KubeCon 2019 US Day 1 Recap

KubeCon 2019 US Day 1 Recap

Vishal Biyani
Vishal Biyani
Nov 20th, 2019

This is part 1 of the updates on KubeCon, you can find the part 2 here

It’s the time of year again for the KubeCon US conference here in San Diego. From the first KubeCon that InfraCloud team attended in 2016 in Seattle to today – the progress and growth is not a mean feat. As the projects are maturing and adoption is growing we are seeing more mature users and case studies. The day one was exciting with some announcements and real-world use cases.

Kubernetes is going places

From startups to enterprises & government companies to defense organizations – everyone realizes the value that Kubernetes brings to deploying and maintaining applications consistently. The tweet is from the talk given by the Department of Defense (of US I presume) but you can also see it from the meteoric rise in popularity and the adoption of a project such as K3S project from Rancher Labs.

I have to say, I’m really blown away by the #DOD talk at #KubeCon! Really impressive to see the stacks they are using. “We don’t run huge clusters, we run many little clusters, weapon systems, business systems, etc… “ They are even running #kubernetes & #istio on jets! pic.twitter.com/HwmTFi0Qrt

— Andy Domeier (@AndyJD_) November 19, 2019

Gateways, proxies & meshes

As Kubernetes and microservices gain adoption – the network gets at the center of the action. We can clearly see that from proxies being re-written with modern applications and cloud in mind (Envoy is a great example). While LinkerD was one of the first well-developed service meshes, Istio seems to be gaining a lot of popularity in recent times ( Popularity != value ). I personally think there is room for more service meshes solving specific problems in an easier way and it’s good to see efforts such as Consul Connect from Hashicorp, Kuma from Kong and Maesh from Containous. Enterprise decision-makers need to look beyond the buzzword and really figure out the use cases they are trying to solve. To understand the service mesh and if you should implement one, I highly recommend the blog from William Morgan here. Also, nice comparison and reference of various service meshes can be found here.

Policy Management – unified finally!

One of the exciting projects that was talked about during the keynote of Day1 was OpenPolicyAgent (OPA). The project unifies managing policies not only in Kubernetes but across the entire stack. What was even more interesting was that the latest version of OPA now can compile policies to WASM – which gives speed benefit in the range of 20x!

Databases at Cloud Scale

Vitess allows scaling the MySQL database and is one of the open-source projects to graduate from CNCF. The talk by Sugu as part of Keynote highlighted some of the real-world case studies of the Vitess project. This is a great validation and a step forward in running stateful applications on Kubernetes. Look at any big old enterprise company adopting Kubernetes and data is where most of the risk & difficulty lies. I really loved the quote in the talk:

“If your moving to #Kubernetes, Don’t leave your data behind!” by @ssougou from the #KeyNote at #kubecon2019. Congrats @vitessio on graduation! Looking forward to taking @openebs through that CNCF strict lens soon enough! Thanks for the quick summary on the process!

— Kiran Mova (@kiranmova) November 19, 2019

We will see more and more of such stories as the databases and operations mature and the new generation of databases such as YugaByte etc. get adopted.

MultiCloud is real – but it is early!

Day 0 at KubeCon had an event on multi-cloud, aptly named MultiCloudCon. There are interesting projects such as Crossplane which enable consistency across clouds and other commercial offerings such as Anthos from Google & Arc from Microsoft which promise a world of multiple clouds. There are also users doing scheduling across cloud providers etc. The promise is interesting and useful but it is still early stages and there is a lot to be done!

eBPF is changing everything

Cilium is another service mesh and API Gateway. The recently announced Hubble project is a combination of eBPF and Cilium to achieve observability. We will see more and more use cases possible with eBPF which will enable newer paradigms in Kubernetes and beyond.

Tech is good but people make it great!

Lastly, the keynote from Dan and Kelsey were inspiring on how the community has helped each other and grown over the years but one Tweet that sumps has to be this one:

I am a relative newbie to #KubeCon.

What strikes me is the warm, welcoming, and inclusive culture.

People genuinely want to help each other and are excited to reconnect.

Seriously, you seldom find this in other communities — it’s super cool 💜

— Joe Duffy (@funcOfJoe) November 20, 2019

That’s all for Day1 – looking forward to the rest of KubeCon over the next 2 days!

(header image source – Business photo created by dashu83 – www.freepik.com)

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