by Tom Fenton

KubeCon 2019 On The Ground

We were able to spend 4 days at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019, which was put on by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. The event was held in San Diego at the Conference Centre from November 18th to 21st and drew in 12,000 attendees and 300 vendors. This conference is one of three annual meetings put on by CNCF to discuss Kubernetes (K8S) and computing in the cloud. Below is a summary of the announcements made at the convention as well as other items that we found interesting.

The day before the conference official started, there were a few events that we were able to attended. At Cloud Native Storage Day we listened to experts discuss the state of cloud native storage technologies. At said event Diamanti presented the findings of the performance test that we carried out on their K8s appliance. We were also able to set in on Nigel Poulton’s Kubernetes 101 training which we highly recommend.

On the first official day of the conference it was announced that NetApp, Palo Alto Networks and Arm are now Platinum members and Fidelity Investments and Equinix are Gold members of CNCF. This puts the number of CNCF membership at over 500. CNCF also mentioned that more than 100 vendors now provide certified, conformant Kubernetes products.

On the CNCF project side Helm, a package manager that provides a way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes released version 3. CloudEvents, a specification used to describe event data in a common way reached v1.0 and is moving to Incubation. The biggest news around projects was that Jaeger, an end-to-end distributed tracing platform built to help troubleshoot their cloud-native architecture reached Graduated status along with Vitess a cloud native database that was created by Netflix. All of this is a pretty big deal because If a project is selected by CNCF it gives that project a sense of legitimacy and makes it stand out in a very crowded field. CNCF projects are broken out into various categories; Sandbox, Incubator and Graduated. There are now 38 CNCF projects; 8 Graduated, 15 Incubator and 20 Sandbox.

Many announcements were made by vendors during the event. A few that caught our attention are; Rancher Labs announced Rio, a MicroPAAS that runs on any conformant K8S cluster has GA’ed, that Kioxia (formally known as Toshiba Memory) announced their Container Storage Interface (CSI) for Kubernetes for NVMe-oF is for their KumoScale storage product. One of my goals for attending KubeCon this year is to see what solutions are becoming available for the management and governance of K8s. One of the companies that continues to  impress me was Dynatrace; they have a good handle on how to use artificial intelligence (AI) for operations and cloud infrastructure monitoring. Chronosphere is a startup that is leveraging their expertise with M3 to provide a K8s monitoring solution that looks like it has potential. 

All of the major IT vendors were there with VMware had one of the biggest booths where they were showing off Pacifica and Tsunami. HPE announced that they now have K8s all open source solution partial based on the expertise that they got when they acquired BlueData and MapR. IBM was represented by Red Hat.

We heard a lot of chatter around edge computing both Canonical and Rancher Labs have K8s solutions designed to handle edge computing’s unique challenges.  

Walking around the show floor it seemed a lot more corporate and less startup focused like we have seen in the past. This is probable an indicator of its maturity and an influence of major corporations investing their time on K8S.


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