By definition, something custom is needed because it solves a unique (or specific or snowflake) requirement for one particular team. A product is meant to solve for 1000’s (and more) of teams.
To take on support for custom work is not merely about Rancher Support services looking into tickets and issues reported in them. Besides the cost of the initial vetting and validation effort on the custom work, it has ongoing Engineering and QA impact. Rancher has to keep testing (as QA) the custom work across every next release to make sure that nothing is broken. Maintain knowledge of what the custom work is about and keep maintaining (as Engineering) that piece of code for its entire life cycle including potential improvements as needed.
This is expensive, distracting, and misaligned with the objectives of any product team. Hence, custom work will not be considered for inclusion in product/support. And, any issues in such custom work is considered out of scope of Rancher Support.
That said, here are scenarios and options that could be considered, if what started as custom work by one team is believed to be valuable for many teams and a customer is interested in exploring its productization (and support) in Rancher:
- Rancher is 100% open source. Users are welcome to make contributions / PRs on the public Rancher repos on GitHub. Contributions will be evaluated for inclusion in product, based on merit and alignment with the Rancher roadmap. Customers are welcome to optionally advocate for their contribution via their Rancher Customer Success Manager or Account Executive.
- To accelerate and secure commitment toward productizing a specific work or feature, customer can explore the possibility of a Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) engagement with Rancher on a commercial basis. In this scenario, customer is recommended to request a conversation with Rancher Product Management, via their Rancher Customer Success Manager or Account Executive. Any NRE work shall be pursued by Rancher only if it is determined by Rancher Product Management as being viable and in alignment with the product roadmap and its strategic goals.
Lastly, most Rancher customers that have such custom software have their own dev teams that support and maintain them across the versions of all vendor and open-source software, Rancher included, that they use for their overall solution.