The free course is now generally available 

We are excited to announce that the Linux Foundation Training & Certification’s free Intro to Cilium course is now broadly available. We sat down with Jef Spaleta to take a closer look at the Cilium project, why this course was created, and who should take it. 

Q: Can you tell us what Cilium is?

Jef: Cilium is an open source, cloud-native solution for networking, observability, and security, powered by the revolutionary Kernel technology eBPF.

Q: Why did you create this course?

Jef: In a world of distributed computing, networking has become a critical component of the platform that connects everything together. We see that importance in the energy around the project. Cilium is one of the fastest-moving projects at CNCF and the default networking solution for every major cloud provider’s Kubernetes offering. We created this course so that learners could have an approachable introduction to the benefits of Cilium in their cloud native deployments. Cilium has become a standard component in cloud platforms, and learners should be aware of its benefits as they run into Cilium in the industry,

Q: Who do you think will benefit the most from this course?

Jef: I think the people who are planning on using Kubernetes in production deployments will benefit the most from this course. Cilium provides basic networking as a Kubernetes CNI, but its features really begin to shine once you have cloud-scale deployments, with diverse workloads. Learning how Cilium works before your Kubernetes deployments reach cloud scale, puts you ahead of the game to gracefully handle the networking challenges that come as the scale and complexity of your environment grows.

Q: What are the top three things you hope students take away from this course?

Jef: Cilium has so many great features it is really hard to narrow it down to just three, but if I had to I would tie them to Cilium’s main use cases to get people’s feet wet in each one:

  1. Networking:  to provide networking in a Kubernetes cluster
  2. Observability: How to use Cilium’s Hubble observability tool to troubleshoot networking issues inside your clusters
  3. Security: How to use Cilium network policy to secure pod-to-pod communications inside your Kubernetes clusters

Q: Where do you see the Cilium project in the next couple of years?

Jef: Cilium has already become a standard part of cloud native platforms and has a great feature set to support many use cases across networking, observability, and security. As the number of end users with complex cloud scale deployments grows, I’m looking forward to hearing more stories about how they leverage advanced features like Cluster Mesh and Cilium Service Mesh.  I’m particularly excited about the ongoing work to have Cilium support Kubernetes Gateway API and the effort to manage external workloads, such as VMs, as part of a common Cilium networking infrastructure that spans Kubernetes and non-containerized workloads. I think Tetragon is also poised to transform the security space in the next few years. Maybe you’ll see me back soon for a follow up course about security observability and runtime enforcement.

Q: What role does Cilium play in the cloud native landscape?

Jef: I think the Cilium project has really championed the idea of using eBPF to efficiently solve the networking challenges that come with scaling ephemeral container service infrastructure. I think this is really important, scaling efficiently to cloud scale is hard and the dynamic nature of containers cuts across some of the traditional Linux networking stack design in a way that’s challenging to solve efficiently without eBPF. The Cilium project contributors, I think, are really driving at creating a networking solution that makes sense for cloud native container platforms.

Q: Why do you think the cloud native ecosystem needs this course now?

Jef: Now that Cilium has applied for CNCF graduation, it’s a great time to introduce a companion course focused on the mature network connectivity, observability, and security capabilities Cilium brings to Kubernetes. 

Q: Once students are done with the course, where can they go to learn more?

Jef: The best things to do after this course are to join Cilium’s community and head over to the Cilium getting started documentation. This course focuses on the most mature Cilium features, but the Cilium project documentation has tutorials and guides for the newer features as well.

Sign up for the course today!