Gerhard Lazu changelog.com/posts

The best bits from KubeCon EU 2022

hallway track discussions & upcoming #shipit episodes

Now that everyone is back after KubeCon EU 2022, and all caught up with their notifications, it’s time for one more story of people, tech & upcoming #shipit episodes:

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 in 7by7 format
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 in 7by7 format

There are no words that would do justice to the amount of talented, hard-working & humble people that came together in the welcoming Valencia, Spain. The pictures above still fall short. There are 4k+ other pictures here that do a better job. This is my attempt to capture a fraction of the delight that was KubeCon CloudNativeCon EU 2022.

I will start by focusing on the people that went above and beyond. You are the reason why the Cloud Native community thrives and goes from strength to strength. All your hard work and passion make this conference the best one in the world for me. It is a privilege to be part of such an amazing group of people.

Priyanka, thank you for the energy and happiness that you bring to every KubeCon. You make the keynotes extra special - this one is a great watch - and I always end up positively charged listening you talk. Ship It! #52 is another case in point.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Priyanka Sharma
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Priyanka Sharma

Adolfo, your hard work & commitment to what I think is one of the most important causes in the cloud native space right now - securing our software - is recognised by everyone I spoke to. We are all excited for the first signed K8s v1.24 release. Ship It! #53 has the rest of the context.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Adolfo García Veytia, Chainguard
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Adolfo García Veytia, Chainguard

Mauricio, your kindness and good fun is in every KubeCon selfie that I’ve seen on Twitter during the conference week. You also happen to be in almost every one - I’m not sure how that magic works! You remind me of superheroes, and seeing you in the middle of many Knative & cloud native CI/CD initiatives gives me confidence that we are in good hands. Choosing to spend your birthday at KubeCon with us says it all.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Mauricio Salatino, VMware
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - Mauricio Salatino, VMware

There are many more that made this conference a great pleasure to be part of. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories, I look forward to welcoming you on Ship It! over the coming months: Matthias, Priya, Fernando, Thomas, Liz, Sean, Zain, Steve, Fernando, Jens, Sebastien, Paula, Elijah, Will, David & Ricardo. Also, it was great fun hanging out with you Ed, Marcus & Steve.

My favourite person at KubeCon EU 2022 was Johann. He is the only person that I know to have cycled to this conference. From Bern. To Valencia. 764 miles (or 1230km) in a leisurely 8 days.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - 764 miles - 9 days - Johann Gyger
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2022 - 764 miles - 9 days - Johann Gyger

Johann is really committed to sustainability and does everything he can to reduce his carbon footprint. He is an inspiration to us all. Also very kind and humble - I insisted that we tell his story. Yes, we are definitely shipping it.


With the most important take-away covered - the people - here are my 7 other tech take-aways from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2022:

1. Kubernetes & cloud native achieved peak maturity

Boeing & Mercedes Benz have ~1k Kubernetes clusters in production and they are now K8s & cloud native by default. Some smaller companies feel left behind & still struggle - not with the tech, but adjusting their org to the cloud native mindset.

2. Big drive for platforms on top of Kubernetes

K8s is the wrong abstraction for the majority of developers and there is a lot of focus on wrapping the API & providing a better developer experience. Backstage & Kyverno kept coming up, as well as smaller players like Humanitec & Kratix.

3. Almost everyone that I talked to is thinking about supply chain security

Users don’t really understand the tooling, but all eyes are on Sigstore. Securing K8s 1.24 made a big difference. Everyone feels that they really need it and are trying to figure out where to start. The core contributors think of Sigstore as the Let’s Encrypt of software. I see the same potential.

4. eBPF is big, popular & growing

Linux kernel 5.8 gave it a lot more steam, especially the 4k -> 1000k instructions bump. Almost half of the people that I talked to are either working on it, using it or actively integrating. Polar Signals (CPU/MEM), Isovalent (NET L4) & Buoyant (NET L7) are the ones to watch.

5. GitOps is a foregone conclusion

Everyone recognises it as a good practice by default, and use either ArgoCD or Flux to do it. There are some which want to have another option that works in combination with GitOps (like a release valve mechanism) but it is not clear what this is. My interpretation is that GitOps everywhere is too much and it gets tiring after a while. There are clear benefits to it, so none is thinking of going back to before GitOps, but something feels like it’s missing to me. Need to think about this one some more.

6. Mixed feedback about Istio/Envoy

Too much complexity for not enough real-world benefit. The entire service mesh proposition seems to have a negative vibe about it as a result. Linkerd is the exception. Everyone that used it loves it, and the rest are paying attention. This CNCF micro-survey matches my observations: Service meshes are on the rise – but greater understanding and experience are required.

7. Crossplane continues growing from all perspectives

Community is expanding, new open-source providers are being built and use-cases are becoming more interesting & inspiring. A few great talks at this KubeCon, including one from Accenture. The complexity of multi-cloud fleets of K8s clusters with too many workloads to count are driving the need for a sane way of managing them. Teams are either going for Cluster API (things are moving fast in that space) and/or Crossplane. As cluster & workloads continue growing (I’m interpreting peak growth right now) this will remain an important & active problem space for at least a few more years.


And that is my KubeCon EU 2022 wrapup. Rich Burroughs has another great one. I’m sure that there are a few more great ones around. Feel free to mention them in the comments below.

Over the coming months, I look forward to welcoming everyone that I spoke with in the hallway track on Ship It! It’s going to be great! Same as KubeCon EU 2023:

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023 - April 17-23 - Amsterdam
KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023 - April 17-23 - Amsterdam

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