KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2019 wrap-up

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2019 is a wrap. Kubernetes is immensely popular, and one of the best places that shows is KubeCon. The show had over 7.500 attendees in Barcelona this May, up from about 4.500 last year.

CNCF Project announcements

The Cloud-native Computing Foundation is the driving force behind the show and the cloud-native landscape. During their keynote, the CNCF gave an update about the ins and outs of open source projects in their portfolio.

There are now 38 CNCF projects split up into three categories (Graduated or mature, Incubator or maturing and Sandbox or high-potential projects): 6 Graduated, 16 Incubator and 16 Sandbox.

The major changes in the projects are:

  • fluentd, an Open Source Data Collector and Unified Logging Layer, has graduated.
  • Linkerd (secure service mesh), Helm v3.0 (application packaging), Harbor v1.8 (container repository), Rook 1.0 (storage orchestration), CRI-O (container run-time), TiKV (a unifying distributed storage layer) were placed into the incubator stage.
  • OpenEBS, (container attached storage) was placed into Sandbox.
  • The CNCF also announced that OpenCensus and OpenTracing are merging into a product called OpenTelemetry.
  • Kong, a scalable and distributed microservice abstraction layer, was added as a Gold Member in CNCF.

Other cloud-native announcements

Many other cloud-native players made announcements during the event. A few of the most notable are:

  • VMware announced the acquisition of Bitnami, an application packaging solution providing the largest catalog of click-to-deploy applications and development stacks for major cloud and Kubernetes environments.
  • Rancher Labs announced Rio, a MicroPAAS that runs on any K8S cluster, simplifying how developers create the scaffolding of dependencies for development projects.
  • VMware released Velero 1.0, an open source backup and restore, disaster recovery, Kubernetes migration tool. Velero, formally known as ARK,  is now part of VMware through the Heptio acquisition.
  • Microsoft announced Service Mesh Interface (SMI), a standardized set of APIs for service mesh interoperability across Istio, Linkerd, and Consul Connect.
  • Visual Studio Code’s open source Kubernetes extension has come to version 1.0. The extension integrates native Kubernetes into Visual Studio Code. The 1.0 milestone means production management of Kubernetes clusters is fully supported.
  • IBM released razee.io, a tool to manage, monitor and deploy Kubernetes clusters at scale. Razee helps teams to build a CI/CD pipeline to manage inventory and do deployment at scale. Some cool features included self-updating clusters, rule and label based configurations, feature flags and a dynamic inventory to record what’s running in each cluster.

Feeling out the atmosphere

KubeCon EU 2019 had a definite feeling of ‘how do I do [x] in production?’, and is a sign of the Kubernetes ecosystem maturing. Much of the discussion amongst practitioners is about managing and operating Kubernetes in production, also called ‘day 2 operations’. Many talks were about exactly that. It’s striking to see the amount of infrastructure engineers attending the conference.

This also leads to more traditional concerns of Infrastructure Operators, like managing the lifecycle of data (it’s not surprising that the Kubernetes community is talking about storage a lot), networking, security and monitoring.

Seeing that attention for operational concerns like upgrading, scaling and securing is a clear sign of the struggles organizations are now dealing with. 2019 will be the year of Kubernetes’ further maturity in operational aspects. The big take-away for this year’s KubeCon is not just the cutting-edge companies running Kubernetes, but it’s the mainstream that is beginning to nibble at Kubernetes in production at scale. KubeCon EU will come to Amsterdam in 2020, so we’ll see what the buzz is about in a year’s time!