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Introduced in Rancher v2.6.1, Harvester is an open-source hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software built on Kubernetes. Harvester installs on bare metal servers and provides integrated virtualization and distributed storage capabilities. Although Harvester operates using Kubernetes, it does not require users to know Kubernetes concepts, making it a more user-friendly application.

Feature Flag

The Harvester feature flag is used to manage access to the Virtualization Management (VM) page in Rancher where users can navigate directly to Harvester clusters and access the Harvester UI. The Harvester feature flag is enabled by default. Click here for more information on feature flags in Rancher.

To navigate to the Harvester cluster, click ☰ > Virtualization Management. From Harvester Clusters page, click one of the clusters listed to go to the single Harvester cluster view.

  • If the Harvester feature flag is enabled, Harvester clusters will be filtered out from any pages or apps (such as Continuous Delivery with Fleet) that list Kubernetes clusters.

  • If the Harvester feature flag is disabled, and a Harvester cluster is imported, the Harvester cluster will be shown in the Rancher cluster list in the Cluster Management page. Harvester clusters will only be shown on the cluster list when the feature flag is off.

  • With the Harvester integration, Harvester clusters can now be imported into Rancher as a cluster type Harvester.

  • Users may import a Harvester cluster only on the Virtualization Management page. Importing a cluster on the Cluster Management page is not supported, and a warning will advise you to return to the VM page to do so.

Harvester Node Driver

The Harvester node driver is generally available for RKE and RKE2 options in Rancher. The node driver is available whether or not the Harvester feature flag is enabled. Note that the node driver is off by default. Users may create RKE or RKE2 clusters on Harvester only from the Cluster Management page.

Harvester allows .ISO images to be uploaded and displayed through the Harvester UI, but this is not supported in the Rancher UI. This is because .ISO images usually require additional setup that interferes with a clean deployment (without requiring user intervention), and they are not typically used in cloud environments.

See Provisioning Drivers for more information on node drivers in Rancher.

Port Requirements

The port requirements for the Harvester cluster can be found here.

In addition, other networking considerations are as follows:

  • Be sure to enable VLAN trunk ports of the physical switch for VM VLAN networks.
  • Follow the networking setup guidance here.

For other port requirements for other guest clusters, such as K3s and RKE1, please see these docs.