KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018 — What to expect

Tickets are already sold out for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 in Seattle that takes place from December 11-13, and in case you haven’t got yours yet, they’ve opened a waitlist. Everyone has their own reasons for going to these conferences — some to further their education in the advancement of cloud-native computing, some to listen to their favorite speakers, some to rub shoulders with celebrities, and others just for fun. Whatever your reason may be, KubeCon Seattle has a little bit for everyone. Here’s a quick peek at what you can expect if you’re heading to Seattle later this month.

As the name suggests, Kubernetes is very much at the heart of KubeCon with special emphasis on the tools in the ecosystem surrounding it, cloud-native apps and open source tools in particular. Google Cloud Platform’s Kelsey Hightower tweeted once that “Kubernetes is a platform for building platforms. It’s a better place to start; not the endgame.” It isn’t surprising then, that Google has by far the most sessions at the conference and cover almost everything this year with some of its key focuses being most talked about open source tools like gRPC, Knative, Kubeflow, Istio, and Envoy.

Top open source tools

gRPC is an open source remote procedure call system initially developed at Google and is an increasingly popular alternative protocol when Compared to the likes of JSON-over-HTTP. This is mainly because it can dramatically lower (de)serialization costs and features automatic type checking, formalized APIs, and less TCP management overhead.

Kubeflow is a cloud-native platform for machine learning based on Google’s internal machine learning pipelines and is an open, community-driven project to make it easy to deploy and manage an ML stack on Kubernetes. Kubeflow is an open source project dedicated to providing easy to use Machine Learning (ML) resources on top of a Kubernetes cluster. There are about five different sessions on gRPC and three on Kubeflow, including one by Jay Smith and another by Stanley Cheung, both software engineers from Google.

Knative is an open source software layer that helps cloud service providers and enterprise platform operators deliver a serverless experience to developers on any cloud. It’s essentially a collection of components that extend Kubernetes broken down into three major parts: Serving, Build, and Eventing. Knative Serving builds on Kubernetes and Istio, a service mesh that is also covered at the conference. There are four talks on Knative and three on Kubeflow, including one by Joseph Burnett and Mark Chmarny from Google, where they teach you how to scale with Knative.

Istio and Envoy

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon

Istio is another Google-developed open source project that extends Kubernetes capabilities and is extremely popular in the enterprise right now. While it’s essentially a service mesh that layers transparently onto existing distributed applications, it also works as a platform and includes APIs that let you connect to, manage, and secure microservices. An Istio service mesh is logically split into a data plane and a control plane. The data plane is composed of a set of intelligent Envoy proxies deployed as sidecars.

Originally built at Lyft, Envoy is a high-performance C++ distributed proxy designed to mediate all inbound and outbound traffic for all services in the service mesh. Istio leverages Envoy’s many built-in features like dynamic service discovery, load balancing, TLS termination, gRPC proxies, health checks and more. Envoy is deployed as a sidecar and allows Istio to extract a wealth of information about traffic behavior as attributes. The sidecar proxy model also allows you to add Istio capabilities to an existing deployment with no need to re-architect or rewrite code. Both Istio and Envoy are covered extensively in this conference with more than six talks on Istio and an entire day devoted to Envoycon.

IBM, Oracle, and Weaveworks

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon

Big Blue is definitely going to be there showing off its brand new Red Hat, OpenShift and the “Hybrid Cloud.” IBM has been making a lot of money with its cloud conversion business and by legacy customers preferring the hybrid cloud. IBM’s Multicloud Manager allows customers to manage and move their Kubernetes clusters across different clouds and data centers using a single dashboard. Additionally, there is also going to be an entire day of talks, demos, and case studies from stakeholders, customers, and contributors on the OpenShift ecosystem. Speakers include Clayton Coleman, one of the top Kubernetes contributors. For AI and Watson fans, there’s an interesting Keynote about using containers to run AI workloads.

Oracle may have been a bit late to jump on the cloud bandwagon, but they’re there nonetheless and are hosting the Cloud Native Culture and Industry Summit. Those in attendance will get a chance to listen to some of the industry’s top cloud-native minds for an entire day of technical talks and hands-on learning. There’s also going to be an innovator’s panel that will cover all things serverless, including the Fn Project and hear from its creator and former co-founder and CEO of Iron.IO, Chad Arimura. Other speakers include Kris Nova, Ashley McNamara, John Harris, and more.

GitOps is really hot right now and what it refers to is literally using Git everywhere from development to deployment. The idea is to manage everything related to developer operations (DevOps) as code that’s committed to Git and as Weaveworks pioneered the concept, they will be focusing on monitoring and making GitOps work for production Kubernetes. The Weaveworks team will be running a full-day workshop, sharing their expertise as users and contributors of Kubernetes and Prometheus, as well as followers of GitOps practices.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon: The who’s who of cloud-native computing

For those looking for celebrities, you don’t want to miss Brandon Phillips keynotes on the past five years of etcd or Tim Hockins from Google, talking about how our thinking is evolving around API definitions and growth. Kelsey Hightower has been a leader of the Kubernetes community since the beginning and will be interviewed by CNCF executive director Dan Kohn. Carlos Sanchez from Cloudbees will also be there talking about JenkinsX, which is a new open source CI/CD tool for Kubernetes based on Jenkins.

There is also a Public Technical Oversight Committee that features lots of important names like Bryan Cantrill, Brian Grant, Alexis Richardson, and many more. The meeting, which is hosted by the CNCF, invites the community to discuss the project roadmap for 2018. Additionally, the panel on service meshes includes Jason McGee, Tamar Eilam, William Morgan, Louis Ryan, and Zack Butcher. Christian Posta from Red Hat is also going to be doing a talk on service meshes.

All in all, this year’s conference will mainly focus on extending the capabilities of Kubernetes through popular open source tools in the Kubernetes ecosystem. Kubernetes is definitely undergoing a major change from being the platform, to slowly becoming the platform to build platforms. Since its new role relies heavily on the hundreds of open source tools and cloud-native apps that make up its ecosystem, that’s exactly where the focus is this year. With lots of famous, successful, and inspiring individuals covering hundreds of topics and addressing even more issues, it’s not something that people connected to the Kubernetes or open source community would want to miss.

Featured image: Linux Foundation

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