CloudNativeCon and KubeCon: What we learned

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Imagine yourself on a surfboard. You’re alone. You’re paddling out to farther into the sea and you’re ready to catch a giant wave. Only you look to your left, to your right and behind you, and you suddenly realize you’re not alone at all. There are countless other surfers who share your aim.

That’s how developers are feeling about cloud native application development and Kubernetes as excitement builds for the impending wave.

The excitement was apparent during the recent CloudNativeCon and KubeCon joint event in Seattle. More than 1,000 developers gathered to share ideas around the growing number of projects under the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (via Linux Foundation) banner. That includes Kubernetes, one of the foundation’s most significant and broadly adopted projects.

CloudNativeCon KubeCon

Despite the fact that it’s still relatively early days for Kube and cloud native computing, CNCF executive director Dan Kohn said there are plenty of reasons to be excited about cloud native.

In his opening keynote, Kohn highlighted these top advantages that cloud native offers:

  1. Isolation. Containerizing applications ensures that you get the same version in development and production. Operations are simplified.
  2. No lock-in. When you choose a vendor that relies on open technology, you’re not locked in to using that vendor.
  3. Improved scalability. Cloud native provides the ability to scale your application to meet customer demand in real time.
  4. Agility and maintainability. These factors are improved when applications are split into microservices.

It was apparent by the sessions alone that Kubernetes is already seeing enterprise adoption. Numerous big-name companies were presented as use cases.

Chris Aniszczyk, VP of developer programs for The Linux Foundation, shared some of the impressive growth numbers around the CNCF and Kube communities:

And if conference attendance is any indication, the community is poised to grow even more over the next few months. Next year’s CloudNativeCon events in Berlin and Austin are expected to double or triple the Seattle attendance number.

The IBM contribution to Kubernetes

The work IBM is doing with Kubernetes is twofold. First and foremost, IBM is helping the community understand its pain points and contribute its resources, as it does with dozens of open source projects. Second, IBM developers and technical leaders are working with internal product teams to fold in Kubernetes into the larger cloud ecosystem.

“Because Kubernetes is going to be such an important part of our infrastructure going forward, we want to make sure we contribute as much as we get out of it,” IBM Senior Technical Staff Member Doug Davis said at the CloudNativeCon conference. “We’re going to see more people coming to our team, and you’re going to see a bigger IBM presence within the community.”

IBM is also committed to helping the Kubernetes community interact and cooperate with other open source communities. Kubernetes technology provides plug points and extensibility points that allow it to be run on OpenStack, for example.

Brad Topol, a Distinguished Engineer who leads IBM work in OpenStack, explained how the communities are working together:

Serverless momentum continues

Serverless remained a hot topic at CloudNativeCon. IBMer Daniel Krook presented a keynote on the topic, including an overview of OpenWhisk, the IBM open source, serverless offering that is available on Bluemix:

Krook also joined in to provide a solid definition of “serverless,” something that tends to spark debate whenever the topic is broached:

An update on the Open Container Initiative

In a lightning talk, Jeff Borek, Worldwide Program Director of Open Cloud Business Development, joined Microsoft Senior Program Manager Rob Dolin for an update on the OCI. The organization started in 2015 as a Linux Foundation project with the goal of creating open, industry standards around container formats and runtimes.

Watch their session here:

Learn more: “Why choose a serverless architecture?”

IBM Cloud

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