Five Takeaways from KubeCon Europe 2019

Buenos días from Barcelona! The XebiaLabs team is at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon to connect with cloud and container experts, to learn about the latest open source developments around Kubernetes, and to talk to DevOps teams that are adopting cloud technologies and scaling cloud usage across the enterprise. The conference is packed with people who are as excited about the latest steps forward in cloud technology as we are.

Check it out for yourself!

1. Why KubeCon is called KubeCon

You might wonder why the largest cloud conference in the world has a specific technology in its name. Why is KubeCon called KubeCon?

It’s really simple: if you look into all the different technologies that can support you in your cloud journey, there is one that clearly won the container wars. According to the most recent survey of cloud-native technology use conducted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), 83% of survey respondents use Kubernetes, and 40% of respondents from enterprise companies use it in Production environments.

The CNCF cites three reasons Kubernetes is so popular:

  • It’s really good at orchestrating containers in the cloud
  • It’s a vendor-neutral, open source tool
  • It’s supported by a huge community, with 2.66 million contributions from 56,214 contributors last year alone

2. The power of the Kubernetes community

An active community can help you expand your knowledge of Kubernetes. This community of users has been growing rapidly in the last five years and has built up a tremendous amount of knowledge and content already. Accelerated growth supports the statement that Kubernetes has won the container wars, but the fact that so many people contribute to it is what matters the most. Some useful resources are:

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The XebiaLabs team in action at KubeCon.

3. CNCF projects worth looking into

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) is a software foundation that hosts and nurtures open source tools that you can use to build a cloud-native computing stack for your applications. They’re a major promoter of Kubernetes as well as many different Kubernetes-related projects.

There’s a huge library of CNCF projects that can help you drive software delivery and migrate applications to the cloud. CNCF organizes projects into categories such as Staging, Incubating, and Graduated, so you can easily get an idea of each project’s level of maturity. The Incubating and Graduated categories are both worth exploring, but if you want to run Kubernetes for your enterprise in Production, focus on the tools in the Graduated category.

The latest CNCF graduate is Fluentd, which just hit 100 million Docker pulls. You might ask yourself: Fluentd what? If you’re already looking into the cloud and container space, check it out. It uses a flexible, extendable architecture and a focus on reliability and resource consumption to effectively unify logging from many different sources and output it to various types of data storage.

4. Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery still have a long way to go

Kubernetes and the other cloud and container innovations supported by the CNCF are exciting, but that doesn’t mean that all organizations have embraced cloud-friendly best practices like Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD). During KubeCon, CodeFresh published a survey of 130 developers with some surprising results: 32% of them are not using any type of CI/CD platform, and it takes more than two weeks for 64% of them to push a change to Production.

According to Mike Vizard of DevOps.com, “Organizations of all sizes have embraced DevOps unevenly. In fact, while most organizations have been able to achieve continuous integration with a handful of development teams, very few organizations are anywhere near close to achieving continuous delivery of application code within a production environment.”

It’s clear that simply opening a corporate AWS account or running a few containers on Kubernetes in a Dev environment is not enough to increase automation and accelerate deployment where it really counts: in Production. Organizations need to fully embrace CI/CD practices and eliminate barriers that prevent DevOps teams from continuously delivering value to users.

It’s not the technology that’s slowing you down; it’s the burden of bureaucracy that needs to be killed.

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5. Unifying point solutions for fragmented problems is a challenge

Walking around the KubeCon exhibition hall, or even starting to use Kubernetes yourself, can feel overwhelming. Frameworks and tools for container scanning, load balancing, deployment, monitoring, and much more are being released all the time.

It’s an interesting development, but it immediately raises questions. How do you connect all of those tools together? How do you stay in control of tools and processes? How do you oversee everything that’s happening, across both old and new technologies?

At XebiaLabs, we believe that an end-to-end software delivery pipeline that includes all of the types of tools mentioned above is crucial for driving rapid adoption of cloud and container technologies. And the knowledge to make that happen is critical. For most organizations, one or two innovation teams moving to the cloud is an easy first step; but rolling that out to many DevOps teams is much harder.

Scaling tools is relatively simple compared to scaling skills.

We’ve recently released features such as DevOps as Code, blueprints, and strong support for AWS CloudFormation and Hashicorp Terraform to help teams migrate to the cloud, even as they develop their skills. And we continue to actively develop these capabilities with our large customer base to make your cloud transformation a reality.

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