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  • Chris Munford

VIRTUAL KubeCon + CNC Detroit 2022 My Highlights: Diverse Ecosystem. Multi-Cloud. Platforms.

By Claire (Cleusa) Cobden

Full disclosure, my highlights are based on my virtual experience of the event. That’s right! I watched KubeCon + CNC 2022 from my home, in the Boston area.

The Nethopper team, Chris Munford, Steve Libbey, and Dan Donahue, attended the in-person event in Detroit. And I’ll give a shout-out to Russell Sanders, Matt Wilson, and our European team, Karen Gunn and Anthony Yeates, who joined me online and supported our virtual efforts. Awesome job!

Personally, what did I learn from watching KubeCon NA 2022 from afar? Here are my highlights:

Nurturing a healthy open-source ecosystem

During the opening keynote, Priyanka Sharma, executive director at the CNCF, highlighted the importance of the community and maintainers, and the responsibility to contribute back to the cloud native ecosystem. She also emphasized CNCF’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. The theme of “building for the road ahead” was key to CNCF’s 170K+ maintainers who tirelessly contribute to the cloud native foundation projects.

I’ve heard the event had approximately 8K in-person attendees. The virtual event attendees were estimated to be around 7K. Also, I’ve learned that most of the attendees were at a KubeCon NA event for the first time, an indication that the enterprise is, now, trying to make sense of Kubernetes and the 100+ CNCF’s open source projects.

Speaking of which, who’s really responsible for helping the enterprise make sense of all CNCF’s projects? Not CNCF. CNCF’s point of view is that it is responsible for making sure there is a healthy open-source ecosystem. The rest is up to the startups and other vendors participating in this ecosystem. What it means is that startups, like, have the opportunity to put open-source software together, in a consumable way, for the enterprise to solve key pain points in their digital transformation journey.

What do you call multiple clouds? Wait…what?!

It seems like it would be a simple answer, right? Well…I heard terms like “multi-cloud” (my preference), “hybrid cloud,” “distributed computing,” and “superclouds.” No one is wrong, of course, but the underlying message was: DevOps teams may have started with one cloud, but that’s not the case going forward. In other words. if it was challenging to configure and deliver Kubernetes applications across multiple clusters in one cloud…the complexity will exponentially increase when operating containers across multiple clouds (or hybrid clouds, or distributed computing, or superclouds) and edges.

Platform. Platform. Platform. It’s all about the platform!

By far, the platform was the most talked about topic during the event - from multiple team topologies, by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais, to bold statements by vendors.

I heard that DevOps is dead and being replaced by platform engineering teams. I also heard that SRE’s are the new platform teams. The more experienced folks were saying that the platform approach is nothing new. So, while the jury’s out, I was glad to hear the unanimous agreement about the need for a platform engineering approach to help increase the developer productivity. Why? Because…

  1. Hiring engineers with knowledge and experience on 7 - 10 or 15 tools is difficult and highly competitive. These types of skill-sets are hard to recruit and hire, and even harder to retain. Ease of use to help onboard new comers will go a long way.

  2. Burnout is real and an important topic of conversation within the community. Friction continues to be one of the root causes of the burnout. With the need for developers to move fast and IT teams needing to ensure consistency, predictability and security, both sides of the coin are being asked to do more with less. The right platform approach can alleviate (if not eliminate) the burnout.

  3. When your highly valuable engineers are spending most of their time maintaining an in-house cobbled together solution instead of developing and delivering new features and updates, something is wrong. A platform approach can help DevOps teams focus on creating value and differentiation for their business.

After navigating one talk after another, I’d recommend you learn more about: Upbound, Platform9, Rafay, and our own Nethopper’s Kubernetes Application Operations, a KAOps PaaS, which is a pre-integrated stack of open-source software, featuring ArgoCD GitOps and Multi-Cloud Application Networking functionality. It’s super easy to get started and use - and you can try it for free using your email.

GitOps with Argo Continuous Delivery

The topic of GitOps got a shout out during the opening keynote, and its importance has grown, with the Argo project having its own ArgoCon event, which happened in Mountain View last September. If you’re interested, here is a blog by Steve Libbey. As for the next KubeCon, our own Dan Donahue makes an interesting recommendation for the organizers: “place all the Argo vendors in an area and call it Argo Alley.” Food for thought.

Wrapping it up

The Nethopper in-person and virtual teams were pumped after the event. Of course, my virtual KubeCon NA event did not quite feel the same as being there, in Detroit, having face-to-face conversations. However, it was a great and satisfying experience overall.

For now, tchau-tchau! Until next time.


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