SUSE claims that Rancher must be paid for


I got a strange problem at my company. We are using 4x single instances of the rancher server to manage a few on-prem clusters with the integration of vsphere. (2 locations and in each location one “testing” and one “production” environment)

We have no paid subscription of any kind for rancher - we are using the “free” version without any support.

Now we have a license-audit from SUSE (primarly in regards of our Suse Linux Enterprise Server and SUSE Patchmanager products) but out of the blue they state that our usage of rancher is not “free” and we “must” pay for it.

They claim€ for the Rancher Management Servers and€ for the K8s-Nodes.

From my understanding plus the information on the rancher website and the Apache 2.0 license in the github repo there is no way we are in violation of any license?

Did anybody encounter something simmilar with SUSE or has any thoughts on this? oO

Best regards,

Hello Kai -

I run sales for the Americas at Rancher. Can you and I please connect live to discuss. I believe I can straighten this out with you. THX.

Hello Jamie,

thanks for your reply - since i am from germany and my company is in contact with our local SUSE sales rep´s i would like you to answer the following question with a simple yes or no (i think that is important to know for others here on the forum as well and should not be discussed only in “private”):

Is there a a situation possible where one company can be legaly forced by SUSE to pay for the Rancher “free” product although the website states and i quote “free forever” ( and even a KB Article stating the following: “Yes. Rancher products are 100% open source and free to use for anyone. There are no hidden product features that are unlocked by signing up for a Rancher Support subscription.” ([Rancher] Is the Rancher software itself completely free (outside of the choice to add support or not add support)? Meaning if we choose no support, we can still run the same full features software? | Support | SUSE)

To describe the “surroundings” of our Rancher-Installs:

  • Virtualizer: Vmware vSphere
  • Host for Rancher-Docker Container: Ubuntu
  • K8s-Cluster-Nodes spawned by Rancher: Ubuntu

Other SUSE Products in use:

  • SUSE Patchmanager for our heterogeneous Linux Environments (SLES, Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat) including the K8s-Nodes
  • SLES Instances

Best regards,

1 Like

I’m curious as well.

There are some horror stories about current Rancher + Harvester pricing: The only thing worse than cloud pricing is the enterprisey alternatives

If SUSE actually can submit some start up/small company to pay - it may end very bad, especially for person advocating for Rancher adoption.

Hello Again Kai -

Yes, Rancher is open source and therefore available for free .

In addition SUSE offers Rancher Prime which comes with support. This is a product available via a subscription.