Guest post originally published on the Mia-Platform blog by Giulio Roggero, CTO, Mia-Platform
We live in an ever‑changing world where technology plays a key role in evolution. The ultimate expression of this concept is KubeCon Valencia, the flagship event organized by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF).
This event gathers adopters and technologists from all around the world in a single place, to talk about cloud Native, Opens Sources, Kubernetes and the entire CNCF ecosystem.
From May 18th‑20th our CTO Giulio Roggero and CEO Federico Soncini Sessa were there, and discovered some amazing things. Here you can find a logbook of the most relevant keynote they attended, divided per day, and told by the voice of our CTO.
Follow us in this three‑day tour around Cloud‑Native and OSS Environment!
Day 1, Wed May 18th
Keynotes we followed on day 1:
- Welcome + Opening Remarks
- 7 Years of Running Kubernetes for Mercedes‑Benz
- Finding Your Power to Accelerate to a Sustainable Future
- Supporting the Community – So Open Source Projects Can Grow and Thrive
- How Lombard Odier Deployed VPA to Increase Resource Usage Efficiency
- From Kubernetes to PaaS to … Err, What’s Next?
The first day was definitely overwhelming. Although it was very difficult to choose a lecture to attend, It was exciting to breathe in the innovation and technology environment.
We focused on what we love the most: use cases. But, first things first, we stopped by to watch the opening keynote.
Welcome + Opening Remarks
KubeCon started by talking about diversity, communication, respect, and collaboration. There are more than 7.1 million developers in the CNCF ecosystem, and they have to work together synergically. With such a large community, many questions arise: how to manage so many people? How to manage different opinions? How to avoid tribalism and instead improve collaboration and productivity?
The proposed solution is to give “space” and “grace”. Admit the mistake, resolve it constructively, and be open‑minded by giving space to communication and ideas. The more we embrace this approach, the more we are able to build a true community.
7 Years of Running Kubernetes for Mercedes‑Benz
Next we went to see an interesting use case: 7 Years of Running Kubernetes for Mercedes‑Benz. Kubernetes is a tangled and complicated, therefore Mia‑Platform simplifies its management. We also had the chance to see a real case and how Mercedes‑Benz developers face the challenges we are familiar with.
They talked about some problems they had years ago: for example, separated Dev and Ops tasks, the difficulty of moving into production, and manual processes. Fortunately, they chose Kubernetes as their silver bullet, and made the project a success.
Key concepts of this talk:
- They have migrated to Kubernetes with a young team that was mostly unfamiliar with the enterprise process before. This is a big cultural change that can positively impact the organization.
- They started and failed at the beginning. Then, they chose FOSS and DevOps, they changed their mindset, and now they have 5 platform teams. Failure is part of success.
Finding Your Power to Accelerate to a Sustainable Future
A talk focused on how accelerated digital transformation and increasing data volumes have reinforced the need for energy efficiency in data centers.
During the talk, I thought about how Mia‑Platform can do its part by supporting internal projects such as kube‑green. kube‑green is an open-source project built by Davide Bianchi, Senior Technical Leader at Mia‑Platform, that puts pods to sleep when not in use to reduce your IT’s carbon footprint.
Key concepts of this talk:
- Optimizations can be made on computing, networking, and storage.
- With power‑aware hardware, better workload design, and smart orchestration, our energy consumption and carbon footprint can be reduced.
Supporting the Community – So Open Source Projects Can Grow and Thrive
Modern Software is built on OSS, and the success of any open-source projects depends on the ability of building a strong and active community around the project itself. The goal of this talk was to give some advice on how to create a good community ecosystem, to enhance the adoption and the growth of open source softwares.
Some of interesting guidelines:
- Give people time to contribute to your project;
- What’s next? Have a clear vision: roadmap, contributing guidelines, open issues, contributor blueprint, and so on;
- Let developers learn about your project with training resources;
- Open Source is an open project. Always keep it in mind.
How Lombard Odier Deployed VPA to Increase Resource Usage Efficiency
Container orchestrators have become the de‑facto standard for deploying a wide variety of workloads. To manage the pressure on resource usage and hardware costs, Kubernetes offers a set of tools to make the most out of the infrastructure. It was insightful to learn how other companies map at the orchestrator and runtime levels and try to optimize resource usage. I really appreciate some tips about lessons learned from the early adoption of container orchestrators.
Key concepts of this talk:
- Do not oversize for the startup;
- VPA does not help with cluster sizing.
From Kubernetes to PaaS to… Err, What’s Next?
This was one of my favorite one, amazing talk with an amazing speaker. The main topic revolved around one key concept: when we need a Kubernetes platform, are we looking for a PaaS or some kind of developer control plane with a collection of tools that provides just the right amount of platform? As a platform enabler, very often I take a break to think about the future of digital platforms, what direction they will take, and how we can bring the Developer Experience more and more to the center.
Good points that I loved in this talk:
- Treat platform as a product;
- DevEx needs good UX (not UI);
- Focus on workflows and tools interoperability.
Day 2, Thu May 19th
Keynotes we followed on day 2:
- Securing Shopify’s Software Supply Chain
- Landscape Sustainability: The Pillars of Cloud Native Growth
- Building Bridges: Cloud Native and High Performance Computing
- Bringing Chaos Engineering to the Cloud Native Developers
The second day started with a delicious breakfast, and then we went straight to KubeCon for many new panels and keynotes.
On this day we took the time to talk with OSS adopters and other attendees. It was a great opportunity to create a network, compare notes, and discover things we have in common.
Securing Shopify’s Software Supply Chain
As I mentioned, I really appreciate when experts share their case studies, as Shopify did in this talk.
When you have to protect millions of businesses, you have to rely on high‑level technologies, and it is amazing that some of these technologies are open source. They showed how traditional defensive techniques can be applied in the cloud, how to control software running in the cluster, and how the SLSA framework can guide you toward building trust in your software. We were thrilled to see that they use Falco OSS as we do!
Here some frameworks that I noted during the speech:
Landscape Sustainability: The Pillars of Cloud Native Growth
An interesting keynote on the future of the CNCF community.
We know that the adoption and development of new tools have created both the ecosystem and community as we recognize them today. However, to keep growing, we need to identify the sustainability pillars of the community. It was fascinating to note the most recent and high‑impact projects and initiatives that are leading to the ubiquity of cloud native.
Some cloud‑native pillars that I noted:
- Open governance for different software maturity stages (sandbox, incubation, graduation);
- Tech advancements and interoperability, such as: Open standards, Open metrics, open service mesh, open GitOps, open functions, open clusters, and so on.
Building Bridges: Cloud Native and High Performance Computing
An interesting topic on how to bridge the gap between Cloud‑Native technologies and High Performance Computing (HPC). It was really surprising to see that there are still blue oceans where cloud‑native technologies have no impact yet.
For example, CERN runs a super distributed computer with 40 gb/sec, low latency, high throughput, Numa‑aware executor, software distribution, advanced scheduling, and millions of jobs. By advanced scheduling I don’t mean just pods, but also queues, priorities, resource optimization, bandwidth scheduling, and job arrays.
Imagine the benefits of cloud‑native applications in this context.
Bringing Chaos Engineering to the Cloud Native Developers
In this session, we discussed the role of Chaos Engineering and how developers can use cloud native chaos tests to verify the resilience of their application, even before the code is merged. TTD and testing frameworks are topics close to my heart: just ask the people who develop in Mia‑Platform.
It was very interesting to see how the Litmus chaos tool works and to see in practice how developers can run tests as part of the development process, rather than just on CI.
Day 3, Fri May 20th
Keynotes we followed on day 3:
- Nurturing The Whole Project
- How Developers Help Scale Kubernetes Security
- Push It to the Limit: From Canary Deployments to Canary Clusters
- Kubernetes Everywhere: Lessons Learned From Going Multi‑Cloud
- Composability is to Software as Compounding Interest is to Finance
The last day is always a whirlpool of emotions. You know you have to use all your energy to attend as many keynotes as possible and meet people you haven’t had a chance to see yet.
Nurturing The Whole Project
Creating an open source project can be a daunting mission. There are many tasks to do: you have to create a community, publicize the project, and so on. We’ve had some experience with our OSS micro‑lc and kube‑green, but this keynote helped me understand (and realize) that launching an OSS is difficult but possible, and that there is a community of contributors committed to helping CNCF projects succeed.
Here some resource shared during the keynote:
How Developers Help Scale Kubernetes Security
Proper protection of applications deployed on Kubernetes is now a shared responsibility. The declarative nature of Kubernetes allows security to be deeply integrated into development workflows, allowing developers to be responsible for security issues.
I absolutely agree, but this talk made me think: how can developers be more involved in security issues and how can they create more reliable applications? In my experience, solving a security problem is like a race: you have to complete it as quickly as possible. This keynote made me realize that solving a security problem should become a normal activity like other development activities. Will we succeed in this change of perspective?
Push It to the Limit: From Canary Deployments to Canary Clusters
A Lunar Bank success on moving from Canary Deployments to Canary Clusters. An interesting success case on disaster recovery, with some compelling results:
- Any engineer can perform a failover in production;
- Failover operation is reduced to 5 automated steps;
- No GitOps branching;
- Time reduction for a failover: from 4 hours to 40 minutes.
It is also interesting how they federated clusters and how they created a tool to align two federated clusters for disaster recovery from the same repo.
Kubernetes Everywhere: Lessons Learned From Going Multi‑Cloud
A talk to explore some of the differences in network services and managed Kubernetes across providers: we saw how Grafana discussed the approaches we took to scale the infrastructure on multiple environments. I really admired the comparison between the various services on the cloud provider.
Here some recommendations and key concept from the talk
- Provider services are similar but not the same;
- Start with IaC and Git;
- Docker hub has rate limit: so you can pull cache with a mirror registry;
- Capacity of cloud providers is limited. It’s important to be aware of quotas.
Composability is to Software as Compounding Interest is to Finance
Composability is now a buzzword that everyone in the IT world has heard at least once.
In Mia‑Platform we emphasize a lot on composability and the related topic: Platform Company. This is a company model in which the business model is based primarily on an ecosystem of digital products that generate profits and in which the IT infrastructure is based on composability, modularity, and scalability. This allows, on the one hand, maximum interoperability and integration with its partners and the creation of true collaborative ecosystems and, on the other hand, it puts the customer at the center of the business logic, opening channels of communication and exposure of immediate business data and providing digital services that meet its evolving needs.
Back to the talk, It was interesting to see how the composability of cloud native has contributed to the growth of the public cloud, generated many successful startups, given meaningful careers to a wide variety of people, and how driving into composable ecosystems compounds business value.
KubeCon Valencia 2022 turned out to be a wonderful discovery. We realized that, as Mia‑Platform, we are on the right track, and we are happy to be part of such an active landscape of companies, startups, tools, and innovators. We strongly believe in CNCF’s great work to create an even more interoperable ecosystem, supported by a community of fantastic adopters.
At the end of this amazing journey, here is my key concept from Kubecon:
- There is much more focus on sustainability issues and more ethical use of IT;
- Kubernetes has changed and will continue to change the way we do business;
- It is not the big companies that make great code, but it is always the developer who is the beating heart of IT innovation.
I really enjoyed my stay, and we will definitely attend the next events: KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2022 (October 24th‑28th) and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Amsterdam 2023 (April 17th-21th).
See you there!