News, Product

Top Takeaways from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon

By | | 5 min read


Summary
Last week’s KubeCon + CloudNativeCon conference in Seattle proved yet again that Cloud Native computing is advancing at tremendous speed. Are you prepared to keep pace?

The Emerald City played host to the North American edition of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2018, bringing together technologists eager to share their knowledge of Kubernetes and Cloud Native topics. The event, hosted by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), sold out over a month before it opened, a strong sign of growing interest in all things cloud.

The figurative 800-pound gorilla at the conference was, of course, Kubernetes (written shorthand as K8s). Perhaps to soften K8s’ reputation for complexity, Phippy the yellow giraffe and her animated friends were on hand to join the CNCF. Popularized by Matt Butcher’s and Karen Chu’s “The Illustrated Children’s Guide to Kubernetes,” Phippy was brought onboard to help developers explain resource management in distributed Cloud Native applications to friends, family and whoever else will listen.

The Omnipresent Cloud

Cloud computing continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and with the rise of IoT and edge computing, the cloud is showing up everywhere. Thanks to the hard work spearheaded by the CNCF, cloud-optimized platforms—everything from public cloud infrastructure to a secure private cloud in a datacenter—are now open to a broader range of workloads. You may be interacting with a Cloud Native workload right now, in fact. From your car acting as an edge cloud (or node)—making sure you arrive safely and timely to your destination—to the infrastructure powering this blog, the cloud is ubiquitous and evolving.

Projects Charging Forward

As noted by Aqua Security technology evangelist Liz Rice in her keynote, the CNCF has seen tremendous growth in recent years with the number of projects, with this year’s Seattle attendance more than doubling the 2017 turnout in Austin. Key projects are advancing, too. Envoy, which provides a scalable service mesh for communications between microservices and components, and Prometheus, an open-source systems monitoring and alerting toolkit, became graduated projects this year, joining Kubernetes at the CNCF’s highest maturity level. In addition, a year-over-year comparison of the CNCF Landscape (an interactive guide of Cloud Native technologies), shows more icons being squeezed onto a single webpage—a good indication of more CNCF projects and vendors being brought onboard.

If Kubernetes is Happy, Are You?

The Kubernetes Web UI can give you a quick view of cluster health. And if you don’t see any red on the dashboard, all’s right with the world…right? Not necessarily. Cluster health only tells part of the story. Kubernetes is designed to be generic for a wider swath of workload placement. Applications that hog cluster infrastructure by triggering an autoscaler can go unnoticed until the cluster limits are reached. Advancements like Operators can help make Kubernetes more application-specific, but too often the end-to-end picture of the user journey is incomplete. AppDynamics for Kubernetes monitoring can add value in monitoring both the Kubernetes platform and workloads placed on Kubernetes clusters. The efficiency and health of your Kubernetes platform, and the complete picture of the user journey—which can transverse Kubernetes and non-Kubernetes workloads—can be monitored with AppDynamics.

Focus on Your Customers

With technology changing so rapidly, it’s easy to feel left behind if you’re not adopting the latest stack. At the conference, Aparna Sinha, Google’s Product Manager for Kubernetes, gave an excellent interview on trends and capabilities of Kubernetes and KNative. A lot of what is driving this rapid change is direct feedback from Google’s customers.

Organizations of all sizes are striving to strengthen the customer experience, but often it’s challenging to justify technology infrastructure to meet business or customer outcomes. AppDynamics is the premier platform for monitoring and enhancing the user journey across your Cloud Native applications. We’re continuing to expand our level of automation in orchestrators such as Kubernetes and Mesos, and we’re working to enable these platforms to take truly autonomous actions to enhance the user experience.

AIOps: Decision Center for Orchestrators

AIOps is one of those buzzwords that seems to be everywhere these days, and for good reason. The power that AIOps brings is its ability to guide orchestrators to act by analyzing and hypothesizing outcomes. Kubernetes and other orchestrators like Mesos and Nomad are very good at action (e.g., triggering a scaling event). Where they fall short, though, is in analyzation because, again, they are trying to capture a wide swatch of workloads. The worst case scenario is that an autoscaler keeps getting triggered within a cluster—perhaps due to run-of-the-mill memory pressure or network saturation—and the resource manager can’t place work anymore, leading to a queue of unfulfilled requests. Depending on the organization, a frantic Slack to an SRE would not be far behind.

With AIOps, this event could be avoided: the system could spot the trend and redeploy a version of the application and application infrastructure better suited to the load. Coupled with the power of Cisco’s stack, AIOps-infused AppDynamics will soon be more resilient without operator intervention.

Better Together

AppDynamics was excited to partner with Cisco at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon to run joint sessions on Cisco Cloud Center and the AppDynamics platform. We’re increasing our cross-pollination with Cisco Container Platform and Cisco Cloud to monitoring and manage the next generation of workloads, too.


Ravi Lachhman, in Cisco’s booth, gives a presentation on Cloud Native infrastructure.

If the pace of Cloud Native innovation keeps up with CNCF expansion, next year is certainly going to be exciting. AppDynamics and Cisco are the engine that helps combine technical decisions with business outcomes. Be sure to sign up for and watch Cisco’s Cloud Unfiltered Podcast, which includes interviews with the key technologists moving cloud workloads forward.

See You in SD!

We’re excited to see what next year has in store for the CNCF and Cloud Native workloads. KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2019 will take place in sunny San Diego, and we hope to see you there. Don’t forget to fire up your favorite learning platforms such as Katacoda and Cisco DevNet to sharpen your Cloud Native skills. See you in San Diego!