Skip to content



Spin is a container-based platform at NERSC designed for you to deploy your own science gateways, workflow managers, databases, API endpoints, and other network services to support your scientific projects. Services in Spin are built with Docker containers and can easily access NERSC systems and storage.

For more general information, see the Spin web page.

Rancher 1 versus Rancher 2

Spin is built on the Rancher orchestration system. NERSC is currently supporting two major versions of Rancher:

  • Rancher 1 (deprecated): Originally launched in May 2018, this version of Rancher is based on Docker Compose technology and is entirely driven by command-line interface and YAML markup. Support for Rancher 1 will be provided at least until mid-2021.

  • Rancher 2: Launched in April 2020, this version of Rancher is a major upgrade based on the popular and robust Kubernetes system. It introduces an entirely new web user interface and command line interface.

All Spin users are strongly encouraged to migrate their services from Rancher 1 to Rancher 2 as soon as possible.

Rancher 1 Documentation

Online documentation includes

Rancher 2 Documentation

Online documentation includes

Get Started and Get Help

Instructor-led workshops and self-guided training is available for Rancher 2. For more information, see the Spin Training & Tutorials page.