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KubeCon | CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 recap

Jan BeerdenJan Beerden

KubeCon – what a magnificent event it was, this time in Barcelona! And of course, ACA attended once again. Jan and Jeroen were ready for four days of Kubernetes learnings, keynotes, lightning talks, workshops, meetings with software vendors and some small parties. In this blog post, we’ll give a short recap of the KubeCon and CloudnativeCon Europe 2019 event.

First day @ KubeCon | CloudNativeCon

We started off the very first day by going to the AWS Container Day at the Porta Fira Hotel. Since AWS is without a doubt one of the biggest cloud infrastructure providers and they have a strong focus on containers, the Container Day concentrated around the Amazon Kubernetes SAAS product EKS. Amazon is making good progress and involving the Opensource public in their development. We got to speak to the experts behind EKS and got answers to some of our questions such as whether we’d get EKS IAM roles for pods. The answer is: yes, as soon as issue #23 is released. You can find some more info here.

We also paid a visit to the Cloud Native Security Day hosted by Twistlock. This event was filled to the brim with interesting security oriented talks. The key takeaway here was that the security patches or fixes inside the containers should be the responsibility of the development team. The ops team should be able to focus on other security aspects such as the RBAC, network policies, … and observability.

Observability was one of the buzzwords at Kubecon | CloudNativeCon this year. Observability is a measure of how well internal states of a system can be inferred from knowledge of its external outputs. At ACA, we like to think about it as having the right tools in place to get real-time detailed information about our cluster and the applications running in it.

The first day ended with some very interesting lightning talks from Kubernetes users and contributors which gave some valuable insights in other people’s experiences.

Day 2: lots of people, a birthday and a booth party

Our second day started with keynote sessions. It was simply awesome to see about 7,700 like minded individuals, all bound together by Kubernetes! An interesting fact we learned from these keynote sessions was that in the past year, there were 2.66 million contributions (GitHub) to Kubernetes. So cool to see that the community is this large and active! Additionally, there was also a CNCF projects update with Fluentd being the latest graduate.

After the keynote sessions, we tried splitting up to follow as many different sessions according to our own interests. Jan actually missed his first session… Moving through such a large group of people and getting to the other side of the venue proved to be challenging. On the other hand, it was a great testament to how many people were attending KubeCon | CloudNativeCon! Luckily, that didn’t mean we wasted time. There were lots of sponsor booths to have great talks with al the vendors supporting the event.

During the keynote sessions at the end of the second day, Microsoft announced something called SMI or Service Mesh Interface which they released on that day. You can find more information on the Microsoft Open Source blog.

Another keynote introduced two scientists from CERN, who replayed the Higgs Boson experiment with a live analysis of the particle generator’s 67 petabytes of data, using 25,000 CPUs in a Kubernetes environment. The pods fired up in the Google Cloud for the occasion. Ah yes, K8S had its five year anniversary, congratulations!

The day ended with a booth party with tons of loot from the various sponsors. The party gave us the perfect opportunity to talk to some of the software vendors such as DataDog, Linkerd, Rancher, Sysdig, Traefik, Twistlock and many more. NGINX was recently acquired by F5, but we’re happy to tell you that despite what many people feared, NGINX will have more resources for their Open Source activities, not less!

Day 3: Microsoft Azure updates and Kubernetes fun facts

The third day started again with some keynotes from Microsoft Azure and a very important Kubernetes Product Update. Janet Kuo from Google  spoke about the history of Kubernetes, its immense growth and how it has now become the industry standard. There are now more than 100,000,000 GitHub projects and over 31,000 contributors out there! Kubernetes 1.14 is mature and the most stable ever, proving that Kubernetes is here to stay and it’s only getting larger.

We also went to see ‘The Kubernetes Control Plane for busy people who like pictures’ from Daniel Smith at Google. It was a great way to show how the Control Plane works, but now with wonderful graphics. The day ended with some more keynotes. One of them explained the name and graphic of Kubernetes, which has a lot to do with the Star Trek Borg character Seven of Nine. The original name was ‘Project Seven’ and the Kubernetes wheel still has 7 handles.

Day 4: more keynote sessions

The fourth and last day started with – you guessed it – more keynote sessions. In one of them Bryan Liles (VMWare) showed off kind, which is a tool for running local Kubernetes clusters using Docker container ‘nodes’.

Other interesting sessions were about DIY-pen testing with kube-hunter from Liz Rice (Aqua Security). Amy Chen & Eryn Muetzel (VMware) gave some great insights in the way they use Kubernetes namespaces in their “Sharing is Caring” presentation. Definitely worth watching if you’re designing your cluster!

Takeaway for balanced freelance portfolioTakeaway

After four intensive days and another journey through the cloud, we arrived back in Belgium and are already looking forward to the next KubeCon | CloudNativeCon in Europe from 30 March – 2 April 2020!

Since we’ve learned so much and are all about knowledge-sharing, we’ve set up an event in our office in Hasselt to discuss what was announced at KubeCon | CloudNativeCon, upcoming trends and new insights. For free and with snacks and drinks included! 🙂 If you’re interested, you can register here.

System Engineer at ACA IT-Solutions

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