If you couldn’t get to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024 this year, we’ve got you covered. Here are highlights from the first day, which included a number of exciting co-located events. 

Cloud Native AI Day Europe

When it comes to AI, synergy with existing cloud native technologies, processes and practices will make adoption more successful for everyone. That’s the conclusion of the “Beyond the Clouds: Charting the Course for AI in the Cloud Native World” panel during the Cloud Native AI Day Europe co-located event. One example of how this could work came from Ricardo Aravena of TruEra, who suggested that specs like OCI can work together with large language models (LLMs) to distribute models across different cloud native projects. More broadly, Aravena asked the question that’s probably on everyone’s mind: “How can we use AI technology to improve cloud native environments?”

Platform Engineering Day Europe 

Marvin Beckers, a maintainer of kcp, gave an overview and an example of how and why to use kcp, during his presentation “Building a Platform Engineering API Layer with kcp.” Beckers recommended using Kubernetes at the API layer because the Kubernetes API “is awesome” as it is very consistent. But, CRDs are cluster-scoped, so everyone shares them, and scaling becomes a problem at some point. 

Kcp helps platform engineers connect infrastructure and service providers to developers and other users as it builds a global control plane for API-driven platforms. The workspaces allow you to reconstruct organizational hierarchy, and providing Kubernetes style apis at scale is incredibly easy.

Also, a panel discussion on building, buying or adopting a platform (“Platform Rock-Paper-Scissors: Build, Adopt, Buy”) generated a great list of issues to consider including:

AppDeveloperCon Europe

Application modernization is a concept everyone talks about, but what does it mean and why should organizations consider this? That’s what George Hantzaras, director of engineering at MongoDB, addressed during his AppDeveloperCon presentation, “Application Modernization From Concept to Kubernetes.” MongoDB has spent the last year working on application modernization, Hantzaras said, and over that time it became clear that teams should focus on three areas: refactor, replatform, and rehost. It’s a process, but it’s made easier by leveraging cloud native tools including Dapr (which embraces a wide diversity of development languages, frameworks, and infrastructures) and Backstage (to streamline the process of building new services). Internal developer platforms are also critical to this process, and Hantzaras recommends the “vibrant” CNCF working group, the Cloud Native Operational Excellence effort, and the new BACK Stack, a composable internal developer platform that uses Backstage, ArgoCD, Crossplane, and Kyverno. 

Cloud Native Startup Fest

A fully packed house for the VC talk with Kelsey Hightower and VCs Aneel Lakhani from Crane Venture Partners, Megan Reynolds from Vertex, and Michael Yamnitsky from Insight Partners. During the panel presentation “Venture Capital and Open Source: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” the VCs discussed what they look for in companies they believe are going to “return the fund”, but also what they look for in the founders. And they provided insight into what it takes to make a startup successful.

Founders need to be sales people, they need to understand how to build a company, and how to hire and scale. Now that the era of 0% interest is over, VCs can provide more than just funding: they can offer mentorship and advice on when and how to hire, sales, pricing, and more to founders. So many problems are common across startups – VCs will have the experience to advise and partner instead of just writing a check.

VCs are always looking to make big bets, but they are looking for products that have a large addressable market and are solving a real problem. When there is only a prototype and minimal users, they can help find possible customers and get feedback from them.

ArgoCon Europe

Argo Maintainers, Caelan Urquhart, Pipekit & Bertrand Quenin, Intuit, provided real-world examples in “Scaling Cloud Native CI/CD with Jenkins and the Argo Projects.”

Bertrand described resolving issues with using a Jenkins CI/CD pipeline with a use case based on CI/CD at Intuit, a very large operation with over 6000 developers. Some challenges were lack of insights, not being able to fail “fast”, plugin updates and permissions management issues, no unified control plane, and not cloud native (resource utilization is suboptimal). But with Jenkins and Argo, the Argo apps synchronized deployments and the Argo rollouts allowed for progressive delivery and automated analysis and rollbacks.

Caelan Urquhart gave more details with a specific demo of an example pipeline and offered a free Argo CI/CD pipeline example on GitHub. In the talk, he spun up an Argo workflow in real time and walked through all the steps. Urquhart provided the rationale for using Argo, starting with the one-step on pod. But it is also possible to dynamically provision and autoscale pods, achieve parallelism by default, enjoy lightweight deployment and maintenance, achieve seamless integration with Argo CD, and define workflows with YAML or Python. 

OpenTofu Europe

A standing-room-only crowd watched how easy it is to leverage OpenTofu and Infracost to track and ultimately decrease cloud spending and more in a presentation from Rufaida Mugalli of Liquid Reply during her OpenTofu Day presentation, “Code Smarter, Spend Wiser: Infracost & OpenTofu Unleashed.” Leveraging infrastructure as code can be fast and easy, letting teams code smarter.  

The latest news from CNCF

It was a busy day!

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