last blog post, I showed you how you can deploy nodes in Azure from your Rancher host. Today we’ll do it the other way around… We’ll deploy hosts using an “ARM”-template and will connect back to our Rancher host in one quick move!

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Rancher : Provisioning hosts on Azure


At this time, Rancher has a great support for a variety of Cloud Providers, except… Azure. Though it possible to provision hosts to Azure via your Rancher interface!

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We’ll be doing this via the “Other” link…

Steps for today?

  • Setup Docker Machine
  • Validate integration between Docker Machine & Azure
  • Use Rancher to provision a host in Azure

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Azure & Cross-Host Container Networking using Rancher


Today we’ll try to understand a bit more about the Rancher cross-host networking capabilities.


Rancher supports cross-host container communication by implementing a simple and secure overlay network using IPsec tunneling. To leverage this capability, a container launched through Rancher must select “Managed” for its network mode or if launched through Docker, provide an extra label “–label”. Most of Rancher’s network features, such as load balancer or DNS service, require the container to be in the managed network.

Under Rancher’s network, a container will be assigned both a Docker bridge IP ( and a Rancher managed IP ( on the default docker0 bridge. Containers within the same environment are then routable and reachable via the managed network.

Note:The Rancher managed IP address will be not present in Docker meta-data and as such will not appear in the result of a Docker “inspect.” This sometimes causes incompatibilities with certain tools that require a Docker bridge IP. We are already working with the Docker community to make sure a future version of Docker can handle overlay networks more cleanly.

Source :

So in short… You can create a virtual network spanned accross all hosts using Rancher. At the time of writing, this is still based upon an IPsec VPN implementation underneath, where RancherLabs is looking to implement the “new” overlay networking of the native Docker. Be aware that Weave is also pretty known, and used, within the community. Though at this point I want to keep it as simple as possible…

High Level Setup

Anyhow, let’s look at our labo for the day…


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Azure : Enterprise Grade SQL Provisioning


The mailinglist of Luper’s learning featured the following article ;

Introducing a simplified configuration experience for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines

To me, this is a very cool and shows the innovation that’s going on in the whole Azure landscape. Underneath, any azure enthousiast, will see that this is powered by the ARM JSON templates. Though from a business perspective, the right questions are posed!

  • Who should be able to access it and how?
  • What are the storage capacity & performance expectations?
  • What about (technical) maintenance aspects like backup & patching?

How to find the machine?

Go to the marketplace in the Azure portal and find the following SQL server ;

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What will it bring to the table?

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Docker – Windows Containers 101 – Using Windows 2016 Technical Preview 4



With this post, I’m assuming you are already familiar with the basics of Docker & Windows 2016. If not, check out Thomas Maurer’s introduction post to Windows Containers.


Deploying a Test Host

A quick way to start testing is to use search for “Container” in the images repository on Azure. You’ll notice a “Windows Server 2016 Core with Containers” image in there…

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After that, you can connect to it via RemoteDesktop and have access to your trustworthy console.

First things first… (Interactive)

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Rancher : Docker Lifecycle Management – Or how to upgrade containers?


It’s all fun & games to create & deploy containers. And the “pets vs cattle” thingie is also cool… Though what about the lifecycle management? That’s something we’ll be handling today!

What will we be doing today?

  • Create a small dummy container
  • Setup a source respository (at BitBucket) for that dummy container
  • Setup an automated build (linked to the source repository) on your docker hub respository
  • Deploy a service on rancher
  • Update the source
  • Upgrade the service to the latest version
  • Enjoy life even more!

What will already need to be setup?

Continue reading “Rancher : Docker Lifecycle Management – Or how to upgrade containers?”