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Rancher Government Leads the Charge at Workloads at the Tactical Edge Forum

February 23, 2024

The battlefield is digital, risks are cyber-physical, and geopolitics demands constant adaptation. The U.S. government and military need agile, adaptable solutions. Enter Rancher Government Solutions, proud sponsor of the Workloads at the Tactical Edge Forum. This event, held in collaboration with the Potomac Officers Club, brought together public and private sector leaders to explore how Kubernetes containerization technology is fueling mission success at the edge.

Rancher Government at the Center of Innovation

Rancher Government’s CEO Paul Smith, CTO Brandon Gulla, and VP of Sales Tricia Fitzmaurice joined industry experts to discuss enhancing operational capabilities in remote locations. Keynote speaker Dr. Mark Linderman, Chief Scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate, highlighted several emerging trends:

  • Neuromorphic processing and AI at the edge: IBM’s NorthPole chip holds exciting potential to revolutionize edge computing.  
  • Quantum computing: While a long-term bet, it is an active area of interest across the Department of Defense.  

Kube-in-a-box and Agile Combat Employment: These approaches to Kubernetes deployment on U2s and ACE are hot topics as missions look to enable rapid and secure operations at the edge.

For a deeper look into specific trends, explore this article highlighting Dr. Linderman’s discussion on AFRL’s newest developments. 

La'Naia Jones
Paul Smith
Tricia Fitzmaurice
Dr. Linderman

The forum further benefited from closing keynote speaker La’Naia Jones, Chief Information Officer and Director, Information Technology Enterprise for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Her remarks on partnering with the government industry and prioritizing secure software resonated deeply with Rancher Government’s commitment to collaboration and providing agile and secure solutions to government customers.  

As Paul Smith noted, “Ms. Jones’ comments about partnering with the GovCon community ring true. Her mention of the sanctity of software being sacrosanct hits at the heart of what we do at Rancher Government. We provide reliable, predictable, trusted, and supported solutions to the many innovations in the open-source community, especially at the edge.”  

Tackling Challenges Head-On

In addition to the discussion on emerging trends and community partnership, the panel highlighted several critical challenges, including:

Legacy Systems

Many government agencies grapple with the challenges of overhauling their legacy systems, impeding their ability to adapt to changing environments and thrive in resource-constrained environments.  

>> RGS Approach: Instead of the typical rip-and-replace methods, Rancher Government advocates for the incremental inclusion of cloud-native, secure-by-default solutions on any platform, such as Rancher’s RKE2 solution. A DISA STIG-certified Kubernetes distribution available for government customers, RKE2, is built to run on mission-critical infrastructure on-prem, in the cloud, or at the edge.

IT Gap

The complexities of Kubernetes and the lack of technical expertise at government agencies can lead to complications if not managed properly. Government IT often faces the risk of taking shortcuts that eventually result in inefficiencies and potential system overhauls.  

>> RGS Approach: Rancher Government Services’ support subscription emerges as the bridge that fills this gap, with experts skilled in governmental infrastructure, automation, cloud operations, security, compliance, and more. With Rancher MCM, implementing and managing a Kubernetes strategy is simplified into a single pane of glass.  

Unique Mission Needs

Government operations aren’t typical IT setups. Intertwined with national security and public welfare and bound by stringent regulations, they are in a league of their own.  

>> RGS Approach: Recognizing this nuance, Paul Smith explained, “Rancher prioritizes government-grade hardening and open-source security best practices. We offer reliable, predictable, and trusted solutions, aligning with mission-critical needs.” These solutions are tailor-made and trusted by the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and civilian agencies. See a comprehensive list of our solutions here.  

Want to learn how to leverage the power of secure-by-default Kubernetes container management at the tactical edge? Download our white paper and explore how Rancher Government can help achieve mission success anywhere – from the data center to the tactical edge. 

Interested in learning more about our secure by default Kubernetes solutions?