Cloud Native Trends: What to Watch Out for at CloudNativeCon and KubeCon EU

The Datawire team are super excited to be part of the upcoming CloudNativeCon / KubeCon EU conference, held on May 2-4th in Copenhagen, and we’ve enjoyed looking through the program trying to plan our schedule. We believe we’ve spotted three core trends within the cloud native space — developer experience, security and service meshes — which we’re keen to learn more about!

Developer Experience (DevEx / DX)

We’ve talked about the concept of “developer experience” (DevEx or DX) before in a TheNewStack article “Kubernetes and PaaS: The Force of Developer Experience and Workflow”, and Sam Jarman also has written a great Medium post on the topic of “The Best Practices for a Great Developer Experience (DX)”. DevEx is the equivalent to User Experience (UX), but in this case the user of the software or system is a developer or development team.

The first talks in this topic that we have added to our schedule is “Seamless Development Environments on Kubernetes using Telepresence” by Ara Pulido. Many of us are working on systems where it is challenging to deploy our entire application on a local development machine, and Telepresence allows an engineer to develop services locally as if they were running in your Kubernetes cluster. It does this by proxying pods to your local machine and gives your local services seamless access to the remote service discovery and volumes.

We are also interested in “Git-push Workflows (using git hooks) for Deploying Applications on Kubernetes” by Tanmai Gopal and Vamshi Surabhi Rao, as the Heroku and Cloud Foundry PaaS approach to workflow is very powerful. Of course, we can’t forget the importance of build pipeline tooling, and therefore it’s great to see James Strachan talking more about “Jenkins X: Easy CI/CD for Kubernetes”. Jenkins X is proposed as a sub-project of the classic Jenkins CI/CD tool, and is tailored to focus exclusively on Kubernetes and cloud native use cases. We are also keen to look at other build tooling like Spinnaker, and so “Experience Report – Evolving a Continuous Delivery Workflow to Kubernetes using Spinnaker” by Gard Rimestad and Øyvind Ingebrigtsen Øvergaard is on our schedule.

Security

Security is an integral part of any technology solution, and often receives even more scrutiny within the enterprise context, and so it’s great to see more security-focused talks at this year’s KubeCon. Our first scheduled talk within this space is “Good Enough for the Finance Industry: Achieving High Security at Scale with Microservices in Kubernetes” by Zachary Arnold and Austin Adams, where they will “show you how we use AWS, Calico, OWASP Dependency Checker, CoreOS’s Clair, and Notary to achieve reliable observable security at the code level, container level, cluster level, and even the AWS account level”

Completely Securing the Software Supply Chain using Grafeas + in-toto” by Lukas Puheringer and Wendy Dembowski, also looks interesting, and we’ve been hearing quite a lot of buzz around Grafeas, an open artifact metadata API that can be used to audit and govern your software development value stream, practices and tools.

Service Meshes

The topic of service meshes was super popular at last year’s KubeCon in Austin, with seemingly every other hallway conversation being about Istio. This KubeCon even has a track dedicated to service meshes, which should spark many more great conversations. We’re especially looking forward to learning more about how ingress and API gateway solutions for north/south traffic integrate with service meshes, which are predominantly for east/west traffic.

Replacing NGINX with Envoy in a Traffic Control System” by Mark McBride has been added to our schedule. The talk looks to complement (or provide an alternative perspective to) NGINX’s recent foray into service meshes with their Istio data plane, nginmesh. For engineers looking for an introduction to this topic, we’ve written a guide for “Selecting an API Gateway for Continuous Delivery of Cloud Native Applications” and “Using API Gateways to Facilitate Your Transition from Monolith to Microservices”.

Envoy, a CNCF hosted project, appears to be rapidly becoming the data plane of choice (although we’re sure the Buoyant team will argue against this in their talk “How to Get a Service Mesh Into Prod without Getting Fired”!), and so there are plenty of Envoy talks. Our choice of a practical use case and implementation is “Introducing Envoy-Based Service Mesh at Booking.com” by Ivan Kruglov. We’re especially interested in the abstract’s mention of “we will expand on what service is provided for developers and how they safely deploy potentially dangerous configuration changes”.

Looking to the future functionality of service meshes, we are definitely interested in attending “Building Hybrid Clouds with Istio” by Allan Naim and Rohit Agarwalla. Kubernetes has arguably become the mainstream realisation of previous attempts at cloud brokerage systems, and many enterprises will look to mitigate the risk of relying on a single cloud vendor by deploying to hybrid solutions across vendors and on-premise.

See You There!

The Datawire team will be hosting a booth in the sponsor area, and we are always keen to chat about any of these topics. We will also be running demonstrations of Telepresence, Ambassador and Forge, and so please come and say hello!

This post is based on an original article written for VMblog.